Those who attend an English Language School in Hawaii, or anywhere else for that matter, often wonder how much they really need to know in order to communicate efficiently in the world. It’s understandable that when English isn’t your native language, it can be very intimidating to think you have to learn every single word when there are over 100 million of them! We want to help you with increasing your vocabulary and improving your English, while enjoying the experience without getting too stressed out.
This will make you feel a bit better: Even those whose native language is English rarely know all of the spoken and written words. As a foreign learner, we can give you a few guidelines that will help you understand how many words is enough when it comes to certain needs or scenarios in everyday life.
To carry on an advanced conversation with someone, it’s recommended you know approximately 8,000 words. Of course it’s what those words are that matters, as you’ll want to learn those most often used in communicating/engaging with others.
To “get by” with the popular practice of texting today or for a very basic conversation, learning up to 2,000 words that are frequently used will probably be sufficient.
What if you want to attend a college or university where the language used in textbooks is English? To read at this level, you’ll need somewhere in the area of 10,000 to 20,000 groups of words that share a common pattern or feature – also referred to as word families. Examples include words that sound similar such as ran, fan, ban, can, or eat, seat, feat, cleat.
Certainly it’s difficult for students to retain the meaning of tens of thousands of words, however it’s helpful to read, study, focus on really listening to others’ conversations, and pay attention to how words are used in commercials, advertising, etc.
At ICC Hawaii, we offer a wide array of programs catering to your unique needs. From junior English programs for kids and teens to programs for mature learners and those who want to learn the language for communication or career success purposes, our focus is to help you reach your goals – whatever they are! Learn more about our English language school in Hawaii today.