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Vocabulary: Active and Passive - YouTube  See details »

 
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  • 00:45: hello this is AJ ho welcome to the effortless English show the show that teaches you to speak English powerfully how can you learn vocabulary faster and
  • 01:01: remember it longer and use it that's our topic today on the effortless English show let's talk about vocabulary vocabulary is very important last week we talked to Steve Kaufman who speaks over 13 languages and last week Steve mentioned that in his opinion vocabulary is much much much more important than
  • 01:32: grammar that's interesting why did he say that well I agree with him and the reason is that with vocabulary you can communicate if you know words if you know their meaning you understand them when you hear them and you can use them then you can communicate even with bad grammar you can communicate but without the words there's no communication so
  • 02:04: you might have grammar but if your vocabulary is very very very small you can't say very much so vocabulary is super important very very important so this is a big question it's an important question how to learn vocabulary faster and how to remember it longer because many times we study vocabulary especially in schools and the
  • 02:31: old ways we we studied this list of vocabulary and we memorize it and we remember it for the test and we get a good score on the test hopefully and then what happens then often we forget or maybe not for a test maybe we're just trying to improve our vocabulary so we study a list to memorize it memorize it memorize it and then what happens a week later maybe a few days later we forget it and so all that time feels like we
  • 03:01: wasted it and indeed just studying lists of vocabulary is mostly a waste of time you waste a lot of time that way there are better ways to learn vocabulary so it's important to find efficient ways powerful ways useful ways effective ways and enjoyable ways to learn vocabulary so let's talk about how our brain works
  • 03:30: and a few techniques a few strategies to learn vocabulary faster and remember it longer last week Steve Kaufman talked about context so that's the first thing we'll talk about learning vocabulary from context now in effortless English in our 7 rules we talked about using real materials and using stories this is the
  • 04:01: same idea basically what this means is that it's much more powerful to learn vocabulary from real situations from kind of situation so you're not just learning an individual word from some list because then you're just learning a word and a definition when you do that old way that's school way you learn a word and the meaning of the word but
  • 04:32: there's no situation so you really don't understand fully how to use that word and you really don't understand the true meaning of that word because you have not seen it used in a real sentence in a real story in a real conversation the other reason learning vocabulary from real situations context is important is because it's easier to
  • 05:03: remember let me let me give you an example let's say you want to learn the word baseball bat two words actually baseball bat maybe you come from a country that there's no baseball so baseball bat you want to learn this word so baseball bat it's a it's a long stick it's used in the game of baseball now one way to learn that word or phrase
  • 05:30: would be to study it in a list baseball bat and then you look at the meaning or the translation and you say it again and again baseball bat baseball bat baseball bat you look at the meaning and you try to remember it that might work but it might not and it would be less efficient less effective a better way would be to go to a baseball game let's say you're visiting the United States you go to a baseball game and then you notice the guy is
  • 06:01: holding something you ask your friend what's that oh that's the bat that's the baseball bat they use it to hit the hit the ball and so you're in a real situation you're at a baseball game you're seeing the baseball bat seeing it used you're having a real conversation with a friend and you really want to know the meaning of that word because you need it in that moment you need it for the real situation you're there in the game in that situation maybe they
  • 06:30: only need to tell you one time and you remember it and you never forget it again why because in your memory you will have this image you'll have this picture of that game of the player holding the bat swinging it hitting it you'll remember your friend you'll remember the conversation all these things will be connected to the word or phrase baseball bat and because of all these real-life connections that
  • 07:00: vocabulary will get remembered recorded in your brain more strongly therefore you learn it faster maybe just one repetition and you have a better chance to use it in the future because it's more strongly in your memory that's the power of learning something in a real situation a real context we can make this even more powerful because our
  • 07:31: memories work better with strong emotion so let's think let's keep using this example baseball bat let's imagine that during that game a player walks up to you he sees you he walks up to you and he and he has the baseball bat he says I'm gonna kill you and he he's about to hit you and your friend says no don't hit him with the bat so what now what do
  • 08:01: you have now you have a motion probably fear your who this big player has a bat he's going to swing it maybe and hit your head and your friend yells don't hit him or her if you're a woman with the bat don't hit him with the bat don't hit him with the baseball bat don't do it so now again you have your friend yelling the word fat or baseball bat again you have a real situation but now this real situation is very emotional right you've
