October 5


EP18: How I Improve my Vocabulary (1)


Hello hello, fellow learners of English, how are you doing out there? This is Kristian here, nice to be with you again, and welcome to the Learners of English Podcast, episode number 18.

You are listening to this podcast because you want to improve your English, so you can fulfil your dreams in life, whatever they may be. I just want to say it’s an honor for me to help you to get from where you are right now to where you want to be.

Today we are going to talk about vocabulary. But before we begin, let me just remind you that you can find the transcript of this episode on my website learnersofenglish.com.

OK, vocabulary. Or to be more specific: how do you improve your vocabulary? How do your learn new words and phrases?

There are plenty of articles and videos about this topic on the internet. Most of them try to tell you the best way to improve your vocabulary. They use a catchy headline and come up with a list of things you need to do.

I want to do it differently. I’m going to tell you how I improve my vocabulary, and then you can decide if you want to join me.

So, how do I improve my vocabulary? It’s quite simple:

I create many “HEY-moments” by doing things that I love doing.

HEY-moments? What do you mean, Kristian? Well, this is all about creating moments that your brain tells you: “HEY, I know this word, I know this phrase, I know this idiom, I’ve read it before, I’ve heard it before, I remember it”. That moment, that’s when you learn new words and phrases.

How do you create many HEY-moments? Well, it’s simple: by doing what you love, by doing stuff that you really enjoy doing. It’s not really that complicated, is it?

For me, that means listening to audiobooks, podcasts and reading books. I do other things too, but I’d say that reading and listening have the most impact on my vocabulary, because I don’t live in an English speaking country.

And even though I spend a lot of time teaching, it doesn’t have that much of an impact, because I often have to grade my language when I speak with learners of English. I have to make sure they understand me. This means I’m not learning many new words or phrases when I’m teaching.

OK, HEY-moments with books and podcasts. So, what do I listen to? What do I read? Let’s start with podcasts.

I listen to 3 podcasts to improve my English, and today I want to introduce you to one of them: LeonardoEnglish.

What exactly is Leonardo English? On the website Alastair Budge, the creator of the podcast, writes:

We produce English podcasts that teach you fascinating things about how the world works. They are spoken at a speed you can understand, and come with a transcript and key vocabulary.

And this is all true. If you are a curious person who wants to learn English, this podcast is for you. There’s nothing better in this podcast segment. In tomorrow’s episode I’ll tell you more about it, and I show you how I use it.

For now, I want you to start thinking about the things you love doing in life. I cannot stress enough that doing what you love is the key to becoming better at English, and ultimately, to becoming happy in life.

If you love playing video games, start reading blogs about these games. Or listen to podcasts about video games. But all should be done in English of course, not in your native language.

If you love spending time on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and all that stuff, start learning about how to create content for these platforms. In English. Don’t only consume content, start creating your own content. And why not in English?

I could go on an on and give you 100 examples, but I hope you get the point. There’s no excuse for you to not use English on a daily basis. English is the main language on the internet, it’s everywhere.

Remember, we don’t just listen to podcasts here, we take action because we want to improve. Only if you take action you’ll become a successful learner of English, and you’ll be able to fulfil your dreams in life.

All right, let me know your thoughts on this episode in the comments or via email. Take care of yourself, and each other and I’ll catch you in the next episode.

About the author 


Kristian is a Dutch guy who teaches English online. He relaxes with audiobooks, music and podcasts. Kristian still has a lot to learn, but he's happy to share what he has learnt along the way.

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