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Words! Words! Words!

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Words! Words! Words!

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  1. Words! Words! Words! Alan Marsh MATEFL 2013

  2. Today’s agenda Numbers and words Er …….? Or Is this the most useful lesson I’ve ever taught?

  3. Inspirational dictation conveyed without little very vocabulary be grammar nothing can without conveyed be can

  4. A famous quote …… “Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed”. (Wilkins 1972)

  5. English words and numbers 50,000 20,000 Half a million 2,000 7,500

  6. How many words …? • 1 How many words are there in English? • 2 How many words does an educated native speaker of English understand? • 3 How many words does an educated native speaker of English have as part of their active vocabulary • 4 How many words does a speaker of English need to be able to take part in everyday conversation? • 5 How many words are defined in an Advanced Learner’s Dictionary? • 6 How many words does a reader of English need to understand most texts?

  7. 1 How many words are there in English? • Half a million? • 2 How many words does an educated native speaker of English understand? • 50,000? • 3 How many words does an educated native speaker of English have as part of their active vocabulary • 20,000? • 4 How many words does a speaker of English need to be able to take part in everyday conversation? • About 2000 • 5 How many words are defined in an Advanced Learner’s Dictionary? • Macmillan’ Advanced Learner’s Dictionary: 7500 key words • 6 How many words does a reader of English need to understand most texts?

  8. How many words does a reader of English need to understand most texts? • Top 2,000 words = 83% of most texts i.e. 1 out of 5 will be unfamiliar • Top 6,000 words = 90%, which means 1 word out of 10 will be unfamiliar to you • Top 10,000 words = 95% i.e. only 1 word out of 20 will be unfamiliar to you - pretty good if you need to work words out from context. • Macmillan Advanced Learner’s dictionary identifies 7500 key words that advanced learners should know

  9. The top 2000 work the hardest! • Enable learners to speak, read, write and listen at Elementary (A1) level about everyday subjects (+ some subject specific vocabulary) • Since they’re so frequent, they can help learners to work out meanings, and to ask for help in real situations • Learners’ dictionaries typically use 2000-2500 words as their ‘defining vocabulary’

  10. Mmmm ….. Is there a problem? • How many new words do you teach every lesson? • How many times do learners need to recall and revise words before they’re permanently stored? • How many lessons of English do learners have? • How long do they need in order to permanently store (and be able to recall) 10,000 words? • Is there a problem here?

  11. What does ‘knowing a word’ mean?

  12. How can we help? • Help them to ….Notice • Help them to …Record and Store • Help them to …Retrieve and Use • Help them to …Extend and Enrich • Introduce them to learn…Words for getting around words

  13. Going blank

  14. Riding to the rescue …..

  15. Learner Training Circumlocution and paraphrasing strategies

  16. How to ‘switch on the light’

  17. CROSSWORD RACE

  18. The answers! • 3A stale 10A fall asleep 4D lose • 9D improbable 8A engine 5D tears • 16D toothpaste 11A rise 20A error • 7D delete 14A exhausted • 15A look it up 2D catch up • 12D unemployed 17A coach 19A shark • 1D vehicle 10D fuel 18A vet 13D delicatessen 6D broken up

  19. Do you remember the clues? • a. It’s the _____ _____ … fresh/wake up/win/probable • b. It’s ______ _____ _____… go up/mistake • It _______ _____ _____ as cancel • c. It’s a _____ _____ means of transport/fish • d. It’s _____ _____ _____ _____ .. coal, oil, gas etc. / car, bus, van, etc. • e. It’s the person _____ …. (vet) • It’s the place _____ … (delicatessen) • f. It’s _____ you … (engine) • It’s _____ _____ _____ you _____ for _____ … (toothpaste) • It’s _____ … (tears) • g. It’s _____ you _____ _____ you … (unemployed) • It’s _____ you _____ _____ you … (look it up / catch up) • It’s _____ you _____ _____ you … (exhausted)

  20. Paraphrasing and circumlocution • It’s a synonym/another word for …. • It’s the opposite of ….. • It’s a kind/type/sort of .. • It’s the general word for …, …., and … • It’s the thing/stuff you use when you/to … • It’s the place where …. • It’s a/the person who … • It’s how you (feel) when …. • It’s what you (do) when you/to …… • An example sentence with a context

  21. Useful phrases in Italian • Come si dice ..? • E un’altra parola che vuol dire ….. • E un sinonomo di ... • Si dice cosi quando si .... • E il contrario di …. • E un tipo di ..... E una specie di ... • E una cosa che si usa quando /per

  22. A last couple of thoughts …..

  23. Bricks and mortar …..

  24. glimpse exciting killer professor • rush experience enigma protection • attractive factor leader record • awful fair-haired lovely rugged • beautiful fair-skinned lover scenic • quirky whisper magnificent gutted • cute fascinating dangerous encounter • flight attendant moving stunning die • gang newscaster sunburnt doctor good-looking suntanned elegant murder • dramatic handsome pig rescue

  25. Words we like …. • mellifluous • serendipity • flabbergasted • helter-skelter • wishy-washy • And in Maltese …. • sahansitra

  26. Engagement … and marry the words • Choose two you like… and say why • Connect three in a sentence • Write a newspaper headline • Make up a story • Make up a long sentence • And now ….. • How many can you remember?

  27. Some websites for starters … • www.teachingenglish.org British Council • www.onestopenglish.com Macmillan • www.ELTCommunity.com Pearson Longman • www.matefl.org many more links • www.mes-english.comflashcards • www.learningenglish.comfor your learners • www.etprofessional.compractical magazine • ??????????

  28. Books I’ve found very useful • Vocabulary In Use, CUP: the whole series • (including Collocations In Use, Phrasal Verbs In Use, etc.) • S. Thornbury How To Teach Vocabulary(Longman) • S. Redman and R. Ellis A Way With Words(1-3) • M.McCarthy, A. O’Keefe, S. Walsh Vocabulary Matrix, Heinle Cengage • J. Scrivener Learning Teaching, Macmillan • S. Thornbury, An A-Z of ELT, Macmillan • J. Richards, J. Platt, H. Platt Dictionary of Language Teaching & Applied Linguistics,Longman • All the Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Cambridge, Macmillan, Oxford, and Collins Cobuild

  29. alanmarshinmalta@gmail.com • 9942 8447 • And ………. • Thank you!