How do you guys read and expand your vocabulary in your target language?

Posts2Likes2Joined1/5/2021LocationManchester / GB
Native
English, Somali
Learning French, Spanish

What do you think is the best way to use this platform to gain more vocabulary most efficiently. Do you think it's best I import videos from youtube or read the book already imported by other students. 

How do you guys learn words which are tagged as 'learning', through flashcards or through exposing yourself to the word as you read more? 

Do you prioritise content with audio over books and how much content did you get through (in words, etc) before speaking in the language was second-nature to you (B2/C1)

I am currently learning Spanish and with the massive amount of content out there, it's hard to know which ones will help me expand my vocabulary and understand conversations a lot quicker. Any other tips which help with how to use a reading platform like this to maximise my learning would be much appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance!

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#1
Posts1349Likes937Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Native
English
Learning Tagalog
Other Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai

Hi Khalid, and welcome to OP! Much of what you ask is personal preference, but I will give you my thoughts.

JustKhalid23 wrote:
What do you think is the best way to use this platform to gain more vocabulary most efficiently... How do you guys learn words which are tagged as 'learning', through flashcards or through exposing yourself to the word as you read more?

I believe all seven pillars of language learning (conversation, listening, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation) reinforce each other, and I like to have a good foundation in all of them. Since it is such a big part of the language, some learners prefer to let the other facets do the work and learn vocabulary by exposure. In addition to exposure, others, myself included, like to spend a certain amount of time studying vocabulary explicitly by using SRSs (flashcard programs), lists, paper flashcards, etc. I find I can learn vocabulary faster this way, but there is a cutoff line – I don’t like to spend more than 25% of my study time with my SRS, but ymmv.

While the other features of the site will help you learn vocabulary through exposure, if you want learn it explicitly I would recommend the reading tool. After reading passages, you can export the vocabulary you are learning and put it in an SRS or just memorize the list. The combination of doing a lot of listening and reading and memorizing the “learning” words yields great results ime.

wrote:
Do you think it's best I import videos from youtube or read the book already imported by other students...Do you prioritise content with audio over books ... with the massive amount of content out there, it's hard to know which ones will help me expand my vocabulary and understand conversations a lot quicker.

I agree that there’s tons of good material out there for Spanish! I don’t know what your level is, but I recommend Language Tools Spanish Conversations to most learners, especially those interested in conversation, because these are actual conversations between native speakers, audio and text, and that is exactly what they need. Learners find them more comprehensible than most native material – that is just a trait of conversation.

That being said, I do love real native (short) youtube videos, with transcripts, about things I am interested in, but they are normally much harder to understand.

And yes, use material that has audio (or video) whenever you can. I also recommend reading out loud all the time too, because it reinforces your pronunciation. You can check your pronunciation as you go by using tts.

wrote:
how much content did you get through (in words, etc) before speaking in the language was second-nature to you (B2/C1)

If you are asking how much reading is needed to get to B2/C1, it depends on many things, maybe the most important one being how much time you spend on the other pillars, especially conversation. As I said earlier, I like to be well-rounded. I typically converse more often than other learners. I’m sure I read less than most learners who don’t start conversing until they are advanced.

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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#2
Posts2Likes2Joined1/5/2021LocationManchester / GB
Native
English, Somali
Learning French, Spanish

I completely agree with what you said about having a good foundation in all the different skills of language learning. I value conversing with people in the language the most and so I'll take your advice and start with the spanish conversations. I greatly appreciate your help. Thanks a lot, Leo! 

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#3
Posts73Likes38Joined23/3/2021LocationDavao / PH
Native
Tagalog
Learning Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish

I have foreign friends who have learned my native language thru daily exposure and conversation. They would have someone to turn to when they want a word or a phrase to be translated. Some of them have mini notebooks and pen that fit their pockets and they have them everywhere they go. They would have 30 minutes of learning new words and apply them each day. Some of them would challenge themselves to have NO ENGLISH for thirty minutes or so. 



- By small and simple things are great things brought to pass! 

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#4
Posts536Likes330Joined8/7/2018LocationAlmeria / ES
Native
English
Other Arabic - Egyptian, French, German, Spanish

I don't understand how to use the tools properly to tick off the vocabulary I know? So I can't help there. I am also learning Spanish :), in terms of fluency it is tricky, I teach B1 english so I tried a B1 practice exam about 4 years ago and missed the mark, but I have improved a lot since with my understanding... When I speak I apologize for my Spanish and I am constantly told it is great and that I am perfectly understood, but I would still say that I only grasp 80% of every conversation, sometimes I understand 100% but if we go into subjects I have never discussed (which I do these days now I have built a life in Spain and have friends) then It can be as little as 60%


But it is the best way to learn, just get stuck in with the people!



EDIT* I have since worked out how to use the reading tool feature :)

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#5
Posts536Likes330Joined8/7/2018LocationAlmeria / ES
Native
English
Other Arabic - Egyptian, French, German, Spanish

http://listeningpractice.org/test.php?lang=spa might be useful for you they have listening tests you can do :)

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#6
Posts55Likes43Joined24/3/2021LocationManila / PH
Native
English
Learning Spanish

Watch kids videos on your target language. My son watched random Spanish and Mandarin videos and we're able to pick words unconsciously.  

Faye

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#7
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