There is a lively and fun community of language teachers on Instagram. By reading posts and commenting, we have the opportunity to get to know one other and you can get to know us. Since we’re all language learners, you have the opportunity to benefit from our experience and get different perspectives on language acquisition. You may also find the teacher or coach who is just right for you.
In these two episodes, I feature a conversation about vocabulary with two English language teachers from Ukraine who are active on Instagram and especially enthusiastic about the ways that words help us express ourselves in our own or another language. I’ve been inspired by their Instagram posts and enjoyed having them as guests for a rare three-way conversation on the podcast.
About Inna Piankovska
Inna is a self-employed online tutor of English and a teacher blogger. After working as a university instructor for 16 years she went on to pursue her own professional dreams. Today she teaches adults, conducts webinars for colleagues, speaks at various events for teachers, and runs her own project for teachers. On Instagram, she is known as the English “Vocabulady.”
About Tetiana Bilokin
Tetiana is an online English-language teacher, an aspiring blogger, and a language enthusiast. She helps professionals to maintain and improve their English, and make the learning journey comfortable, inspiring and efficient. She offers video training, 1-1 lessons, and group programs for thoughtful and curious learners.
I don’t even remember how young I was when I first realized that words are basically magic. . . . Someone says something or writes it and you instantly can imagine that thing because they used some kind of metaphor or because they described it so well. – Tetiana Bilokin
Tips for selecting vocabulary to learn
- Select vocabulary according to relevance, frequency and need.
- Choose interesting and engaging topics.
- Consider the context for using English.
- Build on what is already known.
- Read books in fields of interest to you, your friends, or clients.
- Highlight words or phrases on your Kindle reader.
- Write down words that you hear on the TV or in movies.
- Listen for interesting phrases in English conversations.
- Replace “lexical teddy bears” with new phrases and expressions.
- Jot words down on a sticky note and try to use them.
- Spend more time on the most useful words.
- Find different ways to use the vocabulary that you want to make your own.
This year I started consciously noticing some words that I’d like to start using more actively, instead of something that I would normally use. These (normally used) words I refer to as “lexical teddy bears.” – Inna Piankovska
- TED talks, videos, blogs, podcasts,
- Instagram for exploring informal, fresh language
- Just the Word for collocations
- Quizlet for reviewing (digital flashcards)
- Good old paper and pencil because it helps you remember
- Scrapbooking or other visual associations
- Memrise App also uses pictures
- OneNote App
- Longman Learner’s Dictionary
- Oxford Learner’s Dictionary
- Inna’s Vocabulary Resource List
When I start to use this new expression it feels so good. . . it’s like wearing a new dress or like buying something new that suits you. – Tetiana Bilokin