Academic IELTS CAE Exam Preparation English Courses English Exams English Language School English Testing eurospeak Eurospeak Reading Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation GCSE English General IELTS Glyndwr University IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation international student card Language Learning Language School Learn English Life in Reading Reading Reading University Southampton Southampton University Study Abroad Universities in UK University of Strathclyde

How many words do I need to know to be fluent in a foreign language?

Let’s say that our vocabulary counts are using headwords and word families that are included in our active vocabulary (the vocabulary that you can quickly remember and actively use when writing, speaking and thinking).

So, we are not counting all the different forms of a given word, and we are not counting anything that’s only in our passive vocabulary (the vocabulary that you are passively able to understand when you see it or hear it, but that you cannot use—or that you are unsure of how to use—when writing, speaking and thinking.

When we reduce our perspective like this, we can start making approximations.

  • Functional beginner: 250-500 words: basic, everyday conversations. In most of the world’s languages, 500 words will be more than enough to get you through any tourist situations and everyday introductions.
  • Conversational: 1,000-3,000 words: With around 1,000 words in most languages, you will be able to ask people how they are doing, tell them about your day and talk about everyday life situations like shopping and public transport.
  • Advanced: 4,000-10,000 words: Past the 3,000 word mark in most languages: C2 level. Moving beyond the words that make up everyday conversation and into specialized vocabulary for talking about your professional field, news and current events, opinions and more complex, abstract verbal feats.
  • Fluent: 10,000+ words: Near-native level of vocabulary, words for talking about nearly any topic in detail and understanding the unfamiliar ones from context.
  • Well-educated Native: 10,000-30,000+ words: Total word counts vary widely between world languages, making it difficult to say how many words native speakers know in general. As we discussed above, estimates of how many words are known by the average native English speaker vary from 10,000 to 65,000+.

Academic IELTS CAE Exam Preparation Culture English Courses English Exams English Language School English Testing eurospeak Eurospeak Reading Eurospeak Southampton FCE Exam Preparation GCSE English General IELTS IELTS Exam Preparation IELTS Preparation international student card Language Learning Language School Learn English Life in Reading Reading Southampton University of Strathclyde

Symbols of the UK (Part 2)


Land of kilt and Highlanders, Scotland is a land of contrasts, which uses symbols that we all know.


The Scottish Thistle is the oldest recorded ‘National Flower’ and is probably one of the most well-known, and easily recognized symbols of Scotland. This flower perfectly represents the history of Scotland. Indeed, it has beautiful flower heads, viciously sharp thorns, a stubborn and tenacious grip on the land and the defiant ability to flourish despite efforts to remove it.



With Scotland being famed for its love of myths and legends, it is no surprise that a fabled creature such as the unicorn is Scotland’s national animal. Symbol of purity and innocence, the unicorn was first used on the Scottish royal coat of arms by William I in the 12th century. This proud beast represents the ideal of the Scots which is to be untameable.



Lion Rampant of Scotland

Symbol of the kings of Scotland, it occupied the shield of the royal coat of arms of the ancient Kingdom of Scotland. Together with a royal banner displaying the same, it was used by the King of Scots from the 12thcentury until the Union of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland.



It’s a long piece of fabric (tartan) tied around the waist then fastened in place with a thick, leather belt. Originally, the rest of the cloth was thrown over the shoulder and tucked into the belt at the back, but not anymore. Each tartan is closely identified with a particular Scottish Clan. During the Jacobite wars in the 18th century, the kilt became a symbol of opposition to English domination and was therefore prohibited. It reappeared in the 19th century in Wales and Cornwall where it began to be worn during celebrations. 


Universities in UK University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde in UK

The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological university based in Glasgow, Scotland. The University’s history dates back to 1796 and today we are the third largest University in Scotland and one of the largest providers of postgraduate education in Europe. Strathclyde’s achievements in teaching and research have led to major successes at the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards three years running – including winning the UK University of the Year award in 2012, and UK Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the most recent ceremony in November 2013.

Strathclyde has been ranked top in Scotland for Engineering and Law, and in the UK top ten universities for Business and Physics. We offer a broad range of undergraduate, postgraduate and research courses across four Faculties – Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and the Strathclyde Business School, all of which are united by our commitment to tackling modern global challenges and our founding principle of ”useful learning”. We take pride in our close links with business and industry, and the scholarships, internships and placements we offer to students. What is more, many of our programmes are fully accredited by professional bodies.

The University is currently undergoing a £370m campus redevelopment, including the construction of the new Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC), which will offer unprecedented opportunities for students, academics and industry professionals to work together and share knowledge and expertise. We also have an award-winning careers service with life-long membership for graduates, excellent sports facilities and a thriving Students’ Association, with clubs and societies to cater for every interest.

The University welcomes around 2,000 international students each year from over 90 different countries worldwide, and our campus is located in the city centre of Glasgow. Glasgow is the host city for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and one of Europe’s most stylish cities, boasting world-class arts, shopping and sport, and within easy reach of both London and the beautiful Scottish countryside.