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Why vocabulary is so important in learning foreign language?

1. Vocabulary is the key to communication

For a large majority of learners, the ultimate goal of studying is to be able to communicate in a new language. If you do not wish to lean completely on non-verbal skills, mastering vocabulary is not just important, but crucial in a foreign language environment.

“Vocabulary is not as important in learning a foreign language as Grammar or other areas”. Debunking this very common misconception, Keith S. Folse points out that his worst breakdowns in communications have happened when he did not know the appropriate vocabulary. Folse tells an anecdotic story about him trying to buy flour in a small store in Japan without knowing the word ”flour” in Japanese. Knowing several grammatically correct forms for asking did not do the job, nor did the attempt to describe flour as ”pre-bread”. After a long and frustrating hour Folse left the store – without the flour.

There is a reason we tend to travel with a dictionary, not a grammar book. As the British linguist David A. Wilkins puts it: “without grammar, very little can be conveyed; without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed”.

2. Strong vocabulary allows you to develop other skills

So yes, vocabulary is fundamental but what about the other dimensions? Should we pay any attention to all the other aspects of language learning?

Of course we should. The good news is that improving your vocabulary has a direct, positive impact on your capacity to build up your language proficiency as a whole. Vocabulary is not an end in itself. A rich vocabulary makes the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing easier to perform. When your working memory is not loaded with hesitation about the correct spelling, pronunciation and contextual use of the words, you can concentrate fully on higher level aspects of language such as using precise sentence structures and appropriate expressions for the type of conversation that is going on.

STOM translation would like to introduce a facebook page where beginning English learners can archive the vocabulary variety. We hope to boost your English level with close and various vocabularies:


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