I have been learning English as it is mandatory in German schools since Grade 2 (7 Years old). I didn't have any interest in it and was generally bad until I started consuming English media around age 10 (Games, Movies, Music, Coding/Programming).

Because I always consumed this media and had friends with whom I could only communicate in English, I never really studied for English class.

Now I have a C1.2 Certificate but that is just reading/listening and a bit of writing/grammar. I noticed more and more that I am not that good with forming own sentences and coming up with vocabulary.

While I understand even the most technical and niche texts, and am pretty confident I can read everything (getting words I don't know by context), I couldn't even dream to write or let alone talk like that myself.

What is a good method to expand my available active vocabulary and how do I learn to actually use it? (Preferably by acquisition not really learning, because that is how I get languages best. Through using them, not studying).

  • This is off-topic on this site. This question should be asked on meta. See this article about what topics are allowed here, thanks!
    – user150280
    Jun 7, 2022 at 14:06

2 Answers 2


I think you have actually answered your own question. You need to use English to acquire it. How to do that depends on where you live. Vacation in the English speaking world. Find a group of English speakers interested in things you care about, and hang out with them. Read novels and newspapers, not just tech stuff.

Your written English is in fact pretty good.

  • The thing is, I do use English on a daily basis. I am just so unfluid in speaking it and composing more specific texts. But I think you are right in some way, maybe I need to get more into actually writing stuff apart from chatting/commenting on the internet. And I rarely actually speak out english aloud, I think in it sometimes but speaking it is rare for me.
    – Lilium
    May 8, 2022 at 0:43
  1. Try to develop a reading habit. Vocabulary building is easiest when you encounter words in context and understand hoe they are used.

  2. Use the dictionary and thesaurus often when reading or when you do not understand a word or to find synoynms.

  3. Practice using new words in conversation. You can try this with a native speaker or someone who has more experience than you. This is especially important if you rarely speak English in the first place.

  4. You can try flashcards or word games, but you may have to find these online

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