Boosting your English vocabulary: Some practical tips

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


Formulaic language subsumes all types of lexicalised word combinations including idioms (e.g., raining cats and dogs, my ears are burning), proverbs (e.g., a stitch in time saves nine, too many cooks spoil the broth), speech formulae (e.g., believe you me, let’s hear it for X) and so on. Previous studies have shown that formulaic language demonstrates fixedness not only in terms of its composition, but also its prosodic patterns (Ashby, 2006; Lin, 2012, 2013, 2018).
“While without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed” (Wilkins, 1972, pp. 111–112). Vocabulary is at the centre of second language (L2) proficiency. Yet, L2 vocabulary building takes strategies and commitment. In this seminar, I will provide research-informed tips on how to boost your L2 English vocabulary and use vocabulary accurately in academic and professional writing. I will answer the following questions:
1. How many words do you need to know to communicate in English?
2. What is your current English vocabulary size?
3. Which vocabulary building strategies have been found effective?
4. Where can I find useful academic wordlists for engineering students?
5. Are there online websites and tools for checking accurate vocabulary use?
Period9 Nov 2022
Held atThe University of Tokyo, Japan
Degree of RecognitionInternational