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Teaching Vocabulary Teaching Vocabulary Presented by: Mr.SIMOHAMED Presented by: Mr.SIMOHAMED Elmoussaoui Elmoussaoui English Teacher English Teacher Marrakesh Marrakesh Morocco Morocco Marrakech Academy, April/May, 2010

Teaching vocabulary

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  • Teaching Vocabulary Presented by: Mr.SIMOHAMED Elmoussaoui English TeacherMarrakeshMoroccoMarrakech Academy, April/May, 2010

  • I. ELT Methodology: Effective Vocabulary TeachingIntroduction:

    Perhaps of all the creations of man language is the most astonishing (Giles Lytton Strachey)

    Words, words, and words so many words to learn and its so hard to remember them all, let alone use them! Although it is believed that actions are louder than words, it is often that words are what call us to action in the first place.

  • Lexis: More general " umbrella word" 1. Lexicon: the vocabulary of a language (technically, its lexical items or lexemes), especially when these are listed in a dictionary as a set of lexical entries. It is also called lexis. 2. Lexeme: The smallest distinctive unit in the lexicon of a language. It is also called a lexical item.

  • 3. Lexicography: The art and science of dictionary making. A dictionary is a reference book which lists the words of one or more language(s), usually in alphabetical order, along with information about their spelling, pronunciation, stress, grammatical status, meaning, history, and use. 4. Lexicology: The study of a languages lexicon.

    B: Vocabulary: More specific: lexical items.

  • In the educational context, studies in communication strategy have shown that a major problem facing the foreign learner of English is to acquire a sufficiently large vocabulary to be able to communicate effectively. Level (1989 in Harley, 1995:1) has identified vocabulary as driving speech production. This is certainly true, given that the greatest obstacle to meaningful communication is having an insufficient number of words. In order to express ourselves in a foreign language, we need words. Therefore, focus on communication necessarily implies emphasis on lexis ( Lewis, 1993:33).

  • Vocabulary is also important because ideas and shades of meaning are very often formulated in words , and words are a prerequisite tool for independence. Furthermore, words are labels for what we know or feel, and as our store of words grows our knowledge of the world grows as well. However, if a persons word power is limited, she is necessarily a limited thinker, since she can neither receive ideas nor communicate with others except within confines of her inadequate vocabulary.

  • Speakers can better understand grammatically incorrect utterances with accurate vocabulary than those with accurate grammar and inaccurate vocabulary. In other words, without accurate syntax, meaning might be hindered for foreign language speakers, but without vocabulary, meaning is possible.

    Yet, as S. Krashen states learners must have comprehensible input in order for communication to be useful and meaningful. If the speakers do not understand the message because the input is incomprehensible , e.g. unknown vocabulary, the acquisition will not take place.

    Additionally, within the framework of the competency-based approach, principles and textbooks in the Moroccan educational context, the teaching of language vocabulary is an inherent component of every unit or lesson in the day-to- day classroom practice. Hence, a pressing need is felt to give vocabulary teaching greater attention and consideration.

  • The intent of this training is to highlight the importance of teaching vocabulary in developing students competence by helping them to acquire vocabulary effectively and to increase their vocabulary usage for communicative purposes.

  • Since there is a connection between the way we learn things and the way we remember them, we could assume that the reason for this connection is the way in which things are stored. If a word is learned effectively, it is assumed that it is stored firmly in ones memory and can be retrieved quickly and easily for use purposes. In this respect, relevant literature suggests a set of practical ways as to how to teach words as effectively as possible. Teachers, however, need to account for the various issues related to vocabulary and vocabulary knowledge. They also need to be aware that knowing a lexical item is a long and complex process which involves at least the following:

  • 1. knowledge of the frequency of the word in speech and writing. 2. knowledge of its morphology (i.e. knowing how the word is formed. e.g. affixation and word families). 3. knowledge of semantics (i.e. knowing its various ranges of meaning: denotations, connotations, obsolete and avant-garde words, etc). 4. knowledge of its boundaries which separate it from other words of related meaning (e.g. house, address, dwelling, mansion, bungalow, etc.). 5. knowledge of its polysemy (e.g. words that can have more than one meaning).

    6. Knowledge of its semantic and syntactic collocations (i.e. knowing that some words fit into only some lexical or grammatical sets: e.g. exam collocates with take, pass; sit for, mock, etc).

  • 7. Knowledge of the register of the word (i.e. class, gender, age, country or place, formality, mode of discourse, etc.).

