Teaching vocabulary to students: four different methods
Vocabulary is a key aspect of language learning. It is estimated that the average English speaker knows around 12,000 words, with native speakers knowing up to 20,000 words. While most of these words are common and well-known, there are also many words that are less familiar and can be difficult to understand. For students learning English as a second or foreign language, these unfamiliar words can be a barrier to understanding and communication. As such, it is important for teachers to provide support and instruction in order to help students develop a strong vocabulary. There are a number of different methods that can be used to teach vocabulary, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this essay, we will take a look at four different methods – predicting, cooperative learning, dictionary work, and interactive glossaries – and explore how they can be used effectively in the classroom.
2. Methods of teaching vocabulary to students
There are a number of different methods that can be used to teach vocabulary to students. In this section, we will take a look at four different methods – predicting, cooperative learning, dictionary work, and interactive glossaries – and explore how they can be used effectively in the classroom.
2. 1 Predicting
Predicting is a method in which learners try to guess the meaning of an unfamiliar word based on the context in which it is used. This can be done by looking at the words around the target word, using prior knowledge about the topic, or by making guesses based on the word’s spelling or sound. Predicting is an effective way to help learners engage with new vocabulary and can be used with both written and spoken text. It is important to note, however, that learners will not always be able to correctly predict the meaning of a word and it is important to provide guidance and feedback as needed.
2. 2 Cooperative learning
Cooperative learning is an instructional method in which learners work together in small groups to complete a task or activity. This type of learning has a number of benefits, including promoting communication and collaboration between learners, encouraging active engagement with material, and providing opportunities for different types of learners to support one another. Cooperative learning activities can be adapted to any level of language proficiency and can be used to teach vocabulary through tasks such as pair or group discussions, jigsaw activities, or role-plays.
2. 3 Dictionary work
Dictionary work is a method in which students consult dictionaries or other reference materials in order to learn the meanings of new words. This type of activity can be done individually, in pairs, or in small groups. It is important to provide guidance on how to use dictionaries effectively, such as how to use the alphabetical listings, what type of information is included in entries (e.g., pronunciation, part of speech), and how to find synonyms and related words. Online dictionaries can also be a useful tool for students as they often include additional features such as audio recordings of word pronunciations and usage examples. Dictionary work can be used as both a pre-reading/listening activity (to familiarize students with new vocabulary that they will encounter in the text) or as a post-reading/listening activity (to check understanding and consolidate new vocabulary).
2.4 Interactive glossary
An interactive glossary is an online tool that provides definitions and other information about words, usually in a specific subject area. Glossaries can be browsed alphabetically or by topic, and often include features such as audio recordings, usage examples, and links to related terms. Interactive glossaries can be a useful resource for students as they allow learners to explore new vocabulary at their own pace and in a way that is tailored to their needs and interests. In addition, many glossaries can be accessed from mobile devices, which makes them a convenient option for learners who are on the go.
Teaching vocabulary to students is an important part of language instruction. There are a number of different methods that can be used to teach vocabulary, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this essay, we have looked at four different methods – predicting, cooperative learning, dictionary work, and interactive glossaries – and explored how they can be used effectively in the classroom.