of 38 /38

Vocabulary teaching

Embed Size (px)

Text of Vocabulary teaching

Page 1: Vocabulary teaching
Page 2: Vocabulary teaching

What is vocabulary teaching?

What is importance of vocabulary teaching?› For teachers

› For students

What are the steps of vocabulary teaching?

What are techniques and activities for vocabulary teaching?

What are the problems of vocabulary teaching?

A sample vocabulary teaching lesson

Page 3: Vocabulary teaching

Vocabulary; is the set of words in a particular language

and it has two types as passive and active vocabulary.

› Passive vocabulary (receptive) is the vocabulary that the

learner knows and understand when s/he read or listen.

› Active vocabulary (productive) occurs after passive one, it is

the vocabulary that the learner use in writing or speaking.

To change the passive one to the active, one need to

see or hear the word several times so teacher should

provide meaningful repetitive activities.

Page 4: Vocabulary teaching

Teaching vocabulary is the process of providing

learners to store new vocabulary items in the long term

memory with meaningful activities which helps the

organization of the words in the brain.

Firstly, teacher need to decide on whether the word is

worth spending time or not.

Frequency lists help teachers to decide what to teach

and what order.

Page 5: Vocabulary teaching

Low frequency words are seen rare in language use, like idioms or proverbs, so it would be better to teach them later in the language program.

High frequency words can be seen often in language use, like colors, clothing, health, sport, etc.

When the words are low frequency and not useful for the learners it shouldn’t be spent so much time on them.

On the other hand, high frequency vocabulary should be focused on in terms of meaning, form and the usage.

Page 6: Vocabulary teaching

Secondly teacher need to teach vocabulary in a

context and allow students to see the words in action.

Then, s/he needs to give them enough time and input

to learn and practice new vocabulary.

S/he needs to carry out activities that enable learners to

use vocabulary in productive tasks

And s/he always needs to encourage ways to recycle

new words

Page 7: Vocabulary teaching

According to Nation (2008), teacher should have some

principles while teaching vocabulary;

› «Keep the teaching simple and clear. Don’t give complicated


› «Relate the present teaching to past knowledge by showing a

pattern or analogies.»

› «Use both oral and written presentation - write it on the

blackboard as well as explaining.»

Page 8: Vocabulary teaching

› «Give most attention to words that are already partly known.»

› «Tell the learners if it is a high frequency word that is worth

noting for future attention.»

› «Don’t bring in other unknown or poorly known related words

like near synonyms, opposites, or members of the same lexical


Page 9: Vocabulary teaching

Acquiring large number of words at the same time is very difficult because of the fact that our memory cannot store that much. › 8/9-year-old learners can learn 4/5 words,

› 10/11-year-old learners can learn 7/8 words,

› 14/18-year-old learners can learn 15/20 words but they need to be given separately, 8/10 words are given at first then, after ten minutes related activity the rest should be given.

› Also university students can learn about 30 words in a lesson.

(Akar, 2010)

Page 10: Vocabulary teaching

Teaching vocabulary can also be unplanned. Teacher

may want to give some new vocabulary items related

to a topic that occurs spontaneously.

For instance; on a rainy day teacher may want to give

the vocabulary related to rain and storm. This kind of

unplanned teaching motivates learners more and save

the lesson from being so monotonous.

(Akar, 2010)

Page 11: Vocabulary teaching

According to Wilkins (1972) and Scrivener (1998),

without vocabulary, grammar does not mean anything.

If the learners do not have vocabulary they cannot

form sentences with the correct grammar. To form

accurate sentences and speech learners need

vocabulary more than grammar. Message can be

given with vocabulary without grammar but it cannot

be given with grammar and without vocabulary.

Page 12: Vocabulary teaching

For teachers, what to teach as vocabulary is really important and this should be according to the learner’s needs.

Teachers should create a sense of need for students because this need should be internal.

It is equally important to help students with how to learn vocabulary as well as with what to learn. (McCarten, 2007)

For learners, the meaning, form and usage of the words are important so they need to be guided and given proper text and activities. (Lindsay and Knight, 2006)

Page 13: Vocabulary teaching

Students need know:

› Meaning of a word

› Spelling and pronunciation of a word

› Use

› Grammar (word formation)

› Collocation

Page 14: Vocabulary teaching

1. Lead-In: The teacher creates a context to teach the new word.

2. Convey Meaning: The Teacher uses one or several of the vocabulary teaching techniques in order to convey the meaning of a word.

3. Repetition: The learners listen and repeat the word. (Generally at least for three times)

4. Verification: The teacher asks questions to the learners concerning the meaning of the word and check whether the students comprehended the meaning or not.

5. Use: The learners try to use the word in an appropriate context with the help of the teacher.

6. Model sentence: A model sentence is formed with the new word.

Page 15: Vocabulary teaching

We should remember that the more we employ

VAKOG* type of teaching, the better will the

vocabulary be understood and retained in the LTM;

therefore, we should address all five senses of the

learners as often as possible.(Akar,2010)

Page 16: Vocabulary teaching

Using materials in vocabulary teaching such as;


Films, videos, TV programmes

Facial expressions and body language

Crossword Puzzles, Board Games, Card Games,


Page 17: Vocabulary teaching

Computer-Based Technology




Page 18: Vocabulary teaching

Using materials in vocabulary teaching such as;

Sounds from everyday life and nature

Poems, nursery rhymes:

It’a cat.

Sitting on a mat.

Wearing a hat.

And watching a rat.

