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Recycling Vocabulary in the Classroom


You can make topics for 3-minute warm-up discussions using vocabulary being studied. ... can be used to tailor-make exercises for students ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Recycling Vocabulary in the Classroom

Recycling Vocabulary in the Classroom
  • TESOL, San Antonio, TX
  • Academic Vocabulary Activities that Promote
  • March 30, 2005
  • Gerry Luton - University of Victoria - Victoria,
    British Columbia

The Importance of a Systematic Approach
  • ESL Students see acquisition of vocabulary as
    their greatest source of problems…However,
    vocabulary is not dealt with sufficiently. …some
    teachers cover some vocabulary, but this is
    hardly ever done very systematically. Vocabulary
    is something that everyone assumes that learners
    will somehow pick up, much the same way everyone
    assumes that students will just pick up good
  • (Folse 2004)

Knowing a Word
  • Knowing the word underdeveloped involves
  • Being able to recognize it when heard
  • Being familiar with its written form
  • Recognizing its parts and being able to relate
    them to its meaning
  • Knowing the particular meaning of the word
  • Understanding it in a given context
  • Knowing the concept behind the word which will
    allow understanding in different contexts
  • Knowing that there are related words, such as
    overdeveloped, and backward
  • Being able to recognize typical collocations
    (Nation 2001)
  • And to this, for students in my classes, I would
  • Being able to use it in an original sentence,
    both spoken and written

Using Multiple Contexts
  • Multiple contexts provide rich information on a
    variety of aspects of knowing a word including
    collocates, grammatical patterns, word family
    members, related meanings, and homonyms. (Nation

Exercises Using Generative Processing to Recycle
  • Exercises to recycle vocabulary should include
    those which require both receptive and productive
    generative processing.
  • Generative processing entails relating new
    information to prior knowledge.
  • Regular gap-fill sentence exercises are an
    excellent way of recycling vocabulary through
    different contexts and can be used to broaden a
    students understanding of the range of meaning
    of vocabulary.
  • He stabbed him in the stomach with a kitchen
  • The word may be interpreted as meaning to put a
    sharp implement into someones body for the
    purpose of harming him
  • The child was stabbing the grapes with a
    toothpick and popping them in his mouth.
  • The previous idea of meaning has grown to include
    putting a pointed object into something, not
    necessarily for the purpose of injuring it.
  • The politician shouted and stabbed his finger
    into the air.
  • The meaning has grown further to include
    thrusting something somewhat pointed into…air
  • Her hurtful remarks stabbed him in the heart.
  • The meaning now includes the figurative sense of
    causing psychological pain or injury, without the
    use of a concrete object.
  • The most striking receptive generative uses of
    vocabulary are those where meeting the word in a
    new context forces the learner to reconceptualize
    the meaning that they previously had for that

  • Gap-fill exercises to recycle vocabulary can take
    various forms,
  • such as
  • A multi-word exercise with a number of sentences
    and words to choose from.
  • Several different contexts for ONE word.
  • Gap-fills with a list of the words given in root
    form students have to figure out the word and
    give the appropriate derivation.
  • Crossword puzzles with sentences in context as
  • Language lab listening exercises.

Language Lab exercises
  • Level 493C Language Lab 4
  • Vocabulary Review ( /10)
  • Listen to the following words and repeat after
    your handsome teacher
  • accurately biased eliminated fluctuates
    genetic justifies outcome sectors
    triggered validity
  • Fill in the blanks with the appropriate word from
    the list above.
  • 1. ____________________ 6. ___________________
  • 2. ____________________ 7. ___________________
  • 3. ____________________ 8. ___________________
  • 4. ____________________ 9. ___________________
  • 5. ____________________ 10. ____________________

Recycling Vocabulary through Writing Speaking
  • Learners need to be encouraged and have the
    opportunity to use vocabulary in speaking and
    writing where their major focus is on
    communicating messages.
  • (Nation 2001)

Activities to Recycle Vocabulary through Writing
  • Guided stories
  • Relay races
  • Journal writing
  • Making Changes

Making Changes
  • These exercises require students to process
    vocabulary by changing the part of speech of the
    sentence, by substituting words or by filling in
    a gap with an appropriate form of the vocabulary
    under study.
  • Ex 1 Rewrite the following sentences with the
    word in parentheses.
  • (contribution) A local businessman has
    contributed over a million dollars to be used in
    the construction of a new children's hospital in
    this city.
  • Ex 2 Rewrite the following sentences using the
    word in parentheses.
  • (available) You won't be able to get the
    apartment until the beginning of next month.
  • Ex 3 Fill in the blanks with the appropriate
    form of the word in parentheses.
  • (interpret) Your __________ of the data is
    somewhat different from my own.

