Vocabluary building and avoiding ´the language learning plateau´

An important aspect of enhancing your progression is building up your vocabulary. Obviously we need to know more than one way of saying things or we will of course be very limited with our language use. This is an important aspect of getting over the notorious ´learning plateaus´ that generally set in around the pre-intermediate and intermediate levels.

The best ways to build vocabulary is through word association exercises and use of vocabulary in context.

For example, we can associate these words, phrasal verbs and expressions:

Like – enjoy, love, be keen on, be fond of, be into, be crazy about, be big on, be a fan of

Want – be up for, be eager (infinitive), fancy, feel like, crave, take a fancy to, desire

Choose – pick, go for. Select, opt for, decide on, settle on, plump for, designate, fix on

Dislike – hate, loathe, detest, despise, not be mad about, not be interested in, not be into

A useful exercise is:

Matching – if you relate new vocabulary to words that you already know, it is easy to substitute them in context.

Match 1-10 with the options A-J (only use each letter once)

1.       Get up

2.       Wake up

3.       Go out

4.       Stay up

5.       Carry on

6.       Get around

7.       Tidy up

8.       Make for

9.       Put away

10.   Wash up

A.      Head in a direction

B.      Continue

C.      Clean the dishes

D.      Move from place to place

E.       Not go to bed

F.       Stop sleeping

G.     Place something where it belongs

H.      Organize your things

I.        Remove yourself from your bed

J.        Go clubbing


1.       I

2.       F

3.       J

4.       E

5.       B

6.       D

7.       H

8.       A

9.       G

10.   C



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