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Teaching Vocabulary and Ways to Retain It

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Title: Teaching Vocabulary and Ways to Retain It


1
Teaching Vocabulary and Ways to Retain It
  • Khmelnytskyi National University
  • February 21, 2012
  • Carol A. Haddaway,
  • Sr. English Language Fellow, Ukraine

2
  • Vocabulary forms the biggest part of the meaning
    of any language, and vocabulary is the biggest
    problem for most learners (McCarthy as cited in
    Fan. 2003, p. 222).
  • In communication, vocabulary is often more
    important then grammar (Davies, 2000, p.59).
  • Learning new words and how to use them is not a
    simple matter and can be quite challenging but
    working with words can and should be enjoyable
    and fun for learners (Davies, 2000).

3
Outline
  • What is Vocabulary
  • A balanced vocabulary program
  • How to teach vocabulary
  • Some teaching techniques
  • Vocabulary development strategies
  • Academic words

4
What is Vocabulary?
  • Words/items (mother-in-law, post office, ice
    cream)
  • Word families (base words and their derived
    forms) child, children, childhood, childish
    teach, teacher, teaching, taught
  • Phrasal verbs
  • take away, put on, figure out, look up, pick up
  • Collocation
  • digital photograph, hot summer
  • Idioms
  • call it a day, hot under the collar, cold
    shoulder, hit the road running, piece of cake

5
What does it mean to Know a word ?
Layers of Word Knowledge Examples
Meaning Meaning
Denotation Connotation Degree (strength of a word) Dictionary e.g. dog - domestic animal dog to British or Arabic people The conflict annihilated /destroyed/damaged. the city.
Collocation
Fixed phrases (word partners) forth and back tall, handsome, and dark
Grammar, Spelling (look) Pronunciation (sound)
Verbs Nouns Adj. or verbs with prepositions Think, thought Mouse, mice, information, advice Responsible for, remind someone of
Word Parts
Prefixes/suffixes sub, un, able Substandard, ungrateful
Appropriate Forms
Formal/informal Direct/euphemistic Weep or cry, variant/variety, dinner I heard that your uncle died/passed away
6
What Vocabulary Should We Teach?
  • Vocabulary Items that are
  • Frequent (West General Service List first 2000
    head words of English)
  • Important (Academic Word List 570 word
    families)
  • Needed for Classroom Tasks Activities
  • Regular (common patterns or features)
  • Easy to learn (cognates)
  • Must consider level needs/interests of learners
  • Must answer students vocabulary questions
  • (Richards, Nation,
    Genesee)

7
How Should We Divide Our Time in Teaching
Vocabulary?
  • Teach each of these for about the same amount
    (25) of time
  • (Nunan, 2004. Online course on Teaching
    Vocabulary

8
Learning from Input (L, R)
  • The content has a message that students want to
    focus on.
  • listening to a story, having a conversation,
    following instructions, extensive reading,
    watching TV

The man and the mango tree
9
Learning from Output (S, W)
  • Opportunity to use the words
  • Repetition
  • Attention to vocabulary, accuracy, and
    appropriateness.
  • Focus on communicating messages

Say/shout the word first- Playing Cards
10
Playing Cards - OutputForum Vol 48/4 2010, p.
28
  • Turn the card over and the first player to
    say/shout the corresponding word collects that
    card

11
Language-Focused (Deliberate) Learning
  • Looking for patterns, dictionary work
  • Vocabulary strategies
  • Word cards
  • Intensive reading
  • Focus on vocabulary and aspects of grammar and
    discourse features, while learner get to practice
    language-learning strategies.

12
Fluency (speed skill)
  • All 4 skills
  • Use known words grammar
  • Encourage lots of use
  • Time pressure to perform faster
  • Focus on communicating a message as they'd have
    to in real life,
  • Tell ------ - Dice game
  • 4/3/2

13
Vocabulary Dice Game fluency
  • Sit in groups of 4
  • Role the dice. The highest number starts
  • Take turns asking each other questions. e.g. you
    roll 6, the person to your left says, tell me 6
    things about yourself Then person who asked the
    question rolls the dice and continues like this.

