Want to improve your speaking vocabulary? STOP LEARNING NEW WORDS✋

Want to improve your speaking vocabulary? STOP LEARNING NEW WORDS✋


Hey, it’s Hadar, and
thank you for joining me. And in this episode, I’m going to talk about why if you want to
improve your vocabulary and stop getting stuck in
English, you have to stop memorizing and learning new words. Here’s the thing, as a speaker of English as a second language, you
may have found yourself in the past or in the
present speaking English, and then you got stuck, right? You were looking for a specific word, and that word was nowhere to be found. Word, where are you, word? Word? And then you ended up
using a different word that didn’t quite convey the message as you wanted it to convey the message, or you just got stuck and you started getting all anxious and
nervous, and then you got stuck even more and started
making stupid mistakes. And then afterwards, you felt like crap. You thought, oh, my
English is so terrible. I don’t know words in English. And then you say to yourself, hey, I just need to improve my vocabulary. That is the problem, I get stuck because I don’t know enough words. You compared yourself to your abilities in your native tongue,
and in your native tongue, your words are just like laying there waiting for you to grab them, right? And in English, it’s just like
you have to search for them with a flashlight. Now, first of all, stop
comparing yourself to who you are in your native tongue,
’cause it’s not productive. It’s only going to make you
feel bad about yourself. And it’s just not fair, these are two different circumstances. It’s kind of like you’re
comparing apples and oranges. You don’t wanna do that. Second, you have to understand
that the problem here is not your poor vocabulary. It is what you are doing with the words that you already know. And to explain that even more, I’m gonna have to take
you to my whiteboard. But before, I wanna share
with you a quick story. When I first started out
teaching, it was after a long period where I
wouldn’t speak English at all. So just a quick reminder, I
moved to New York in 2000, and moved back to Israel in 2004 or five. So I was there for almost five years. And then for two years here,
I haven’t talked in English, I haven’t read anything in
English, I had no connection. Maybe I listened to TV
shows, but that’s about it. So when I first started teaching, I wasn’t very confident
about my English abilities, especially my fluency. So I was pretty good
with pronunciation still, but my ability to
communicate and the words and my knowledge of
English was fairly limited, especially in comparison
to where I am right now. And I remember a situation
where I was teaching this executive, he was in my house. Back then I didn’t have an office, I was teaching in my apartment. And he wanted to practice
reading articles. And I was just like, okay, sure, so let’s open “The New York Times.” I wanted to sound sophisticated,
and read an article. So we started reading an article, and I was, my eyes went blah, ’cause we started reading
it, and I was just like, you know, trying to show him
how to pronounce every word, and it was really great, and
then we came across a word that I have no idea what it meant. Like I could figure out how to say it, but then he asked me,
“What does that mean?” I’m like, “Um.” I would try to understand from the context what this word is, and then
I would make up something. And then, mind you, it was like almost, like it was 10 years ago. I was young and naive and kind of my ego was a lot bigger than what it is today. And then I, and then we
came across another word, and I had no idea what it meant. And then another word, and another word. And at some point, I was just like, “Okay, let’s go back to the
beginning and read it again,” so I don’t come across
as completely stupid not knowing all of these words, right? And then I really felt horrible. I was just like, how
is that even possible? You know, the imposter
syndrome started rising up. How is it possible that you’re a teacher and you don’t know all of these words? And this is ridiculous, you
shouldn’t be even teaching. He thinks that you are
stupid and not intelligent. And blah, blah, blah,
blah, blah, blah, blah. Of course he loved the
lesson, and then he texted me. “Oh, it was such a great
lesson, thank you so much. “I learned so much.” But that doesn’t matter, right, everything that I thought to myself. And then I got obsessed with learning all these fancy words
from “The New York Times.” So I invested a lot of time
learning a lot of words that I came across in all
of these academic articles and business articles. And as I started teaching, I noticed that I’m not using these words. I’m not using these words. And all of a sudden I started forgetting about all these words, right? So I spent all this time
learning these fancy words. But I never had a chance
to use these words. And then I started exploring
it and I started talking to my students, seeing
what they are focusing on when they’re learning new words. And they were pretty much
doing what I was doing, learning all these fancy words. But they never had a real