    8. Knowledge of the grammar of the vocabulary; that is focus should be put on learning the rules to build up # forms of the word, or even # words from the same word (e.g. take, took, taken).

    9. Knowledge of the equivalent of the world in the first language ( translation). However, equivalents in the native language might have a # cultural load.

  • 1. What is a word?

  • - It is the smallest unit of grammar which can stand alone as a complete utterance; - It is a unit of expression in both spoken and written language, with several possible definitions. Here, we distinguish: * The orthographic word is the unit bounded by spaces in the written language, from * The phonological word which is the corresponding unit for speech, bounded by ( real or potential) poses or juncture features (= features of a languages sound system which demarcates grammatical units, signaled by silence, pitch, stress, length, or a variety of phonetic features). - At a more abstract level, a word is a grammatical unit consisting of morphemes and functioning within phrases, clauses and sentences.

  • 1. Single words: This does not only mean single words like room but also bedroom and living-room2. Set phrases: These consist of more than one word. e.g. - On the one hand; - Ladies and gentlemen - Now and then - All of a sudden

  • 3. Variable phrases: e.g. : - On and off/ Off and on : Its been raining on and off. - recently / its been .. Off and on .. - it has come to my attention/ it our4. Phrasal verbs: These consist of two or three words. * Grammar verbs put/ take/ come/ call/ make/ go and get.

  • 5. Idioms: An idiom is a group of words whose meaning is # from the meaning of the individual words in it. e.g. someone let the cat out of the bag; it means that a person has revealed a secret. There is no cat, no bag, and no cat in any bag.N.B. knowing the meaning of words does not give the meaning of the idiom. With idioms, logic has no place.

  • Other examples: to rain cats and dogs / hand over fist / to have one foot in the grave / to give someone the bullet or to give someone the sack / to be over the rainbow / the moon.

  • 6. Anagrams:

  • An anagram is a word made up by rearranging the letters of another word. e.g. no- on. Find the anagrams of the following words: 1. eat 2. meal 3. thing 4. garden 5. nice love

  • 7. Homonyms/ Homophones:

  • A homonym/ homophone is a word pronounced like another, but with a different spelling and meaning. e.g. I- eye

    Find the homonyms of the following words: 1. hair- 2. made- 3. pain- 4. flower- 5. sight-

  • 8. Homographs:

  • A homograph is a word spelled and pronounced like another, but with a different meaning. e.g. nail- nail Explain the meanings of the following homographs: 1. bear bear 2. fast-fast 3. lean-lean 4. rail- rail 5. game-game

  • 9. Heterographs:

  • These are words which are identical in meaning and perhaps in sound, but different in spelling. e.g. color-colour plough- plow Give the heterographs of the following words:

    to inquire/inquiryconnectiongrannyjailtaboo.

  • 10. Heteronyms:

  • A heteronym is a word spelt like another, but with a different pronunciation and meaning. e.g. tear [t*]- tear [ti*] Give the heteronyms and meanings of the following words: 1. lead [li:d]- lead [led] 2. live [liv]-live [laiv] 3. bow [bou]- bow [bau] 4. polish [pli]- Polish [pouli] 5. minute [minit]- minute [mainju:t]

  • 11-Euphemisms:

  • A euphemism is the use of a vague or indirect expression in place of one which is thought to be unpleasant, embarrassing, or offensive. e.g.: to pass away = to die.

    What do the following euphemisms mean?

    1- to go back to ones maker.

    2- to powder ones nose/ to see Mr Paul/ to take the dog for a walk.

  • 12-Dysphemisms:

  • A dysphemism is the opposite of a euphemism. It is the use of an offensive or disparaging expression instead of a neutral or pleasant one. e.g. mug,for face, mouth, or rough, uncouth person.

    What do the following dysphemisms stand for?

    1-nob 4-boneshaker2-grub 5-bread-basket3-peeper

  • What are the major problems teachers face in teaching vocabulary?

