воскресенье, 1 апреля 2012 г.

Teaching Vocabulary

Yesterday I have participated in seminar "Teaching Vocabulary and Ways to Retain It" Facilitated by Carol Haddway, Sr. English Language Fellow, Ukraine 2011-2012. Seminar has organized by Social Pedagogy Institute Pedagogical Academy

"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)

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 check in, hand in, take up, look up, ask around
- Collocation blonde hair, blonde beacety; conduct a study
- Idioms call it a day, down in the dumps, cold shoulder, beat around the bush, piece of cake

What does it mean to "Know" a word?
Layers of Word Knowledge: meaning - denotation, connotation - shades of meaning, degree ("strengh" of a word); form - spoken, written, word parts; use - grammatical functions, adjective or verbs with prepositions, collocation (word partners), constraints (appropriate) formal/informal, direct/euphemistic.

What Vocabulary Should We Teach?
- Frequent (West General Service List - first 2000 head words of English)
- Important (Academic Word List - 570 word families)
- Needed for Classroom Tasks and Activities
- Regular (common patterns or features)
- Easy to learn (cognates) Must consider level and needs/interests of learners

Learning from Input (Listening, Reading)
- Incidental learning
- The content has a message that students want to focus on
- Listening to a story
- Having a conversation
- Following instuctions
- Watching TV
- Extensive reading

Check this out on Chirbit

Learning from Output (Speaking, Writing)
- Opportunity to use the words
- Repetition
- Attention to vocabulary, accuracy, and appropriateness
- Focus on commmunicating messages

How Should We Teach Vocabulary?
- Focus on important words
- Give simple, clear explanations and translation as nedeed
- Use consept-checking questions to check meaning
- Repetition

- Read constantly! The more you see new words used in context, the more you will be able to recognize, spell and use them
- 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 cosidered an "independent reading level"

Useful Resources
About the General Service List 
School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
Selecting Vocabulary: Academic word list

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