Teaching Vocabulary and Ways to Retain It Khmelnytskyi National University February 21, 2012 Carol A. Haddaway, Sr. English Language Fellow, Ukraine “Vocabulary forms the biggest part of the meaning of any language, and vocabulary is the biggest problem for most learners” (McCarthy as cited in Fan. 2003, p. 222). “In communication, vocabulary is often more important then grammar” (Davies, 2000, p.59). Learning new words and how to use them is not a simple matter and can be quite challenging but working with words can and should be enjoyable and fun for learners (Davies, 2000). Outline What is Vocabulary A balanced vocabulary program How to teach vocabulary Some teaching techniques Vocabulary development strategies Academic words What is Vocabulary? Words/items (mother-in-law, post office, ice cream) Word families (base words and their derived forms) Phrasal verbs child, children, childhood, childish; teach, teacher, teaching, taught ◦ take away, put on, figure out, look up, pick up Collocation ◦ digital photograph, hot summer Idioms ◦ call it a day, hot under the collar, cold shoulder, hit the road running, piece of cake What does it mean to “Know” a word ? Layers of Word Knowledge Examples Meaning Denotation Connotation Degree (“strength” of a word) Dictionary e.g. dog - domestic animal ‘dog’ – to British or Arabic people The conflict annihilated /destroyed/damaged. the city. Collocation Fixed phrases (“word partners”) forth and back; tall, handsome, and dark Grammar, Spelling (look) Pronunciation (sound) Verbs Nouns Adj. or verbs with prepositions Think, thought Mouse, mice, information, advice Responsible for, remind someone of Word Parts Prefixes/suffixes – sub, un, able Substandard, ungrateful Appropriate Forms Formal/informal Direct/euphemistic Weep or cry, variant/variety, dinner I heard that your uncle died/passed away What Vocabulary Should We Teach? Vocabulary Items that are: Frequent (West General Service List – first 2000 head words of English) Important (Academic Word List – 570 word families) Needed for Classroom Tasks & Activities Regular (common patterns or features) Easy to learn (cognates) Must consider level & needs/interests of learners Must answer students’ vocabulary questions (Richards, Nation, Genesee) How Should We Divide Our Time in Teaching Vocabulary? Teach each of these for about the same amount (25%) of time: (Nunan, 2004. Online course on Teaching Vocabulary Learning from Input (L, R) The content has a message that students want to focus on. listening to a story, having a conversation, following instructions, extensive reading, watching TV The man and the mango tree Learning from Output (S, W) Opportunity to use the words Repetition Attention to vocabulary, accuracy, and appropriateness. Focus on communicating messages Say/shout the word firstPlaying Cards Turn the card over and the first player to say/shout the corresponding word collects that card PLAYING CARDS OUTPUT FORUM VOL 48/4 2010, P. 28 Language-Focused (Deliberate) Learning Looking for patterns, dictionary work Vocabulary strategies Word cards Intensive reading ◦ Focus on vocabulary and aspects of grammar and discourse features, while learner get to practice language-learning strategies. Fluency (speed + skill) All 4 skills Use known words & grammar Encourage lots of use Time pressure to perform faster Focus on communicating a message as they'd have to in real life, Tell ------ - Dice game 4/3/2 Sit in groups of 4 Role the dice. The highest number starts Take turns asking each other questions. e.g. you roll 6, the person to your left says, “tell me 6 things about yourself” Then person who asked the question rolls the dice and continues like this. VOCABULARY DICE GAME – FLUENCY Vocab Dice Game - examples English words 1 thing about yourself 2 things about your family 3 things about your best friend 4 things about your hobbies 5 things you wish you had 6 of your favorite movies 4 things about money, food, restaurants, things you like to do Adjectives that describe you Your favorite website Reasons why you like Facebook How you plan to make money Favorite childhood memories What are you good at How Should We Teach Vocabulary? Focus on important words General Service List, Academic Word List Give simple, clear explanations & translation as needed Use concept-checking questions to check meaning Provide repetition over time Teaching Problem (1) Teacher: The new word is important. The stress is on the second syllable. OK, repeat – important Silence Learner: What means? Teacher: OK – just repeat – important appraisal (Thaine, 2010) Teaching Problem (2) Teacher: OK, our 12th new word for today: who knows what we call someone whose job it is to take care of a building? Teaching Problem (3) Teacher: So here on the board is the new word I’ve written up – wallet. So what does it mean? leverage The player's popularity has given him a great deal of leverage with the owners of the team. Teaching Problem (4) Teacher: Right, the word is jump. For example: He likes to jump. Foliage The foliage was think and I couldn’t see the sun. Teaching Problem (5) ‘Sissors’. Does everyone understand the meaning of this word? (Silence) Teacher: Do you understand? Anya? Learner:Yes. peripheral