14
Vocab Dice Game - examples
  • English words
  • 1 thing about yourself
  • 2 things about your family
  • 3 things about your best friend
  • 4 things about your hobbies
  • 5 things you wish you had
  • 6 of your favorite movies
  • 4 things about money, food, restaurants, things
    you like to do
  • Adjectives that describe you
  • Your favorite website
  • Reasons why you like Facebook
  • How you plan to make money
  • Favorite childhood memories
  • What are you good at 

15
How Should We Teach Vocabulary?
  • Focus on important words
  • General Service List, Academic Word List
  • Give simple, clear explanations translation as
    needed
  • Use concept-checking questions to check meaning
  • Provide repetition over time

16
Teaching Problem (1)
  • Teacher The new word is important. The stress is
    on the second syllable. OK, repeat important
  • Silence
  • Learner What means?
  • Teacher OK just repeat important
  • appraisal
  • (Thaine, 2010)

17
Teaching Problem (2)
  • Teacher OK, our 12th new word for today who
    knows what we call someone whose job it is to
    take care of a building?

18
Teaching Problem (3)
  • Teacher So here on the board is the new word
    Ive written up wallet. So what does it mean?
  • leverage
  • The player's popularity has given him a great
    deal of leverage with the owners of the team.

19
Teaching Problem (4)
  • Teacher Right, the word is jump. For example He
    likes to jump.
  • Foliage
  • The foliage was think and I couldnt see the sun.

20
Teaching Problem (5)
  • Sissors. Does everyone understand the meaning
    of this word?
  • (Silence)
  • Teacher Do you understand? Anya?
  • Learner Yes.
  • peripheral

21
Some Teaching Techniques
22
Identifying words we know
  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

23
Lexical Sets
  • A cluster or group of related words
  • Words can be related in several ways
  • By topic furniture, clothes, family
    relationships
  • In pairs opposites hot/cold, old/new
  • In pairs synonyms slip/slide, booklet/brochure
  • By superordinate FRUIT
  • Hyponym of FRUIT orange, apple, banana, kiwi
  • Word families paint, painter, painting

24
Things that are cold
25
Things that are boring
26
Opposites
  • Example
  • hot/cold
  • old/new

27
Word families
  • KNOW knowledge, knowing, known, knowledgeable
  • ACCURATE
  • FRIEND
  • POLITE
  • HAPPY

28
Adjectives
  • beautiful

29
Phrasal verbs
  • get up

30
Idioms
  • piece of cake
  • brainstorm

31
Why are lexical sets important?
  • We probably dont store words in our brain in
    alphabetical order like a dictionary does.
  • Memory We apparently store words in or brain in
    groups of related words (or lexical sets)
  • If a new word can be hooked to words which are
    already stored, it might be easier to remember it

32
Word Associations
  • Cough
  • Grass
  • Red
  • Salt
  • Puppy
  • coffee
  • Blue
  • Pepper
  • Tea
  • Kitten
  • Sneeze
  • Green
  • Connect the matching words

33
Collocations words that co-occur with high
frequency
  • Grammatical
  • Reason for
  • Account for
  • Rely on
  • By accident
  • In retrospect
  • Lexical
  • Spend money
  • Inflict a wound
  • Dense fog
  • Deeply absorbed
  • Dead fatigued?
  • Thematically related

34
Vocabulary Development Strategies
35
Extensive ((joyful) reading
  • Read constantly! The more you see new words used
    in context, the more you will be able to
    recognize, spell and use them.
  • Is one way to become familiar with low-frequency
    words

36
Using Context
  • To guess words in context, one must know 95 of
    the words in the text, i.e. 19 out of 20 words.
  • Knowing 98 (one unknown word in 50) is
    considered an independent reading level
  • Since there is no time like the present, he
    thought it was time to present the present.
  • (Laufer, 1989 Nation Waring, 1997)

