learning of English

hhtt21

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If you were a learners of English, how would you learn it especially if you want to understand what you read and give good answers.

I think the best way to do this is to have an excellent word and construction knowledge.

Thank you.
 

emsr2d2

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If you were a [STRIKE]learners[/STRIKE] learner of English, how would you learn it, especially if you want to understand what you read and to give good answers?

I think the best way to do this is to [strike]have[/strike] strive for/aim for an excellent [STRIKE]word[/STRIKE] vocabulary and knowledge of English constructions. [STRIKE]knowledge.[/STRIKE]

Thank you.

Everyone learns in a different way so there is no single answer to your question. I'm currently studying Spanish. I picked up a lot when I worked in Spain but now I'm trying to get to grips with the grammar by studying formally. I work from textbooks, I practise with a couple of Spanish acquaintances and I listen to Spanish radio during my daily commute.
 

Jon Bass

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I learn English mainly through watching movies and listening to musics.
 

emsr2d2

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I learn English mainly through watching movies and listening to [STRIKE]musics[/STRIKE] music.

Jon Bass, your member profile shows that English is your native language. Why do you need to learn English?
 

Tdol

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Knowing a lot of words does not mean that you will speak a language well. Being able to use words in contexts matter more. Most native speakers use a very small vocabulary, but will use their words in many ways. Flexibility of vocabulary is probably more important than size.
 

hhtt21

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Knowing a lot of words does not mean that you will speak a language well. Being able to use words in contexts matter more. Most native speakers use a very small vocabulary, but will use their words in many ways. Flexibility of vocabulary is probably more important than size.
Did not I emphasized before in this thread, but understanding of reading is more important than that of speaking and listening for me. Please re-evaluate the situation with respect to this.

Thank you.
 

Tdol

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That depends on what your primary needs for using a language are. If reading is what you need, then focus on that. However, even if this is the case, then knowing multiple meanings will still help, and help at a very basic level.
 

Skrej

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What Tdol is referring to is more formally known as the debate on breadth versus depth of vocabulary. Breadth is the sheer number of words you know, depth refers to a number of related things such as different uses for any given word - different meanings, registers, collocations, morphology, etc.

There's a lot of ongoing debate and research suggesting which is more critical, with favor tipping from one to the other. The last formal training I had suggested the latter, although some articles lately seem to be swinging back towards breadth as the more critical.

In regards to reading, you need to know something like 8,000-9,000 word families to understand 95% of higher level English academic texts (and you need to know upwards of about 98% of the words to fully comprehend any given text). For lower level and daily functional English, studies show a vocabulary of around 2,000 word families will let you understand about 80% of what you read, but something like an additional 3,000 word families to get you up to 88%. After the first 2,000 word families, every additional thousand word families gains you an increasingly smaller percentile comprehension gain.

Note this all refers to word families, which average about 3 individual words per word family.

You can find all kinds of information about this on the internet - research has been going on for decades.

Here are some articles and links to get you started reading.

Lengthy 21 page PDF
Study on Iranian EFL students (note additional PDFs from study available)
Yet another article
Article from Asian Social Science Magazine


For further exploration, here's the search results link I used for these articles.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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An for academic texts, we have things like the Academic Word List to help focus on choices- subject-specific words are often less of a problem.
 
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