My students, as anybody else, I would say, have an active vocabulary and a passive one, regarding the language they’re learning and acquiring.
The first one is used by them, and the second one is words they know but don’t use.
I realize that when writing, for example, I use words that I had some kind of guess I knew, and I use them for writing as I said. And Word corrector tells me if they exist or not.
The same may happen to students after years of learning-acquiring English. You are making up a store with both kinds of words, and retrieve some or many of them for using them.
I also utilize Wordreference as a dictionary and as an aid. / Photo from: well blogs mytimes com. jogging. The photo is mere illustration: learning a foreign language can be like sport: you invest effort