Teaching Vocabulary


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Teaching Vocabulary

  1. 1. Teaching Vocabulary 30 January 2007 TESOL Virtual Seminar
  2. 2. Complex Items <ul><li>A word is not fully learned through one meeting with it … </li></ul><ul><li>even if this meeting involves </li></ul><ul><li> substantial deliberate teaching. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Complex Items <ul><li>there are numerous things to know about </li></ul><ul><li>a word, namely </li></ul><ul><ul><li>its form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>spoken, written, and its component affixes and stem </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>its meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>underlying concept, particular instantiations, and associations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>its use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>collocations, grammatical patterns, and constraints on its use </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. A Range of Ways Form <ul><li>Spoken form </li></ul><ul><li>Written form </li></ul><ul><li>Word parts </li></ul><ul><li>Pronounce the words </li></ul><ul><li>Read aloud </li></ul><ul><li>Word and sentence dictation </li></ul><ul><li>Finding spelling rules </li></ul><ul><li>Filling word part tables </li></ul><ul><li>Cutting up complex words </li></ul><ul><li>Building complex words </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing a correct form </li></ul>
  5. 5. A Range of Ways Meaning <ul><li>Form-meaning connection </li></ul><ul><li>Concept and reference </li></ul><ul><li>Matching words and definitions </li></ul><ul><li>Discussing the meanings of phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Drawing and labeling pictures </li></ul><ul><li>Peer teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Riddles </li></ul><ul><li>Finding common meanings </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing the right meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Semantic feature analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Answering questions </li></ul><ul><li>Word detectives </li></ul>
  6. 6. A Range of Ways Meaning (cont.) <ul><li>Associations </li></ul><ul><li>Finding substitutes </li></ul><ul><li>Explaining connections </li></ul><ul><li>Making word maps </li></ul><ul><li>Classifying words </li></ul><ul><li>Finding opposites </li></ul><ul><li>Suggesting causes or effects </li></ul><ul><li>Suggesting associations </li></ul><ul><li>Finding examples </li></ul>
  7. 7. A Range of Ways Use <ul><li>Grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Collocates </li></ul><ul><li>Constraints on use </li></ul><ul><li>Matching sentence halves </li></ul><ul><li>Putting words in order to make sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Matching collocates </li></ul><ul><li>Finding collocates </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying constraints </li></ul><ul><li>Classifying constraints </li></ul>
  8. 8. Limited Effects <ul><li>There are several strands through which knowledge of a word needs to develop: </li></ul><ul><li>1. meaning-focused input (listening & reading) </li></ul><ul><li>2. meaning-focused output (speaking & writing) </li></ul><ul><li>3. language-focused learning (vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>teaching & studying) </li></ul><ul><li>4. fluency development (listening, speaking, </li></ul><ul><li>reading, writing) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Limited Effects <ul><li>In summary: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching can usefully deal with only a limited amount of information at a time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too much confuses </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. In Summary <ul><li>We should expect only limited learning from single meetings with a word. </li></ul><ul><li>We should bear this in mind when we plan or carry out those meetings </li></ul><ul><li>We should not spend too much time on vocabulary teaching. </li></ul>
  11. 11. What can we do? <ul><li>The teacher’s job (in order of importance): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Train </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teach </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Plan <ul><li>Insure that opportunities for vocabulary learning occur in all the four equally balanced strands. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Train <ul><li>Help learners develop skill in the four strategies of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Guessing from context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning using word cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning using word parts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning from dictionary use </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Test <ul><li>Use the results of vocabulary tests to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>see where learners are in their vocabulary development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>plan future learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>motivate learning </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Teach <ul><li>Give attention to high frequency words and academic words where appropriate. </li></ul>
  16. 16. How do we teach words?
  17. 17. Teaching Words <ul><li>Only high frequency vocabulary (the first 2000 words and the AWL) and vocabulary learning strategies should be systematically taught. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers should know where the learners are in their knowledge of these words. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Teaching Words <ul><li>The amount and strength of learning depends on the quality of mental processing. </li></ul><ul><li>The quality of mental processing can be increased by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>giving attention to a range of aspects involved in knowing a word </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>retrieval, generative use and instantiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>giving attention to word parts and helpful etymology </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Teaching Words <ul><li>There are many ways of communicating word meanings. </li></ul><ul><li>The best are clear, simple and brief. </li></ul><ul><li>Where possible, the first language translation should be given. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Teaching Words <ul><li>First language translation can be given by: </li></ul><ul><li>- performing actions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>showing objects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>showing pictures or diagrams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>defining in the first language (translation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>defining in the second language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>providing language context clues </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Teaching Words <ul><li>The meaning given should describe the underlying meaning that includes most of the word’s uses and senses. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. region </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>large area of land </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>areas outside the capital </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>field of knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>part of the body </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(in the region of) approximately </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Teaching Words <ul><li>Words should not be taught with others that belong to the same lexical set, are near synonyms, or are opposites. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>frog, hop, slimy, pond, croak, green </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>paint, funeral, recipe, market, uncle, ice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>apple, pear, nectarine, peach, apricot, plum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>never, sometimes, often, always </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>danger, dark, run, building, hide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>north, south, east, west </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>travel, tour, journey, expedition, visit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>glance, peer, stare, examine, scrutinize </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Teaching Words <ul><li>There should be repeated opportunities for increasingly spaced retrieval of each word. </li></ul><ul><li>Later meetings with a word are more important than the initial presentation and teaching may be more useful then. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Teaching Words <ul><li>Direct teaching is only part of one of the four strands that a word should be met in. </li></ul><ul><li>It is only one way of giving deliberate attention. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Teaching Words <ul><li>Learners should take control of their own vocabulary learning. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learners should be taught how to learn vocabulary. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learners should be taught how to choose vocabulary to learn. </li></ul></ul>