  • Sts forget the words they learn quickly;Sts find it hard to concentrate;Sts need more practice;Sts are easily bored; Sts are fearful; etc

  • Some practical considerations Basically, the teaching and learning of new vocabulary involves 3 main stages: the presentation stage, the practice stage and the evaluation stage. a. The presentation stage: Relevant literature sets forwards a set of ways of eliciting or presenting new vocabulary . In general, there is a consensus that a new vocabulary can be elicited or presented in a variety of ways and methods. Some of these are outlined below: 1. Illustrations (pictures, photographs, real objects, drawings, etc.) 2. Demonstrations ( i.e. concise definitions, examples; acting, miming, etc.). 3. Creation of new contexts/ situations, story lines; 4. Guessing meaning from contexts, word morphology, etc. 5. The relationship between words through synonyms and antonyms, homonyms, collocations, semantic mapping, etc. 6. Hyponyms: a semantic relationship between specific and general lexical items, such that the former is included in the latter; e.g. dog is a hyponym of animal, and animal is a hyponym of dog. 7. The relationship between a lexical item in the foreign language and its first language dynamic equivalent, i.e. translation equivalents;

  • 8. Dictionary use for autonomous learning 9. Context (story, sentence in which the item occurs). Tanner and Green (1998: 11) suggest that effective presentation techniques should: - not be too long; - include enough and relevant examples; - clear/ interesting visuals; - explanations; - link to previously-learnt material, and include interaction ( with each other and with words); - be involving; include practice and be meaningful; - interesting; - hold attention; - be memorable, dramatic, exciting; - use or link to learners present knowledge

  • The effective use of dictionaries, as another vocabulary learning technique, requires that: learners be trained on how to find words in alphabetical order; they need to know what the abbreviations in each entry mean;how to look for words if they do not find them first (look for other words in the family or the collocation for example); when to use it and when not to use it.

  • In addition, learners should also be incited to take notes of the new words. Note- taking in the classroom allows the learner to be free to structure and organize his/her growing vocabulary as does keeping a vocabulary notebook. Good note-taking habits should be encouraged. One effective way of organizing a vocabulary notebook is suggested by Harmer (2001): a. Learners list words in their notebooks alphabetically; b. for each word they can write an example sentence showing the word use and meaning.

  • Additional strategies for teaching vocabulary: asking other students to explain the meaning of an unknown item, guessing from context; asking other students of higher levels ; using games; mnemonics ( = memory tricks); playing with words ( from word to word/ scrabble/ crossword puzzles/ etc.

  • For guessing,teachers should train their learners to guess meaning from the following:a) Inferences: inference questions/hints/clues/etc.;b) References: anaphoric vs cataphoric references (usu.in a text);c) Different types of Contexts: Examples: 1.There was a terrible accident on the highway last weekend.Several people were killed and many severely injured.These were immediately rushed to the hospital.

  • Adjacent words (=in the surroundings of the word `accident ). 2.There are thousands of volcanoes around the world.Some are extinct or dead,but others are just dormant or asleep.They may erupt at any time. Synonyms /Clue: or. 3.The Government wants sustainable, not temporary, development. Antonyms/Clue: not. 4.We still import a lot of different types of vehicles: cars,trucks,buses,etc.

  • General word/Details. 5.Killing forests makes the climate get warmer and warmer.This is what is called the greenhouse effect. Details/General word/Clue: is called. Other possible clues: is/defined as/is known as /is referred to as /etc. 6.Cyberfraund,or getting money from people illegally,is a crime. Definition/Clue:or. 7._Mr Madani is a good tennis-player.

  • -Mr Madani,my new neighbour,is a good tennis-player. Specific information. 8.You can see all kinds of animals in a zoo.Among them,carnivorous animals,such as lions and tigers.They are dangerous. They live on meat. Examples/Clue: such as. Other possible clues: like/for example/for instance. 9. -The Antipodes are a wonderful place of destination. -The Antipodes (Australia and New Zealand) are a wonderful place of destinations.

  • Explanation. 10.`Culture . Special meaning or definition. Clues in 9 10: Punctuation: Parentheses and Inverted commas. Other possible clues: colon/quotation marks/dashes/stroke/etc. 11.Many countries have started using renewable energy. Parts of speech: Adjective/Clue: Prefixes and Suffixes.

  • 12.-Nowadays,people terrorism Writing: Italics. -Nowadays,people.. terrorism Writing: Bold type.

  • b. The practice stage: The next step is how we can commit the newly presented words to memory. Hence, the need to the practice stage or what is referred to as consolidating strategies. Some suggested types are briefly outlined as follows:1. social strategies: these are those strategies that enhance learning through interaction with others;2. memory strategies: these are those strategies which are seen to link new materials with previous knowledge ( examples of this type of strategy are connecting a new word with a personal experience, grouping a new word with related words that the learner already knows);

  • 3. cognitive strategies: these are defined as a category of strategies that use manipulation or transformation of the target language ( repetition, word lists and taking notes are examples of this strategy);4. metacognitive strategies: these are strategies that involve conscious planning and evaluating the learning process. However, the success of a strategy has more to do with the learner or user than with the strategy itself. Learner variable as well as other factors were seen to affect strategy use. A good strategy for a particular learner depends on his /her age, personality type, cultural and/or educational background, cognitive maturity, beliefs, etc. The effectiveness of a strategy correlates with proficiency level, task, language modality, background knowledge, context of learning, target language and learner characteristics (O Malley and Rubin, 1994, in Shmitt, 1997: 202).

