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Mastering English Can Open Many Doors

Having good language skills may determine a bright future

John Huthmacher Staff Reporter
4 min read
Build Your VOCABULARY & Let Apps Help You

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You stop learning when you die. With my medium, I have a limited amount of time to execute an interview, so it’s important to have the correct word or way of approaching a question that is to point so the interviewee can get what you are after and respond accordingly. 
- Erica Olsen, Emmy award winner

It was shortly after migrating to the US from Mexico that a young Ignacio Lugo learned the importance of mastering the English language.

Intent on blending in, the now father of 7 grown children and 11 grandchildren boldly put his newly learned vocabulary to the test while attempting to order breakfast at a cafe. The lesson proved painfully humbling.

“He smiled politely, then asked the waitress, ‘Can I have two legs over easy?” his granddaughter, Noel Lugo, recalls with a laugh. “He couldn’t understand why she slapped him.”

Undaunted by the incident, he vowed to learn a new word in English every day, a passion that served him well both in his career as a realty business owner and family Scrabble champion.

Having a Passion for Words

Like her grandfather, the 31-year-old Lugo shares a passion for words. Apps like 7 Little Words, WordUp Vocabulary, and GRE Vocabulary help grow her vocabulary daily as she pursues her advanced degree. Tools like crossword puzzles, sentence examples, practice exams, and word games make learning more of a game than a chore, she said.

“When I studied for the GRE, apps really helped me prep for the vocabulary portion of the test,” she said. “People spend thousands of dollars to prepare for the GRE, so I was really excited about apps because they were basically free resources (with upgrade options at a nominal fee) that made information accessible in a really convenient format.

“Mastering any language is about accessing new communities, resources, histories, and ideas that make life richer. I like learning something new and getting better.”

Vocabulary Skills Can Make a Big Difference

Possessing an expansive vocabulary can be the catalyst to enjoying a more fulfilling life both socially and professionally. Vocabulary.com says individuals who command the English language are typically known to be more articulate, expressive, and persuasive than their counterparts with lesser communication skills. Such tools further serve to boost one’s comprehension skills and the ability to express ideas effectively and concisely.

But simply knowing a lot of words doesn’t necessarily equate to possessing an expansive vocabulary. Robert Charles Lee, an editorial and publishing professional with more than 35 years in the business, notes on the social media site Quora that a person who commands a 700-word vocabulary may actually be a far more effective communicator than someone with a more expansive but less precise vocabulary. Mastering word comprehension is a crucial component to improving one’s overall communication skills.

You Can Never Stop Learning

Emmy award-winning television talk show host Erica Olsen relies on Pulitzer Prize-winning literature and apps to help keep her word skills polished. Her latest learned word of the day, epeolatry – the worship of words - hints at the magnitude of just how important strong language skills are to the on-air personality.

“You stop learning when you die,” the 41-year-old Olsen said. “With my medium, I have a limited amount of time to execute an interview, so it’s important to have the correct word or way of approaching a question that is to point so the interviewee can get what you are after and respond accordingly.

“Reading challenging literature challenges you to learn words and the context in which they are used. The more you know and understand words, the better you are able to communicate. That’s vital in my role.”

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  • Quora is a place to share knowledge and better understand the world

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Mastering English Can Open Many Doors