  • 08:31: got a strong feeling of fear oh this big guy's going to hit you with the bat well that fear that strong emotion actually will make the memory much much stronger and so you will really remember that word because of that whole situation all of that is very easy to remember now it can be any emotion fear is one strong emotion it could be excitement it could be you know a really high energy feeling
  • 09:01: it could be enthusiasm so the point is though that a more emotional situation is better for learning the word or learning words finally actions helped us with vocabulary helped us to learn vocabulary so I talked about this in in past videos but and in power English and/or power English course we use action vocabulary videos at the beginning to teach you this technique the basic idea is that if
  • 09:31: you have a word you're trying to learn you create some action some movement that reminds you of the meaning so again let's say baseball bat you're trying to remember this word well instead of just saying baseball bat baseball bat baseball bat you actually imagine in your mind the bat the stick right and then you could make an action like you're holding the bat and you swinging it like a baseball player you say baseball bat so now you're combining
  • 10:01: this action with the word you're saying the word and you're using the action at the same time if you imagine a real baseball player swinging and if you use in motion so you do it in a powerful way you don't just say baseball that baseball bat that's not good instead you use a lot of energy a lot of enthusiasm a lot of emotion and the action and you say pretty small back haha baseball bat baseball bat and you combine all that emotion and action and
  • 10:32: remembering some image or picture now you will remember that word more quickly you can do this with any word now another easy way to get words from real situations is simply to read stories and listen to stories this is why reading reading novels reading storybooks is so powerful or even nonfiction books it's because when you
  • 11:00: learn words from books including audiobooks listening when you learn that way you're automatically learning new words in a real situation so you have the whole situation to remind you of the meaning so this is why lists are not good now your list to the effortless English show with AJ Hoge go-to effortless English club.com to get my free email course so we've
  • 11:33: talked about context what's another great way to learn vocabulary faster and what is the difference between active vocabulary and passive vocabulary so we have two kinds of vocabulary active and passive and often you may get confused by these or you may be upset because a common problem is that you may know a
  • 12:02: word when you hear it or when you read it if you read the word you know it if you hear the word now you know the meaning but then later when you try to use the word you're talking to someone and you want to use that word but you can't quite remember that word you can't quite use it have you had this situation before well it's very common and this shows the difference between passive
  • 12:31: vocabulary and active vocabulary we have both kinds so passive vocabulary is what you understand when you read or when you listen an active vocabulary is the vocabulary you can actually use when you speak or when you write now the normal situation is that you your passive vocabulary is always bigger
  • 13:00: than your active vocabulary in other words you will know more words then you can use people get upset about this all the time they write me OHA uh when I want to use a word I can't remember it people get very upset they think there's something wrong there's nothing wrong it's normal this is normal for everyone including me including all native speakers this is the normal situation this is how
  • 13:31: children learn they always know more from listening and reading then they can actually use when speaking it's normal see this is the process when you learn a new word first its passive first you learn it passively that means you understand it if you hear it you understand it when you read it but you're not ready to use it yet when you're speaking that's normal so that so
  • 14:00: first you don't know it that's the first stage right you don't know the word at all then you know it a little bit when you see it sometimes you forget then finally you know it completely but passively meaning you know it when you see it you know it when you hear it but still not ready to use it yet and then finally the last step it's active you can actually use it quickly easily effortlessly when you speak so this is the steps but new words kind of go
  • 14:32: through all of these steps so some words will be enough in the first step you don't know them at all and in other words you know a little bit you kind of know the meaning but not 100% then other words you know 100% when you see them but you can't use them and then finally a smaller amount you actually know them a hundred percent and you can use them quickly and easily they're active so removing the words step by step no
  • 15:02: reason to get upset if there's a word that you can't use yet it's okay no problem here's the good news you don't need a lot of active words you do need a lot of passive words you need to understand a lot of words because you'll hear many many many words in movies you'll see a lot of words in books in conversations you will hear a lot of
  • 15:31: phrases a lot of idioms a lot of slang all of that you need to understand it all to communicate well you need a lot of passive vocabulary you do not need a lot of active vocabulary that's the good news you can speak well you can communicate powerfully with just the most common words this is what normally happens this is what's natural is that your active
