Dictionary Activities for ESL Learners
Dr. Vandana Pathak
Classroom Set Up
Dictionary Activities Fastest Person/ Group
The topmost word on any page (both columns) and the lowermost word The shortest spelling & the longest spelling, along with definitions and page number.
Spell CheckThe initial alphabets of the word should be given correctly. List of ten wrongly spelt words is given to the groups/ personsCorrect spellings in minimum time.
Dictionary Activities Vowel ChaseFive vowels on B.B. -an activity in which vowels from given words missingFill in the blanks with correct vowels with the help of a dictionary. eat, rat .., and rat etc, bet, set, den, and hen, etc. Use other three vowels. Longer words later elephant, ice creams
Alternate AlphabetsAlternate alphabets missing with definition is provided. Word like Daffodils. Its meaning should be given and it should be written as D-f-o-i-l-. A list of ten to fifteen words should be given at a time. New words
Dictionary Activities Dice GameSnakes and Ladders kind of game- 5-Plus points for the right spellingCorrect definition bonus pointsWrong spelling and definition-Negative pointsMove ahead and down in the row in time bound frame
antakashari a circle game or one after another kind of a game: It is played like antakashari. First student to spell a word, Elephant-tiger-radiant the highest number of words and a student who is able to correct maximum number of wrong spellings are the winners in the activity.
Dictionary Activities Advanced Antakshari Eg: SuperstitionWords with on-onionWords with on-OnlyLynch..ChartArtist..
Parts of Speecha list of fifteen to twenty wordsinclude all parts of speech be instructed to find out what part of speech it is & jot it down. a list of suffixes to be added to words to form nouns, adjectives & adverbs, etc
Students prepare a list of vocabulary on a topic with the help of members & with dictionaries.
Topics- birds, animals, games & sports, automobiles, parts of body, kitchen utensils, cooking ingredients, electronic gadgets, basic colours, trees ,flowers, family members, etc
make and do (make noise, make a bed), verb and noun (cash a cheque, keep a promise), adjective and noun dominoes (heavy traffic, a light breeze, pastel colours, etc) can be taught with the help of games.
Phrases and Idioms
IdiomsDictionaryIdioms too can be taught with the help of a dictionary. The teacher writes a word like fish on the blackboard and with it writes a cold fish. Then the students are asked to find out its meaning from a dictionary and enlist more fishy items with meanings.
Relay RaceDictionary Race -activity to be tried out in the classroom. Class is divided into teams &each group has one dictionary (same dictionary). The teacher provides lists of words and the corresponding page numbers. One member of the team comes up per round to find a set of words, or at times it is made into a relay race.The fastest or first to finish with all correct answers.
Spelling GameCheck ItIn this game, the teacher provides a list of words in which some words are spelt correctly and some wrongly. The students, by referring to the dictionary, mention which spellings are correct and which are the wrong ones. Then they write the correct spelling of the wrong words.
Second Version The teacher mentions the first two alphabets of a word and after leaving some gap, mentions the last alphabet. One of the meanings of that word is provided. Students have to write the correct spelling with all missing alphabets and provide all other meanings of the word.
Hairy Headlines A very unique and offbeat activity Newspaper is a commonly available resource. It contains many amazing headlines containing polysemous terms. The teacher, with the help of students, collects a number of different headlines and distributes these among groups of students.
Hairy Headlines-cotnd.Headlines such as Drunk gets nine months in violin case, Milk drinkers are turning to powder, bank of China floats in Shanghai, Red tape holds up bridge and People turn to beans create mirth and humour on comprehension after referring to a dictionary.
Picture GameStudents watch various pictures in books and magazines. The teacher provides one picture each to different groups of students and asks them to enlist whatever they see in the picture or what they think about it. They can name the objects/birds & animals etc.in the picture. This game helps the teacher in knowing if the students have acquired adequate range of vocabulary.
PelmanismAn advanced game to learn, practise, revise and master phrasal verbs. The students can be divided in a group of three each. Two of them play the game and the third one checks their work. The teacher prepares different cards like verb+ participle + meaning cards that form a correct set. These cards are kept upside down.
PelmanismFirst player turns three cards & tries to form a correct set. If he fails, the second one gives a try. If a player gets a correct set, he keeps it with him. The game continues in this manner and the player who collects maximum sets becomes the winner of this game. The students refer to the dictionary to form a correct set. For example, three different cards like hack, into, and to get into someones computer system without their permission.
Summing UpThere is tremendous amount of information in a good learners dictionary sometimes an overwhelming amount. Helping students tap into that information efficiently is one of the best ways to help them become independent, lifelong language learners.A well-chosen dictionary can be a lifelong learning tool.
Different connotations of words, word building and word families, multiword expressions, grammar, parts of speech, word formation, collocations, prefixes and suffixes, idioms and phrases, synonyms and antonyms, etc can be learnt.
Works CitedFacebook.com/student committee mexicohttp://www.amazon.in/Cambridge-Learners-Dictionary-Ed-CD-ROM/https://www.google.com/search?q=Oxford+concise+dictionary&rlzFacebook.com(learn eng 1)Cork English teacher facebookwww.grammar.cl.https://www.google.com/search?rlz/parts of house
Works Citedwww.google.com/search?rlz=1C1VFKB_enIN627IN627&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=collocations+list&oqwww.google.com/search?rlz=1C1VFKB_enIN627IN627&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=phrases+and+idioms&oq=phraseswww.google.com/search? Fish+idiomshttp://www.pagat.com/misc/pelmanism.htmlwww.google.com/search apple+idioms&oqwww.englishcoursemalta.comLeaney ,Cindy. 2007.Dictionary Activities.Cambridge University Press.
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