We all go through the same sort of process when we learn a new language. At the start we have very few words and there are some situations in which we simply don’t have the resources to say what we want to. As we improve then we get to a stage in which we can deal with just about any situation, although perhaps we do so still using a very small selection of words.
I am always very impressed when I hear people use a wide vocabulary and sophisticated words in a language which isn’t their mother tongue. If you increase your vocabulary then you can look like a bit of a brainbox when you speak. So how will you do it?
Read a Lot
Reading literature in the language you are learning is a fantastic way of adding an extra level of shine to your skills. Personally, I feel into the trap once of trying to be clever and reading “classic” literature in a foreign language. I didn’t realise at the time that I was learning an antiquated way of speaking which made me sound like I had taken language classes in the 17th century. A better idea is to look for books from modern authors with a good reputation or even ones which were written in English and translated. Of course, while taking their Russian courses London students can read some of the finest books ever written, although they will want to ask their teacher which classic Russian books will teach them useful words for the modern world.