Page 19: Vocabulary teaching

Sound tracks

Computer-Based materials


Page 20: Vocabulary teaching

According to Nurgun Akar (2010), ‘these are the most

frequently used ones.’

Verbal techniques contains:






Page 21: Vocabulary teaching




Riddles and Tongue-Twisters

According to Akar (2010) ‘They are ideal because they

are controversational, involving a question and answer,

thereby setting up a very short but essential context.

Riddles thus provide an environment in which a specific

word is used.’

Page 22: Vocabulary teaching

‘The type of riddle most useful for vocabulary

development is the conundrum, a riddle in which a

double meaning is involved.’ (Akar, 2010)

For example:

Q: What has got four wheels and flies?

A: A garbage truck.

An example for tongue-twisters:

‘She sells seashells on the seashore. The shells she sells are


Page 23: Vocabulary teaching

Guessing a word or idea in a context. According to

Jackson (1988:166-168) it has five steps:

Look at the word; decide on its part of speech.

Look at the clause or sentence containing the unknown


Look at the relationship between the clause or

sentence and the unknown word and other sentences

or phrases. Possible relationships include cause and

effect, contrast exemplification, summary and so on.

Page 24: Vocabulary teaching

Make a guess at the meaning of the word.

Check your guess.

There are some clues that Pettigrew advises learners to

look for:

Cause and effect


General Sense

Synonyms or paraphrases

Examples in the text

Definitions in the text

Page 25: Vocabulary teaching

To enable wide range of activities, we should teach our

learners lots of fixed expressions to help them carry out

these activites. For example; ordering a meal in a

restaurant, apologizing from someone, asking for


Page 26: Vocabulary teaching

Superordinates and Hyponyms

For example; ‘fruit’ is an superordinate and ‘an apple, an orange, a banana’ are hyponyms.


Using real life processes witnessed in real life. For example: Recycling.



For example:

hot: sun, tea, coffee

Ladies and gentlemen

Beautiful: used for women

Handsome: used for men

Page 27: Vocabulary teaching


Kinaesthetic, Olfactory, Gustatory Techniques

Page 28: Vocabulary teaching

Example Activities


(Carleton, L., & Marzano, R. (2010)

Page 29: Vocabulary teaching

Give students cards with instructions like the examples

below. Have them perform the actions without

speaking. The other students try to guess the word or

expression that the student is pantomiming.

Open the door fearfully.

Walk across the room cautiously.

Page 30: Vocabulary teaching

•The clues can be synonyms, antonyms, complete

the sentences. Helps focus on spelling as well as


Page 31: Vocabulary teaching

Divide the class into teams. One person from a team sits

in front of the class. The rest of the team members are

given a card with a category, For example: Things that

are red. The team members take turns giving examples

of the category until the person in the “hot seat”

guesses it or all the team members have given a clue. If

the person in front cannot guess, the other team can

confer and try to guess.

Page 32: Vocabulary teaching

NOTE: The clues must be examples, not definitions. In

the above example, ketchup, blood, and a stop sign

are all acceptable clues. Color is not.

Examples of categories:

Things that are . . . yellow, expensive, fragile, made of

glass, found on a farm American authors, state capitals,

things in a woman’s purse, winter clothing things that

are sold in bottles, places where you have to stand in

line, people who wear uniforms

Page 33: Vocabulary teaching

Divide the class into two teams. One person from each

team sits in a chair in front of the class. Those two

people receive a card with a vocabulary word. The first

person gives a one-word clue to his/her team. If no one

from the team can guess, the second person gives a

clue to his/her team. This alternates back and forth until

someone from one of the teams guesses the word, or

until a specified number of clues has been given.

Page 34: Vocabulary teaching

This works well if you have an empty classroom nearby.

Divide the class into two groups. Give each one a list of

vocabulary words (idiomatic expressions also work well

for this). The students draw pictures—but no words—on

the board so that the students in the other group can

guess the words or expressions they’re trying to

represent. This is a fun way to review some vocabulary

and break up the class routine.

Page 35: Vocabulary teaching
Page 36: Vocabulary teaching

«The main problem with vocabulary teaching is that only a

few words and a small part of what is required to know a

word can be dealt with at any one time. This limitation also

applies to incidental learning from listening or reading, but it

is much easier to arrange for large amounts of independent

listening and reading than it is to arrange for large amounts

of teaching. Teaching can effectively deal with only a small

amount of information about a word at a time. The more

complex the information is, the more likely the learners are

to misinterpret it.» (Nation, 2008)

Page 37: Vocabulary teaching

According to Thornbury, (2002) it is hard for second language learners to acquire the meaning and the forms of the words, to differentiate the meaning of similar words and also to use the words in the correct form when producing the language.

What to teach as vocabulary is really important and this should be according to the learner’s needs. Teachers should create a sense of need for students because this need should be internal. However, the needs of the learners and the teacher’s predictions may not be matched all the time so this can create a conflict. (Allen, 1983)

To prevent this conflict; “Avoid teaching words from textbooks just because they are italicized, written in bold print, etc. do not teach the words just because they appear in a list at the end of a chapter. Do not assign large quantities of words and the ones that learners will rarely encounter again.” (Ellis, 2002)

Page 38: Vocabulary teaching

Learners may not be ready for organizing the words to

store them in the long term memory. To avoid this,

teachers need to guide the learners to be systematic

and well organized. (Akar, 2010)

The activity or the techniques may not appeal to the

learners all the time for all the vocabulary items so

teachers need to use variable techniques or activities

all the time. (Akar, 2010)