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Tutor Istvan Zoltan Zardai 's Column

Reading and expanding your vocabulary

Mar 15, 2020

Many language learners are trying to make the jump from intermediate to advanced level.
I think this is one of the hardest transitions when mastering a foreign language.
One of the key steps involved at this stage is to signifcantly expand your vocabulary.
The easiest way to do this is by reading and writing.
Reading is wonderful because it gives you something to write about.
A good task you can set yourself is to read a few passages or pages every day from a short story or a book you enjoy.
Look up the words and expressions you don't know in a dictionary.
At first, you will find that you don't know a lot of the words.
But within a few weeks you will notice that reading and getting ahead in the text are starting to become easier and easier.
Afterwards, write down in 4-5 lines what you read. You can write about the most exciting part of the story, your favourite character, or make a brief summary of what you just read.
This is helpful because you can use the new words you've encountered, and remember them much easier.
To stay motivated you should read something that you really enjoy.
When I was a teenager I used this method.
At that time I was very much into fantasy, mystery, and sci-fi stories.
I read the Dragonlance Chronicles. They are enchanting tales of friendship, love and war, and feature mages, dragons, and powerful warriors.
Then I moved on to the short stories of H. P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft created a detailed universe where strange creatures from space live on Earth. They infuence our lives in ways that we humans are normally unaware of. But sometimes dark events take place and an investigation uncovers horrifying secrets...
In the sci-fi genre one of my favourites was Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the Universe. The book exemplifies the best of British humour: witty, ironic, satirical, and creative. The stories centre around relatable and funny characters, and often move in very surprising directions.
What are some of your favorite stories, books, and movies? How do you learn new words?
Let me know in the comments or contact me if you would like to have a nice chat about these topics! :)

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