VITAL - Volunteers in Tutoring Adult Learners

Think Library: VITAL

Best Way to Learn a New Language Quickly

white board with words for a language lessonThe most effective way to speak a new language quickly is to learn the 800 to 1,000 most common lemmas (word families). A lemma is a root word and all its variations, for example: do, does, did, doing; blue, bluer, bluest, blueish, etc. If you know the 800 most frequently-used lemmas in English, you'll understand 75% of everyday spoken English.      From How Many Words Do You Need to Speak a Language?

Listening to English

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Listening to English is essential for improving reading skills. But what sounds more engaging—learning about the silent “e” rule, or the thrilling adventures of Sherlock Holmes? Both are important, but hearing the written word satisfies the brain’s thirst for knowledge and information, even beyond our ability to read independently. Exposure to the sound of expressive reading, dramatic pauses, and phrasing helps with reading comprehension (understanding what we’re reading). And hearing new vocabulary in context requires us to draw conclusions, improving our critical thinking skills. 

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