Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018

Strategies for Teaching, Learning English Vocabulary

A look through the dictionary demonstrates the vastness of the English language.

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September 21, 2018

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Strategies for Teaching, Learning English Vocabulary

Learning new vocabulary words helps keep the mind sharp and makes one sound intelligent during conversation. An expanded vocabulary also helps in clear communication, and thus avoids the frustration of lacking the right word to express your thoughts. Expanding your students’ vocabulary will take effort and patience. At first, you may grow frustrated as you try to teach all the new words they come across. Carry on with it and soon they will have a larger repertoire of words at their disposal.

The Basics

The basics of English vocabulary should be a starting point before adding more complex words. Basic vocabulary groups include colours, numbers, days of the week, foods, family members, greetings, time and weather. Vocabulary worksheets and flash cards are a way to begin vocabulary memorization. Add simple drawings or pictures to worksheets and flash cards containing the vocabulary words. Images can assist in associating a new word with an object.

Learning Vocabulary in Themes

When teaching the basics, have students memorize the words in groups. Numbers are one beginning group. After memorizing numbers one through one hundred and counting, move to another themed group, such as days of the week. This technique can help the brain keep each new word learned properly categorized.

Games and Quizzes

Online games and quizzes are another learning reinforcement tool. Try games and quizzes after students memorize three to five groups of vocabulary words. Some of these online games include hangman, word searches, crossword puzzles, matching games and scrabble. Online games also can prove useful when teaching more complex vocabulary words. These games could be used to test knowledge of antonyms, homophones, root words and prefixes.

Watching Movies

Watching movies is another way to teach and retain vocabulary. Listening to a spoken word has a greater difficulty level than reading or recalling a word. Do not attempt to show movies in English until students have built a large vocabulary of word groups. When a student hears a sentence that he or she does not understand, stop the movie and have him or her look up the unfamiliar words. Also review the scene so that the student understands the way words are formed in sentences. Watch the movie several times to ensure listening and speaking proficiency.

One can expand vocabulary almost as fast as one wants to. There are countless examples of people who have done so. Remember, one starts out in life knowing no words, and now you know thousands.

You can teach your students new words everyday and expand their vocabulary by leaps and bounds..


Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson has over 45 years of rich experience as educationist including over 30 years of experience in school leadership positions. She is the former Chief Executive and Secretary Council for the ICSE, New Delhi.

She is a consultant to a number of corporate houses and educational institutions. She is serving as a Member of the Board of Governors/Managing Committees of some of the most prestigious schools and colleges of the country.

She has vast exposure to the education systems of Japan, Germany, England, Thailand, Singapore, Sharjah, Dubai and Finland. She has initiated, conducted and organised workshops for school teachers and principals all over India

With a B.A. (Hons) English Literature, M.A., M.Phil. (English Literature), B.Ed. to her credit, she has edited three series of English readers and work-books for school children.

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