opportunity to use them. Maybe I used them in my academic writing, ’cause at the time I was also learning English literature at the university. So yeah, every now and then I
used one of those fancy words. But in speaking, in my
lessons, when I was talking to friends, I was never using them. And then I started thinking
about how we go about learning words, and is the
investment that we’re making in learning all of these new,
fancy, nice-to-have words, is really advancing us
in where we want to be, which is pretty much speaking fluently and being able to convey
our message clearly with the right words, with the right flow, and of course with the right
pronunciation and intonation. (gentle music) I want you to imagine your
vocabulary as a circle. As a sort of a circle. So I was never great at drawing. Okay, anyway, you get the
point, that’s your vocabulary. I’ll even write it here. Now, this is your overall vocabulary. That means that these are
words that you understand, that you know, that if you
were to read them in a book or hear them when someone
speaks, you’d be like, I know exactly what it
means, you wouldn’t need to go to check them in
the dictionary, okay? So here’s the problem. The words that you use in
regular conversation are here. It’s a much more limited circle. Okay, so these are that
you use easily, right? These are the words that
are retrieved easily, words like house and on and chicken and soup and ladies and gentlemen, and maybe other words that
you use on a regular basis, maybe words related to technology because you use them at
work all of the time. However, there’s still a gap here between the words that you know and the words that you actually use. Now, the problem is that a lot of people don’t even think about
these words as a challenge. They don’t think they need to
do anything with these words ’cause they know these
words, so they go ahead and spend a lot of time expanding
and extending the circle. Now since it’s the outer circle, it’ll take a lot more energy
and work to expand it, and you’ll do a lot of
hard work to expand it just a bit, right? And here’s the problem, when
you extend the outer circle, it doesn’t do much to
the inner circle, right? So these words usually stay unaccessible. I mean, you may understand
them better when you read, so it definitely helps your comprehension and your listening skills. But the question is, is that
helpful for your fluency, and does it prevent
you from getting stuck? I don’t think so. So what I’m saying is
that instead of investing in the outer circle and
expanding the outer circle, focus on this inner circle. I’m gonna use a different color for it. So you know that these are
the words that you use easily. Start putting your focus on
the words that you already know but you never use. These are the words
that are not available. These are the words
that get you frustrated because your subconscious
mind knows that you know these words, and you’re
like, I know this word, how come it’s not available? How come I can’t use it? And then you remember
it, right, an hour later. You’re like, oh, that was
the word I was looking for. Or when someone helps you and you’re like, yes, yes, that’s it, right? Whether it’s words or phrases, whatever. But you know this, and you
are just limiting yourself, or you haven’t done something
to make these words, to turn them into active words. Right now they’re only passive. And passive doesn’t help us with anything, especially not with our fluency. So as I’m suggesting, instead
of expanding your vocabulary with all these fancy
words that are important, don’t get me wrong, I mean,
it’s great to know more words. It really is helpful,
especially if you need to write academic articles, and if
you want to write books, and if you want to
understand better what it is that you’re reading, so of
course invest more time in it. I’m just saying don’t expect
it to be available right away without doing something about it. And what I’m also saying
is these words are words that you hear around you all of the time. So maybe in the hierarchy of
words, in terms of what words are more important than
others, probably these words are more important ’cause
you constantly hear them, you know them, right, that
means that they’re very, very present in the language. It’s just that you don’t use them, and that’s the problem, okay? So I’m gonna take you back to the table, and there I’m going to
share with you the steps that will help you start
implementing those words into your day-to-day speech. So the first thing I want
you to have is a memo on your phone, so you
can use the Notes app. You can use Evernote, I’m
gonna put a link to it below. That’s a really great app
to keep track of your notes. And there you’re going
to make a list of words. Now, this list of words, it
needs to be super accessible, where every time you come
across a word that you know, but you say to yourself
I never use this word, so you need to have this
inquisitive listening, where you constantly listen to words but you’re also asking
yourself, is this a word I use? Okay, especially words that you need. And again, remember, these are not words that you need to go to the
dictionary to look them up. These are words that you know, but you find yourself never using them. And then I want you to
put it on that list. Now, every now and then,
you’ll come across a word that you don’t know, but
you feel people are using it all of the time, and you
may think to yourself, hey, maybe I need to know that word. You can put it on the list as well. But remember, the purpose,
the first stage is to get you to start using all the
words that you already know. It’ll be a lot faster
and a lot more effective. And then you are going to
start adding those words as you are listening to English. So don’t think about it
and try to remember it, because you’ll forget. The moment it happens,
the moment you come across that word, you put it on your list. And then once a day, or
once every other day, I want you to go to that list and pull one of those words out. The best way to make
this word more available and more accessible is
to first of all develop the muscle memory of the pronunciation. Let me tell you a secret. A lot of times your
subconscious mind knows a word but will avoid using it
because you are uncertain about its pronunciation. There is this fear here that
is preventing you from using that word even though you
know when you need to use it. So it keeps shoving it down
until it’s no longer available. So for example, let’s
say that on your list you have the word regurgitate. Now, this is a word that
I know, but I never use. And I know that I can use it more often. So let’s say that that’s my word, and I’m going to probably
say it 20, 30 times, just like this, regurgitate,
regurgitate, regurgitate, regurgitate, regurgitate, regurgitate. Then I might want to use another resource to help me get it into my system. So then you can use our friend Google to Google for sentences
with the word regurgitate. And then I would probably
say these words out loud a few times, then I would
want to invent some sentences with the word regurgitate. So for example, now I
need to think about it. The students regurgitate the material they learned from their teachers. Okay, so maybe at first I’ll get stuck. No, wait, is there a better
way for me to say it? The students keep
regurgitating the material they learned from their teachers. And then I say it again,
and I’ll try to refine it and do it again and again and again until it comes out naturally with flow. That’s how I’m starting to
connect all the dots together. All the senses, hearing it, seeing it, ’cause it’s written in my notebook. You might wanna write it phonetically. Feeling it in your mouth,
getting the muscles to work around the sound. Reading it out loud, using resources that someone else
created, and then creating my own sentences, right, and
connecting all the dots there. The word with context. That’s how you start remembering words. Now, don’t overwhelm yourself. You don’t need to do 10 of those a day. One word a day is enough. Expanding your vocabulary by 20 words within 20 days or 30 days,
one month, is incredible. It’s more than what
you’ve had before, right? So the other alternatives,
they don’t work as well, so start enhancing the
words that you already know. You will see that it’s a
skill, it’s an acquired skill. The easier it is to start
retrieving words that you know, the easier it will be for
you to store new words or to start using words that
you actually don’t know. So what we’re doing here
will expand your vocabulary, will help you feel more expressive. But most importantly,
it’ll give you the skill to know how to retrieve words easily and to integrate words
into your day-to-day speech fast and effectively. Remember that understanding
something, gaining clarity without taking action
right away is meaningless. It’s as if you haven’t done anything. So what I want you to do right
now is take a piece of paper and a pen and write down 10 words. So you’ll need to do some
mind searching right now. Brain searching. And you’ll need, I want
you to come up with a list of 10 words that you
know but you never use, you find yourself never
using because you’re not sure how to say those words, or maybe it’s just they’re not available. And if you can’t think of
something, then start a list of five words, maybe words
that you heard in this video. Maybe the words that you
have recently come across. If not, make a point that
you’ll get that list done by the end of today. And then I want you to post those 10 words in the comments below,
because I really want you to commit to yourself to take action. And also your words are going
to be someone else’s resource. So this is a win-win situation. Okay, that’s it, thank
you so much for watching. If you like this video,
I invite you to subscribe to my channel and come
on over to my website to sign up for my email
newsletter, where you’ll get a new lesson into your
inbox every single week. Also if you felt that this
episode was beneficial, then share it with your
friends, your students, your colleagues, so they
can all enjoy the knowledge of new and old words. Have a beautiful week,
and I’ll see you next week in the next video. Bye.

100 thoughts on “Want to improve your speaking vocabulary? STOP LEARNING NEW WORDS✋

  1. Please I don't have time for your personal stories. Just go straight to the point. Beating about the bush makes the lesson very boring. I couldn't watch the video to the end.

  2. You're on of a kind and have a uniquely beautiful soul, watching your videos is not only informative but calming and peaceful as well, you're simply the best at teaching and at just being a human, Thanks for your positive touch into this world. Stay Safe ♥

  3. I need to expand more active words rather than fancy words which I only see in the New York Times,Time magazine or Business week.

  4. Love you sister ❤
    You have answere most of my problem.
    Secondly, you are eloquent and articulative but very loud , try
    to speak softly

  5. I love u ma'am so much. Last night u came imto my dream and started teaching me new word vocabulary. Thanks a lot plzzz come again I m waiting for u
    Have a nyccc day

  6. I get the message but it is a bit misanthropic. TLDR, Learning new vocabulary is extremely important for learning the language but practicing is just as important.

  7. [ðə bɛst æn moʊst ˈbju dɪ fəl θɪŋzɪn ðə wɜɹld ˈkæ nɑt│ bi sin əɹ ˈi vən tʌʧt]

    [ðeɪ mʌst bi fɛlt wɪθ‿θə hɑɹt]

  8. yes, use it or lose it kinda phenomenon . I also dig for the root word or etymology of the word. I use this mostly when trying to memorize French words …….this morning I looked up a word s'empire ……turns out it is linked to a word I already know (pire) . pire (worst). empire (worsens , to get worse )

  9. 😍😍😘😘 Thank you so much for you
    you are right in everything you say it👍👍
    Because I'm one of that people who kept many vocabularies but sometimes I can't use it or I don't know how can I use it.
    But in this video I get a benefit to use this vocabulary

  10. Wait you're not a native English speaker ? If not, you are indistinguishable from a native speaker. I've never seen that before.

  11. Thank you for your videos. They have helped me a lot. Please, make a video about how to be confident writing in English. Thank you.

  12. Whenever i see one of your videos i become happy.. i almost understand every word you say. Your explanation and way of speaking is wonderful

  13. I have a file on computer with lots of words I don't know the meaning of which I find online in newspapers and other websites. The major problem I have with some of these words is I forget their meaning regardless of how many times I come across them. It is very exasperating. I have some kind of block in my memory.

  14. 10 words that I know but I never use
    find out
    laugh
    overcome
    upset
    fault
    enough

    used (to)
    although
    deserve
    realize

  15. You totally got a point here. I've known about 10K words, but only half of them are accessible to me. I am gonna take your advice and invest more time in what I've known insted. Thank you for your sage advice(It is the first time that I've utilized this phrase after learning it. )

  16. Hey Hadar! I just wanted to say thank you for this amazing video. This was a very helpful and educational video. Recently, I've had this obsession to learn new words and to expand my vocabulary because, like you said, sometimes I get really anxious and I lose my train of thought when I'm doing something like a presentation in my English class. I'll start using your tip as soon as possible. 🙂

  17. I love you and your teaching style. Thank you very much for the knowledge you shared with us.
    Some examples from my list are; commit, clarity, integrate, expand, acquire, enhancing, overwhelm, .

  18. Excellent. Thank you.
    The sign of a genius is to see the obvious that others don't see, until the genius points it out. Only then do others see the obvious.
    What you explain is the obvious, but unfortunately my teachers (and me as well) did not see it.

  19. I don't know. First where are your proofs that it works? Second even if so it seems like pain in the ass. I better go and seek another way.

  20. I have a great difficulty to use words with “th” sound. If I say them separated that’s ok. But if I’m talking to someone and I know I have to use them I just do it very fast to pretend I’m saying it right. Is that efficient to write down these words to train vocabulary and to lose this fear to use rather?

  21. I am writing you from Turkey… your advice is so useful… I will start … thanks Hadar … what is your name's meaning ? we will wait your new videos..

  22. There is just one true in her video is that each advice is correct. I know 6 languages 2 of them almost become my nature language and, others at Advanced level. ( I hate those stupid estimates of level of languages) You should pay attention on making your vocabulary more active, than store them

  23. I've been watching ur videos around two months ago… You are unique teacher… the examples you use to explain something difficult in easy way make you one of the best teacher for me 👍…Thank you so much for put a lot of energy & interest to help people's like me in this trip

  24. I have been looking for this type of
    Video and today I have finally found it .. thanks man..u right and I ll definitely learn like u suggested

  25. Thanks so much madam it's really helpful to learn by this way ! I was thinking in same way thank god while searching got this one !!! 🙂

    Subscribed !

  26. Thank you for this informative video! Quick question: Is it possible to make a group of videos for the intermediate to upper-intermediate level? You speak quickly and you use a lot of phrasal verbs and idioms that lower-level students can't undertand. I will share your youtube channel info with my students, but I don't think they will all be able to keep up. THANKS!

  27. You are the best teacher of English ever! I've had a few native English teachers and none of them could explain pronunciation like you do, just because They had never unpacked pronunciation like you've done.

  28. 14:07 Another interesting resource to training pronunciation (besides Google Translator, Cambridge, Oxford etc.) is https://youglish.com.

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