37
Prefixes and Root words
  • Many academic words have Latin or Greek roots so
    if you understand the prefix and root meaning,
    you can often guess the word meaning.
  • For example
  • Sub under
  • Marine water
  • Submarine a boat that can dive under the ocean
  • Word Building

38
Selective Dictionary Use
  • Do I need the word? Can I understand the text
    without it? Is it a word I may find valuable
    later?
  • Does the context help?
  • Do the word parts help?
  • Does it help to pronounce it? Does it sound like
    a word that I know?
  • http//www.thefreedictionary.com
  • http//www.dictionary.com

39
Academic Vocabulary
  • Academic vocabulary must be taught simply because
    it does not occur in daily interactions and
    conversational exchanges
  • Academic Word List (most frequent university
    academic words across several disciplines)
  • http//www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/resources/academicw
    ordlist/

40
Practice with Academic Words
  • Accurate
  • Attach
  • Analyze
  • Conclude
  • Reluctant
  • Define
  • Display
  • Economy
  • Emphasis
  • Estimate
  • Injure
  • Predict
  • Rational
  • Relax
  • Relevant
  • Find your match

41
Effective Strategies
  • SPACED REPETITION
  • Review words learned 2 weeks ago, 1 week ago, 2
    days ago, yesterday
  • REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW
  • FLASHCARDS FLASHCARDS
    FLASHCARDS

42
  • Convincing students to be independent learners,
    responsible for their own vocabulary learning
    represents the single most effective teaching
    strategy.
  • (Hinkle, Tesol 2009)

43
VOCABULARY WEBSITES Vocabulary Activities
  • Learning vocabulary can be fun
  • http//www.vocabulary.co.il/
  • 200 vocabulary exercises
  • http//web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/200/vocab/
    index.htm
  • Interactive vocabulary games
  • http//pbskids.org/arthur/games/unmatching/index.
    html
  • http//esl.fis.edu/vocab/index-fp.htm
  • Interactive puzzles
  • http//vlc.polyu.edu.hk/XWord/xword.htm
  • Dictionary.com
  • http//dictionary.reference.com/

44
VOCABULARY ACTIVITIES
  • Vocabulary quizzes/activities
  • http//www.geocities.com/pccprep/qz.htmvocab
  • Interactive vocabulary matching exercises
  • http//www.eslbears.homestead.com/matching.html
  • Vocabulary and grammar activities
  • http//english-zone.com/index.php
  • Vocabulary and other activities for young
    learners
  • http//www.abcteach.com/sitemap.htm
  • Vocabulary website from Ohio University
  • http//www.ohiou.edu/esl/english/vocabulary.html

45
Word Lists Frequency Lists
  • General Service Word List (most frequent 2000
    words)
  • http//jbauman.com/aboutgsl.html
  • Academic Word List (most frequent university
    academic words across several disciplines)
  • www.vuw.ac.nz/lals/research/awl/
  • http//www.uefap.com/vocab/select/awl.htm
  • (Coxheads Academic Word List)

46
Refererences
  • Crandall, J. Bickel, B. Whats in a Word?The
    Importance of Vocabulary Some Ways to Teach It
    presentation (UMBC)
  • Davies, P. Pearse, E. (2006). Success in
    English Teaching. Oxford.
  • Decarrico, J.S. (2001) Vocabulary Learning and
    Teaching. In Teaching English as a Second or
    Foreign Language, 3rd ed., edited by M.
    Celce-Murcia. Heinle.
  • Hinkle, E. Teaching Academic Vocabulary and
    Helping Students Retain It. TESOL 2009, Denver,
    CO.
  • Nation, P. (2005). Teaching Vocabulary. Asian ELT
    Journal
  • Nunan, D. (2003). Practical English Language
    Teaching. McGraw Hill.
  • Thaine, C. (2010). Teacher Training Essentials.
    Cambridge
  • Zimmerman, C. (2009). Word Knowledge. Oxford.
  • Zimmerman, C. (2011). Academic Vocabulary and
    School Success presented at the 2011 TESOL
    Academy.
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