  • c. The evaluation stage: The exact meaning of words needs checking. Sometimes some words have the same form in two languages ( false friends/ false cognates/ faux-amis), yet they have different meanings. e.g. * English and French: - to assist = to help - to attend = to be present at - assister = to attend - attendre = to wait for * Last Sunday, I assisted a football match at the stadium * I attended you at the station this morning, but you didnt come.

  • * English and German: - gift = present - Gift= poison - Geschenk = gift/prsent * English and Spanish: - lid= tapadera/tapa; eyelid= prpado - lid= fight / contest * English and Italian: - fame = celebrit - fame = hunger.

  • To check the concept of library ( in French = bookshop/ bookstore), we could ask, for example, Can we buy books in a library? Where can we buy books? etc. ( cf librairie and bibliothque). Generally, when doing concept checking, teachers should consider what words students may confuse with target new words.

  • 1. Agrammmatism: Language disorder characterised by the omission of the elements which express grammatical relationships (such as inflectional endings, articles, and prepositions); it is also called agrammatic speech. e.g. go ambulance hospital go hospital tomorrow. 2. Agraphia/Dysgraphia: Serious disturbance in the ability to write.3. Alalia: Complete inability to speak due to abnormality or malfunction of the external speech organs.4. Alexia/Dyslexia: Complete inability to learn to read; it is also called word blindness 5. Anarthria/Dysarthria: Speech disorder which leaves someone unable to articulate speech sounds.6. Anomia/Dysnomia: Language disorder in which the primary symptom is a word-finding difficulty,especially difficulty in remembering the names of people, places and things.

  • 7. Aphasia: Language disorder in which the primary symptoms are disability in producing or understanding grammatical and semantic structure. When related to language production, the aphasia is expressive, and when related to comprehension, it is receptive. Aphasiology: the study of aphasia.

  • 8. Apraxia/Dyspraxia: Loss of ability to carry out purposeful movements on request. It is characterised by laboured and distorted speech production. It is also referred to as articulatory or verbal apraxia.

    9. Dysfluency: Loss of ability to control the smooth flow of speech production, resulting in hesitancy, poor rhythm, and stuttering. It is also called nonfluency.

    10. Dysprosody: Loss of ability to produce speech with normal intonation, loudness, and rhythm.

  • Recycling newly taught vocabulary: Although the presentation practice and evaluation stages are important for vocabulary teaching and learning, theories about memory suggest that unless new words are recycled, they will soon be mislaid or forgotten. Therefore, teachers should create opportunities in the classroom for learners to practice what they have previously learnt (warm-up activities, written exercises, discussion, communicative activities, etc.)

  • The Role of Reading in Vocabulary Acquisition and Learning Read, read , and read. Within the same framework, the importance of reading, mainly extensive reading ( which is often for pleasure and in a leisurely way) is echoed in relevant literature as an essential complement to the explicit teaching of vocabulary. The power of reading lies in providing the repetition necessary to establish new words in the learners mind and in supplying the different contexts necessary to elaborate and expand the richness of knowledge about those words ( Schmitt and Carter: 2000: 4). Likewise, Colin (1995 in Harmer, 2001: 204) claims that if learners are reading written materials, they will acquire a wider passive and active vocabulary. For Lewis (1997: 197), most vocabulary is acquired, not taught.

  • Remember! In the beginning was the word. Until you have a word for something, it does not exist for you. Name it, and you have made your reality rich.

    If you would have your learning stay, Be patient dont learn too fast;

    The man who travels a mile each day, May get round the world at last.

  • A- Bibliography:-Brown,Douglas(1994b).Teaching by principles: an interactive approach to language pedagogy.New Jersey: Prentice Hall Regents.-Chaibi,Ahmed(2002.) Teaching vocabulary: practical and theoretical considerations. MATE Newsletter, Fall 2002.

  • -Coady , J.and Huckin, T.(1997). Second Langages Vocabulary Acquisition: a rationale for pedagogy. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press.

    B- Webliography: