April 28, 2007

Teaching vocab

(Photo by seaworthy on Flickr).

I'm looking for vocab teaching activities. I really don't have time to make many materials, so I'm looking for stuff that's already out there.

I've insisted my students buy word-cards. I show them how I want them to use them, in class. I'm going to set a target for them of 20 new words per week, starting after the holiday (called Golden Week). I've been giving them breakdowns of the textbook units we're using (using VocabProfiler), showing them how the vocab breaks down into K-1, K-2, AWL and "OFF-LIST" types. We've covered some basic vocab info, so they now realize it makes sense to learn the most frequently used words first. They still only vaguely realize what this has to do with them ("doesn't the textbook, or the teacher choose those words for us?").

In class, I have them pick 20 words they don't know or are not sure of from the textbook, focussing on the first 1,000 most frequently used words (they have a copy of the VocabProfiler analysis in front of them). Using an example from the textbook, I point out how "new words" can (and should) include new meaning for words they already know. As several words that came up recently included words now used in Japanese, I pointed out that the meaning in Japanese of such words usually uses only one of several meanings of the original English word, and sometimes changes to a new meaning altogether, and therefore they should beware of "false friends".

I found this system called SAFMEDS useful for using word-cards.

1 comment:

LF said...

Here is an interesting online vocabulary development activity that I use with my students: