Vocabulary for your own needs

As the previous chapter mentions, you need to learn fundamental vocabulary first. The next stuff you need is the vocabulary related to the matter you wish to engage in.

Normally, people try hard to learn all the words in the textbook. But new words in your textbook have nothing to do with your situation. They might have words that you might not use for ever.

What is the purpose of your learning the foreign language?

The cause that quite a few people fail to learn a foreign language is because they don’t have any needs to get it. When you get a clear idea about why you need that language, then you know what kind of vocab you need. The phrase “necessity is the mother of invention” can be applied for language learning. When it comes to language learning, Necessity is the mother of improvement and acquisition. Words that directly have to do with your real situations are easy to memorize.

If you are learning a language just for fun with no clear purpose, then you should create a situation to use it.

I’ll give you a couple of examples about purposes of learning a foreign language.

case 1: When I learned Vietnamese

When I learned Vietnamese, the first purpose of learning it was to get by during my stay in Vietnam. I imagined what I would do then. I would stay in a hostel. So I needed the words for that such as:

  •  hotel
  • key
  • air-conditioning
  • Map
  • Do you have some maps? (To a street vendor)
  • How much is this map?
  • Is there any hot water?
  • I want to go to Hoan Kiem Lake.
  • Old town
  • Where
  • How can I get there?
  • (To a motorbike driver) To De Tham Street. How much?
  • Could I have a bowl of Vietnamese noodle with beef?
  • I’m leaving tomorrow morning.

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