Vocabulary Teaching

Vocabulary is one of the most critical aspects of teaching and learning a foreign language. Also, vocabulary is the key to enrich foreign language/target language knowledge. The different perspectives of teaching vocabulary reveal the complexity of helping learners to succeed in adequately learning vocabulary. Therefore, this is a process that requires the help of a teacher. They are responsible for providing students with productive activities. In theory, to be useful in teaching, teachers should give an overview of student needs, characteristics, and culture. Vocabulary is an indispensable part of language learning and teaching. The generative of vocabulary is at the forefront of what teachers must have in their minds. At first, teaching new words to foreign language learners seems to be a straightforward proposition. You provide appropriate words and meanings much like electronic dictionaries and then continue. However, teachers are more than just a spoken dictionary. Sometimes, for teachers to know how to teach students vocabulary effectively may be very difficult, because each student has his/her style of learning new words. Even if students have the same language level, such as beginner, intermediate, or high-level language, they do not use the same learning strategies in the classroom or outside. Therefore, students need to improve their vocabulary. They need to know how to use it at the school and daily life.

Try It Free

Frequency is the Key Factor

There are many things to think about when teaching vocabulary. How many words should you try to explain in one lesson? How do you decide which new words you should inform your students? What criteria do you use to determine which words are most useful? How do you guide students to know which words are best for them? What is the importance of active and passive vocabulary? Why are frequency and coverage important? Why is register important? Do all students need to learn the same words? Should you consider teaching a few new words in class? Of course, there is no precise number here because each student is different, but the younger students can usually process 5-8 new words per day. At higher levels usually, more. What new words should you teach your students? Even if you think, you apparently cannot show every word in a language. There are as many words as you can know only a small part of them yourself. Reducing a large number of words to manage learning and choosing which words are one of the significant challenges in vocabulary teaching. What criteria do you use when choosing which words to teach? Word formation is an essential part of vocabulary teaching, such as the form of variation in the way of roots, the structure of adjectives and adverbial forms, and the addition of prefixes and suffixes. Learning word formation can improve students’ awareness of the language they use. Teach students to build word skills.

Try It Free

Frequency and Coverage

Select frequently used teaching words. Telling students how commonly a vocabulary is used or under what circumstances you may use them (official, informal, academic, verbal, or written, etc.) is invaluable, and they are usually not available from a dictionary. The most commonly used words will be the most valuable ones to learn. Teaching needs to be evaluated based on topics, functions, structures, teachability, needs, and wants.
Polysemy and word formation: In language, many words are polysemic words – they have multiple meanings – can be used as part of a noun, verb, or phrasal verb. It is essential to keep in mind the definition and usage of these alternatives when teaching new words. It seems logical to consider these polysemy words as a priority. The critical thing to remember when explaining the meaning is that the context will show the intent of various purposes and uses.
How does vocabulary guide other vocabularies? How do you point students to language mode? Another important aspect of the teaching vocabulary is “word grammar,” some words trigger/match specific grammar patterns.
Register: Registration is a specific language style that is related to a particular situation or context. For example, the way the doctor talks about the prognosis/diagnosis with the patient is different from the way the same doctor associates the same information with the colleague. Similarly, the way we speak in job interviews is different from the language style we use when talking to close friends. Students need to be aware of how certain words fit into different registers. When interpreting vocabulary, remember that the explanation needs to include the relevant context and usage.
Subject area words: You can select a topic, such as “Weather.” Subsequent words will include rain, sunshine, cold, windy and so on. The term is particularly useful if students are interested in a particular topic or if a subject area is directly related to their life or work. Not all vocabulary or subject areas are equally important to every student.

Passive versus Active Vocabulary

Passive and active vocabulary: New words enter the student’s passive vocabulary. Students may understand the meaning, especially in the specific circumstances in which they see the use of new words, but they still cannot use the word independently. To ensure that words are entered into the student’s active vocabulary, it is important to make periodic revisions in a meaningful situation. It is estimated that students need to go through 10-12 words before fully entering the active vocabulary. Vocabulary, like grammar, is learned through use. Therefore, it is essential for students to use new vocabulary in the classroom. The memory of words by students is related to the extent to which they use words, so the more opportunities a student can use words in a task – find opposites, transitions, etc. – they will remember how effective they are. Similarly, if we let students introduce new words, they will recognize that the better. Discovery technology allows students to discover the meaning of words on their own and is more effective than standard teachers in introducing new words.

Vocabulary Testing

There are several forms of vocabulary testing. Like all skills, diversity in the classroom is better. Examples include multiple choice questions, matching (opposing/supplementing), odd numbers, writing sentences, dictation, close/gap-fill (with and without vocabulary), and completion of sentences.

In class, teachers are still at the core of sufficient access to new vocabulary. Each student is different, so their language learning needs and vocabulary requirements are also different. Let students write sentences using newly learned vocabulary. Students will practice these new words and thereby are likely to improve their writing. Let them choose what they are more interested in writing. As a teacher, you are communicating face to face with students. You have professional knowledge of who the student is and what they may learn without any dictionary or program.