SOME TEACHING TECHNIQUES The Universal Declaration of Human Rights IDENTIFYING WORDS WE KNOW Lexical Sets A cluster or group of related words Words can be related in several ways By topic: furniture, clothes, family relationships In pairs – opposites: hot/cold, old/new In pairs – synonyms: slip/slide, booklet/brochure By superordinate: FRUIT Hyponym of FRUIT: orange, apple, banana, kiwi Word families: paint, painter, painting Things that are cold Things that are boring Opposites Example: hot/cold old/new Word families KNOW: knowledge, knowing, known, knowledgeable ACCURATE FRIEND POLITE HAPPY Adjectives beautiful Phrasal verbs get up Idioms piece of cake brainstorm Why are lexical sets important? We probably don’t store words in our brain in alphabetical order like a dictionary does. Memory: We apparently store words in or brain in groups of related words (or lexical sets) If a new word can be “hooked’ to words which are already stored, it might be easier to remember it Word Associations Cough Grass Red Salt Puppy coffee Blue Pepper Tea Kitten Sneeze Green Connect the matching words Collocations – words that cooccur with high frequency Grammatical Reason for Account for Rely on By accident In retrospect Lexical Spend money Inflict a wound Dense fog Deeply absorbed Dead fatigued? Thematically related VOCABULARY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES Extensive ((joyful) reading Read constantly! The more you see new words used in context, the more you will be able to recognize, spell and use them. Is one way to become familiar with lowfrequency words Using Context To guess words in context, one must know 95% of the words in the text, i.e. 19 out of 20 words. Knowing 98% (one unknown word in 50) is considered an “independent reading level” Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. (Laufer, 1989; Nation & Waring, 1997) Prefixes and Root words Many academic words have Latin or Greek roots so if you understand the prefix and root meaning, you can often guess the word meaning. For example: Sub = under Marine = water Submarine = a boat that can dive under the ocean Word Building Selective Dictionary Use Do I need the word? Can I understand the text without it? Is it a word I may find valuable later? 2. Does the context help? 3. Do the word parts help? 4. Does it help to pronounce it? Does it sound like a word that I know? 1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com http://www.dictionary.com Academic Vocabulary Academic vocabulary must be taught simply because it does not occur in daily interactions and conversational exchanges Academic Word List (most frequent university academic words across several disciplines) http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/resources/academicwordlis t/ Practice with Academic Words Accurate Attach Analyze Conclude Reluctant Define Display Economy Emphasis Estimate Injure Predict Rational Relax Relevant Find your match Effective Strategies SPACED REPETITION ◦ Review words learned 2 weeks ago, 1 week ago, 2 days ago, yesterday REVIEW REVIEW FLASHCARDS FLASHCARDS FLASHCARDS REVIEW Convincing students to be independent learners, responsible for their own vocabulary learning represents the single most effective teaching strategy. (Hinkle, Tesol 2009) VOCABULARY WEBSITES Vocabulary Activities Learning vocabulary can be fun http://www.vocabulary.co.il/ 200 vocabulary exercises http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/200/vocab/index.htm Interactive vocabulary games http://pbskids.org/arthur/games/unmatching/index.html http://esl.fis.edu/vocab/index-fp.htm Interactive puzzles http://vlc.polyu.edu.hk/XWord/xword.htm Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/ VOCABULARY ACTIVITIES Vocabulary quizzes/activities http://www.geocities.com/pccprep/qz.htm#vocab Interactive vocabulary matching exercises http://www.eslbears.homestead.com/matching.html Vocabulary and grammar activities http://english-zone.com/index.php Vocabulary and other activities for young learners http://www.abcteach.com/sitemap.htm Vocabulary website from Ohio University http://www.ohiou.edu/esl/english/vocabulary.html Word Lists & Frequency Lists General Service Word List (most frequent 2000+ words) http://jbauman.com/aboutgsl.html Academic Word List (most frequent university academic words across several disciplines) www.vuw.ac.nz/lals/research/awl/ http://www.uefap.com/vocab/select/awl.htm (Coxhead’s Academic Word List) Refererences Crandall, J. & Bickel, B. What’s in a Word? The Importance of Vocabulary & Some Ways to Teach It presentation (UMBC) Davies, P. & Pearse, E. (2006). Success in English Teaching. Oxford. Decarrico, J.S. (2001) Vocabulary Learning and Teaching. In Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language, 3rd ed., edited by M. Celce-Murcia. Heinle. Hinkle, E. Teaching Academic Vocabulary and Helping Students Retain It. TESOL 2009, Denver, CO. Nation, P. (2005). Teaching Vocabulary. Asian ELT Journal Nunan, D. (2003). Practical English Language Teaching. McGraw Hill. Thaine, C. (2010). Teacher Training Essentials. Cambridge Zimmerman, C. (2009). Word Knowledge. Oxford. Zimmerman, C. (2011). Academic Vocabulary and School Success presented at the 2011 TESOL Academy.