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

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Teaching Vocabulary

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