  • 16:01: vocabulary usually will be the most common words of English normal that's natural and that's fine a lot of people they worry oh I want to use advanced vocabulary when I speak it's not necessary use simple direct words you can communicate very well with simple direct words with the most common words the most common words are the ones
  • 16:30: you will hear constantly all the time they're the ones you will read and see constantly all the time that's why they become active first because there's more repetition see the secret from going from no knowledge you don't know it at all to knowing it too active is just repetition you need to see the word more often you need to see it repeated again and again you need to understand it and hear it understand it and hear it after
  • 17:00: you understand it and hear it several times then you'll know it passively if there's emotion if there's a real situation that will happen faster how do you make the word go from passive to active it's just the same thing more repetition you need to hear it more need to understand it more again and again more repetition and if there's strong emotion and real situations that happens faster and eventually then it
  • 17:32: becomes active it's more repetition so of course more common words the most common words in English are the ones you hear the most often you get a lot of repetition of these words for example the words I'm using right now in this show you hear these words constantly you hear a lot of repetition so probably they are active for you but maybe there's some less common word
  • 18:01: you only hear it once or twice so you might know it a little bit passively but you're not ready to use it yet that's okay it's less common that means you don't really need to use it so much you probably can say what you need to say using common vocabulary well that's the point people want to sound intellectual maybe I'm not sure with the reason but the point is most ideas can be communicated with simple common words so
  • 18:35: focus your vocabulary effort more unpassable understanding as many words as you can that's a lot of reading and a lot of listening and it's using real situations real stories real books not lists not textbooks don't worry too much about active vocabulary it will naturally get better as you get more
  • 19:00: repetition from listening and reading all right so it's time now for question time that's when I answer your questions on Twitter so my twitter is twitter.com slash AJ Hoge that's AJ h OGE I'm answering your questions now let's go to Twitter and see what kind of questions we have alright here we go
  • 19:31: okay um coach Asad on Twitter asks what is the process of reading a novel should I look up every word that I don't know or just skip it all skip it uh the second one the way to read books or read novels the best way is just to read something easy and don't use a dictionary because if you have to use a dictionary then you're stopping you know
  • 20:01: every sentence looking for the meaning of a word you'll never remember all of that you will never remember all of those definitions also you will not enjoy the book because you're you can't continue with the story you're stopping all the time with the dictionary it's really boring it's terrible it's kind of an old-school way of doing reading don't do that if you don't know a lot words maybe the book is too difficult find an easier book this is why I say
  • 20:31: read easy novels read easy storybooks and if when you do find an a word you don't know just guess the meaning if you understand most of the book if you understand most of the words you can guess the meaning of something new you can guess because you understand the situation this is what context means you understand the context you understand the whole situation so you have an idea what that word means
  • 21:00: so just guess the meaning of the word and keep reading and then you will see that word again and when you see the word again in a different situation you might have a better guess of the meaning yes again keep reading eventually you will understand that word and you will not need a dictionary good question very good question this question time of answering your questions on Twitter let's go to our next question
  • 21:34: all right ah this is good if you like to watch TV shows which would you choose as the best well again there's no best TV show the best TV show is the TV show that you like it's the TV show that you understand so that's different for everyone generally I would say to avoid comedies because in the beginning because comedies can be more difficult
  • 22:02: why because humor jokes depend on culture and if you don't understand the culture you will not understand the jokes so that can be very difficult to understand in the beginning now later as you understand more yes comedy can be quite good it's good for you to understand the culture more but in the beginning I would suggest something more like a drama or me you
  • 22:31: know a family type show something like that so but it's up to you really it's whatever you enjoy so it's really more your interest that's important all right let's go to our Twitter questions and see what we have next I can take a few more Twitter questions all right let's see all right better Casa laners okay here's a question from Giacobbe Jaworski what what can I do when I hear a certain word constantly
  • 23:01: and I understand it but actually I still don't know how to use it well just what I was talking about you're constantly understanding it I mean you're constantly hearing a word understanding it a lot but you're still not able to use it my advice is just relax I mean there's no tweye there's no reason you have to use one certain word we need to be flexible when we communicate so if you're having trouble with one word don't worry about it
