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5 Ways to Activate Your Passive Vocabulary (Don't Just Understand Words, Apply Them!)

Do you find yourself unable to use more advanced words and phrases even though you understand their meanings perfectly?


If so, you're not alone.

Productive skills (i.e. writing and speaking) often pose more challenges to English learners than receptive skills (i.e. reading and listening). 寫作和口語 通常比 閱讀和聽力帶來更多挑戰。

If, so far, you've been relying on memorizing vocabulary lists, chances are, your "passive" vocabulary would be much more extensive and advanced than your "active" vocabulary.


But before we dive any further, let's just clarify what I mean by "active" and "passive" vocabulary, so that we're all on the same page:


Passive Vocabulary 被動詞彙:

Words/Phrases/Expressions that you understand when you come across them, but are unable to use them when you write/speak. 當你遇到它們時你能理解,但當你寫/說時卻無法使用。

Active Vocabulary 活躍詞彙:

Words/Phrases/Expressions that you understand and use 你能理解和使用的單詞/短語/表達

Here are 5 effective ways to activate your passive vocabulary


Immersion 多接觸

You might be able to quickly expand your vocabulary by memorizing long lists of definitions. However, most of these words and phrases will stay in your passive vocabulary bank.

If your goal is to be able to apply these words and phrases in your day-to-day communication, you need to understand the context and usage.

That's why exposing yourself to different English materials is essential. Surround yourself with English books, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and music. This exposure will familiarize you with different words and phrases, making it easier to incorporate them into your own communication.


Refine Your Vocabulary Expansion Process 改變學生字方法

Actively expand your vocabulary by learning new words and phrases. Make it a habit to learn a few new words every day, review old ones and try to incorporate these words into your conversations or writing...repeatedly!

But don't stop there. Actively apply them and use them. Create sentences, write paragraphs, or come up with crazy stories.

Creating mnemonic devices helps you remember new words more easily. Associate a new word with an image, a funny story, or a personal connection. By attaching these associations to the words, you'll find it easier to recall and use them when needed.



Contextual Practice 情境練習

Practise using words in their proper contexts. Instead of just memorizing isolated words, try using them in sentences or conversations.

Engage in role-playing scenarios where you can practise using theme-based vocabulary. Choose a topic or situation and take on different roles with a partner. This interactive practice helps solidify your understanding and gives you the confidence to use the words naturally in real-life situations, allowing you to actively incorporate your passive vocabulary into meaningful conversations.



Journalling 日記

Keep a journal or diary in English (you can even use the voice memo app if you want to improve your speaking fluency!). Write/talk about your daily experiences, thoughts, and reflections using the words from your passive vocabulary.

This regular practice and reinforcement will help you become more comfortable using them in your day-to-day communication.


Enjoy the Process: Word Games and Puzzles 詞語遊戲

Spice up your learning with word games and puzzles that require you to use your passive vocabulary. Crossword puzzles and Scrabble are a couple of great examples. These games challenge you to recall and apply words in a fun and engaging way.


Ready to take your English to the next level and turn your passive vocabulary into active vocabulary 準備提升你的英語能力到新的水平了嗎?

Sign up for my courses and practise English on a daily basis. Consistent practice is the key to activating your passive vocabulary. Access daily bite-sized materials, practise in a safe and judgment-free environment and receive personalized feedback.


Study with me and open doors of opportunity 瀏覽課程

FREE GUIDE: Level Up Your English With These 15 Must-Know Words

Your Passport to English Proficiency 真正提升英語水平,不再成為考試制度的奴隸

Take your English to new heights with a customized study plan, daily learning materials and expert guidance and feedback, all at your fingertips. 量身定做的學習計劃、每日學習材料及專業指導及意見,有系統地迅速提升英語水平

Gain exclusive access to a growing library of premium learning materials and propel yourself towards English mastery today. 學好英文,打開機會之門,機會就在你指尖

Study with me and open doors of opportunity 瀏覽課程


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