How to teach Vocabulary

How To Teach Vocabulary in a Nutshell

by Lyanne Thomas

Having a wide range of vocabulary is a must in understanding and using a certain language, and this holds true with the Universal language- English. Vocabulary is a pillar and is considered as one of the basic fundamentals of English.

There are several ways to teach vocabulary. Here are 5 tips to make vocabulary learning fun and at the same time effective.

1. Look for word games and let students play these games. Have some vocabulary contests in class and reward the students after the game to reinforce motivation in learning.

2. Consider the age of your students, look for age appropriate vocabulary and use some visuals or images. You can also introduce vocabulary words through stories.

3. Give quizzes and tests and use your new and previously learned words in class and conversations as often as you can.

4. Have a word wall in your classroom and write down interesting words, you can have 3 to 5 vocabulary words a week for your word wall.

5. Match synonyms and antonyms. This way students get familiar with words and how to use them in a sentence.

Kevin R. Burns Chimes in:

Teach vocabulary in context ie) teach animal words together, not some animals and some things in the kitchen. Seems obvious but many rookie teachers will make this mistake.

As Thomas says above, keep it fun with games. Some favorites of Japanese children are kultatori (or slam), bring me- have the students run around and bring the cards you call for. Young children absolutely love this game!

I think too, that it is important that you as a teacher have fun. if you are having fun, the kids will too. So keep it fun for them but for you too. If you get burnt out, that is bad for everyone.

You can teach Vocabulary and Phrases through Songs

Grammar Songs - The CD, "Let's Take A Walk" is by ELF Learning.

Eric Kane and friends have released a children`s CD for the EFL/ESL classroom. He muses it is probably not what you are thinking:

"The songs are all original and have full arrangements and real instruments (for the most part). It's a mix of songs for very young learners through much older students (late elementary school)."

-Kane wrote by Email, and he is obviously very proud of his very enjoyable creation.


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