Activities to Recycle Vocabulary through Speaking
  • Productive generative processing involves
    producing new ways of using the wanted vocabulary
    in new contexts in speaking activities which are
    different from its use in the textual input.
    (Wittrock 1974)
  • …learning is aided when material is made
    concrete (psychologically real) within the
    conceptual range of the learners. This may mean
    giving personal examples, relating words to
    current events, providing experiences with the
    words, comparing them to real life, or better
    yet, having students create these images and
    relate the words to their own lives. (Sökmon
  • Quick discussions
  • Proverbs Quotations
  • Trivia
  • Find someone who…

Quick Discussions
  • You can make topics for 3-minute warm-up
    discussions using vocabulary being studied. The
    students are in pairs and change partners after
    each topic. In this exercise, the students use
    the vocabulary in a meaningful context.
  • Experience
  • What things have you found it difficult to adapt
    to in this culture?
  • Culture
  • What is the most common symbol of your country,
    and what does it represent for you?
  • Opinion
  • Is violence justifiable in the battle for human
  • Personal
  • How do you expect learning English will be of
    benefit to you in your life?

Proverbs, Quotations Trivia
  • There is an African-American proverb which states
    that romance without finance don't stand a
  • John F. Kennedy once remarked that domestic
    policy can only defeat us, but foreign policy
    can kill us.
  • The island of Greenland came under a) Denmark's
    b) Norway's c) Sweden's authority in the
    early 1800s.

Gerrys Vocabulary Teacher
  • Features
  • over 2,500 keywords
  • derivations for each keyword
  • a minimum of 10 contexts for each keyword
  • more than 700,000 words of data
  • includes the Academic Word List

Online Exercise Using Gerrys Vocabulary Teacher
with HotPotatoes - JCloze
Online Exercise Using Gerrys Vocabulary Teacher
with HotPotatoes - JMatch
Online Exercise Using Gerrys Vocabulary Teacher
with HotPotatoes JMatch click drag
Keyword entries also include (where possible)
  • discussion questions
  • find someone who… questions
  • proverbs from over 100 different cultures
  • thousands of quotations from the famous not so
  • interesting trivia
  • interesting facts about history, countries of the
    world, world religions, and animals.
  • all using the word under study.

Additional features
  • allows you to add, delete and edit keywords and
  • automatically generates a new document or will
    allow you to import the exercise into an existing
  • allows you to construct online exercises using
  • JMatch and JCloze from HotPotatoes
  • can be used to tailor-make exercises for students
  • can be used to build exercises for each sublist
    of the AWL

Gerrys Vocabulary Teacher
  • Will allow you to update your database file as
    the program entries grow without you losing your
    own additions
  • Current updates include sentences modelled on
    contexts taken from first year university
    textbooks from various disciplines.
  • Single-user registration 25 / approx. US48 /
    Cdn58 / Euro 36
  • Special educational multi-user licences

  • Recycle vocab continually throughout the session
  • Provide exposure to multiple contexts
  • Include practice with derivations
  • Include activities which require generative
    processing, both receptive and productive
  • Include activities which require students to use
    target vocabulary in speaking and writing
  • Beat it to death…but systematically and with
    awareness of purpose

  • Folse, K. (2004). Vocabulary Myths Applying
    Second Language Research to Classroom Teaching.
    Ann Arbor University of Michigan Press.
  • Nation, P. (2001). Learning Vocabulary in Another
    Language. Cambridge Cambridge University Press.
  • Newton, J. (1993). Task-based interaction among
    adult learners of English
  • and its role in second language development.
    Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Victoria University of
    Wellington. In Vocabulary Learning and Speaking
    Activities by Angela Joe. Forum Online. (1996).
  • Schmitt, N. (2000). Vocabulary in Language
    Teaching. Cambridge Cambridge University Press.
  • Schmitt, N., and M. McCarthy. (eds.). (1998).
    Vocabulary Description, Pedagogy and
    Acquisition. Cambridge Cambridge University
  • Sökmon, A. (1998). Current Trends in Teaching
    Second Language Vocabulary. In Vocabulary
    Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy, edited by
    N. Schmitt and M. McCarthy. Cambridge Cambridge
    University Press.
  • Wittrock, M. C. 1974. Learning as a generative
    process. Educational Psychologist, 11, pp. 87-95.
    In Vocabulary Learning and Speaking Activities by
    Angela Joe. Forum Online. (1996). 34-1.