In this lesson, you will learn the best way to learn English words in real life.


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The Problem

You must STOP using the dictionary to learn new English words.

In other words, if your goal is to speak English fluently like a native English speaker, you have to stop memorizing words from the dictionary.


REASON 1: There are many words in the dictionary that are not used by native English speakers on a daily basis. So, you will get frustrated when you use a word from the dictionary that no one uses in daily life. [I experienced this when I used Korean words from the dictionary and my students also experienced it]

REASON 2: If you only focus on the dictionary, you will start to sound like a book instead of a natural English speaker.

REASON 3: When you memorize words from the dictionary, you don’t learn how to use the words in context. In other words, you don’t know the right time and place to use the words.

The Solution

The solution is to learn new English words from native English speakers, instead of only using the dictionary.

In other words, listen to real English conversations and pay attention to the English words that native English speakers actually use in real life.


PART 1: Find a conversation about a topic that you are interested in. As you listen to the conversation, write down the words that you don’t know.

PART 2: After listening to the conversation, look up the words that you wrote down and try to make your own sentences using the words.

PART 3: Finally, listen to the conversation again to see if you understand it more.

Practice Together

Let’s Practice Together

Let’s put this technique into practice with a short conversation about “fashion”.

    1. “Following a style that is popular at a particular time”
    2. Sentence 1: She always wears fashionable clothes.
    3. Sentence 2: Tattoos are very fashionable among young people this year.
    4. Sentence 3: There are many choices available for fashionable snow boots.
    1. “A fashion trend characterized by athletic clothing that is both comfortable and aesthetically appealing”
    2. Sentence 1: Athleisure is perfect for traveling.
    3. Sentence 2: We like to wear athleisure outfits nowadays.
    4. Sentence 3: The athleisure trend grew out of women wearing yoga pants.
  3. ADAPT
    • “To adjust or modify something to a particular situation or circumstance”
    • Sentence 1: It’s amazing how quickly people adapt.
    • Sentence 3: James needed to adapt to a new weather pattern.
    • Sentence 3: After Lou lost one arm in a car accident, he had to adapt to a prosthetic limb.
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