Vocab and Listening Skills

There’s always a lot of discussion on popular language learning sites about the importance of vocab and how it should be approached in your learning strategy. Often the opinion seems to be that vocab is not important and you shouldn’t really try to learn it. Obviously they’re not saying vocab is completely unimportant and that you should never learn any, because that would be ridiculous. I’m not sure what they’re trying to say really, but they do seem to feel very strongly about it.

It’s obvious that you can’t learn vocab alone and be able to speak or even read a language. However, it is still very important. What I realised after my previous post about how maybe my listening skill has improved is that along with the short sentences, all the vocab was stuff I know well. Stuff that is pretty automatic and doesn’t need to be translated and just means what it means. You don’t get this kind of understanding from just learning lists of words on paper, but I think it shows how important familiarity with vocabulary is to fluid understanding.