Improving your vocabulary

Did you know that English now has a million words? A million! You’re probably thinking – well I am anyway – how on earth anyone has managed to count them all! A company in the USA which analyses words on the internet claims that a new word is created every 98 minutes and that means we are coming up to our millionth word. I think that company must be congratulating itself on a very good publicity campaign because I have heard this story in lots of places (even though it’s nonsense!).

However, it does a good job of reminding us how important it is to learn more and more vocabulary when we want to improve our language proficiency. One good way of doing this is to read regularly, and to read English which uses appropriate new words. Good resources may even have appropriate new vocabulary already highlighted and picked out for you with definitions provided. Today’s link is to a very good resource which I would definitely recommend you to make regular use of. It’s the “Words in the News” part of the BBC Learning English site. You’ll see a news article with an audio report, and key vocabulary highlighted and explained below. The article in this section is, of course, about the millionth word in English! Check out the resource here.