  • 23:31: maybe you still need more repetition so don't use the word don't there's no there's no benefit to forcing you know to say I must use this word hmm and then trying to force yourself to do it that just makes language it makes English very stressful there are many words in English and probably you know another word that has same or close to the same meaning and just use the other word that
  • 24:00: you're more comfortable with we all do this in our own language I do this I have certain vocabulary that I use certain words that I use again and again because I'm comfortable with those words now I know lots of other words that I might use in one specific situation or if I'm writing but mostly I use the words that I am most comfortable with the ones I know the best the ones I use constantly it's my own personal speaking
  • 24:31: style we all do this so there's no need to force yourself to use a certain word find another word that you already know or other words you can find a different way to say it and eventually you will understand that word better and you will eventually use it that's fine just don't make yourself stressed about it that's the point relax about it focus on communicating your ideas not on the parts of the
  • 25:01: language all right I'll take one more Twitter question and then we'll come back okay okay here's an interesting question um and I can't pronounce the name because it's zip in crow but I don't know it's a Twitter name says our science books good for learning English for somebody who doesn't like novels or children's books yes well here's the
  • 25:31: thing here's the rule about books and and here's my rule it's not really a rule but it's a suggestion a strong suggestion the best book is the book you enjoy the best topic is the topic that is very interesting to you so I use children's books I use novels as an example because it's you can find easy books on that on those topics but if you hate those things if they're boring don't read those so this person's enjoy
  • 26:01: science and wants to read science books then yes read science books definitely if you love cars and motorcycles read about cars and motorcycles listen to audiobooks and podcasts about cars and motorcycles if you love medicine then read about medicine is that the point is read something that's super interesting to you and you can find children's books so if you need something easy and you
  • 26:30: like science you could find science books for kids read those and of course eventually then you can read more difficult books you can read science books for teenagers and then eventually science books for adults so certainly if you love science read about science if you love sports read about sports all right so our final thing let's go to effortless English news it's time for the news what's happening in effortless
  • 27:01: English well not really an effortless English but in a company I have learn real English with my friends Kristen and Joe we have a new show coming so this is the effortless English show I teach you to speak English powerfully in this show we have a new show coming next week we're calling it real English real America and the new show will focus on culture American culture we'll talk about idioms and slang and
  • 27:32: we'll also talk about different parts of American culture especially parts of American culture that you do not see on TV and movies see people around the world they have an idea of America from movies from television but that's not the real America that's Hollywood America so we're going to talk about real America in the new show my friend Kristen and I will talk about some
  • 28:00: culture topic and we will also answer your Twitter questions just like on this show but will answer questions more about culture in that show that show is next Friday or Saturday in most places it will be Saturday morning in North America and possibly South America the show will be Friday night so Friday night and Saturday morning I will announce the times for the real America show on Twitter here so just follow my
  • 28:31: Twitter and I'll tell you the new dates and times and I'll give you a link to that show so I'll be Fridays and Saturdays and of course next week very exciting our guest next week on this show the effortless English show is Blaine Rae Blaine Rae in my opinion is the best language teacher in the world I learned a lot from Blaine right Blaine Rae developed TP RS a system of using the technique the method of using stories to
  • 29:01: teach language and he will be our guest next week on the effortless English show so come back here so that's it for our show as always we end the show with our code and our mission this is what makes our community our international community special our code is simply how we treat each other how we act our code has only three parts it's very simple we do the best we can we do the right thing
  • 29:33: we show each other that we care and our mission is our deep purpose yes our purpose is to help you speak English powerfully but we even have a deeper purpose and a really strong meaning to effortless English and that is to explore new opportunities for growth to bring confidence vitality and happiness to people all over the world to boldly go where we have never gone
  • 30:01: before thank you so much I love talking to you I love teaching you it's so wonderful to connect with you every week I will see you next week as always go to effortless English club comm to join our free email course we're also to get one of our paid courses power English the original course or the VIP program I will see you next time have a great day bye for now good bye for now