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Teaching Vocabulary. Methodology L7 Lecture 2. Teaching vocabulary. 'Vocabulary' is a collective noun referring to words. In Arabic, we can talk about 'a vocabulary i.e.( one vocabulary item or / mufrada / ). In English , we should say ' a vocabulary item.

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teaching vocabulary

Teaching Vocabulary

Methodology L7

Lecture 2

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

teaching vocabulary1
Teaching vocabulary

'Vocabulary' is a collective noun referring to words. In Arabic, we can talk about 'a vocabulary i.e.( one vocabulary item or /mufrada/ ). In English , we should say ' a vocabulary item.

  • It is sometimes said that students are interested in learning as many vocabulary items as they can. They compete on knowing unfamiliar words. Many Ss are reported to learn words from dictionaries.
  • keeping of well-organized vocabulary notebooks
  • The system for organizing the notebooks should be left to the individual student

- What do you think about learning a list of words???????

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

teaching vocabulary2
Teaching vocabulary
  • Some assumptions about vocabulary teaching
  • Vocabulary development will have to be given much more prominence in language teaching than it now gets
  • The assumption that learners must somehow learn vocabulary but teachers should not really try to teach it should be changed
  • Teachers also need to encourage their students to take more responsibility for developing their own vocabulary
  • Grammar Translation Method emphasizes the learning of grammar rules and structures not vocabulary learning
  • Many English language teachers like to stress grammar over vocabulary because grammar is a finite system,

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

teaching vocabulary cont
Teaching vocabulary cont.

For teaching and learning purposes, vocabulary is divided into two sorts:

  • Are you going to teach all new vocabulary the same way???????

A- Passive vocabulary. It includes words that Ss need to understand when they encounter them during reading or listening i.e. when they listen to others saying them or when they come across them during reading. This sort of vocabulary is sometimes called 'receptive vocabulary since Ss use it for 'decoding' the message.

b- Active vocabulary. It refers to those words that Ss need not only to understand an oral or a written message but also to send an oral or a written message. Ss use active vocabulary items to produce messages. Hence it is sometimes called 'productive' vocabulary.

Students need not only to know active vocabulary but also to be able to use them in their language production

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

techniques for teaching a new vocabulary item a new word
Techniques for teaching a new vocabulary item (a new word)

There are three different techniques for teaching a new vocabulary item (a new word):

I- Using visual aids

2-Using verbal contexts

3- Using translation

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

i using visual aids
I-Using visual aids

Teacher uses one of the following eye-oriented devices:

= Real objects

= Pictures

Teachers are advised to develop their files of pictures. They can have cut-outs from newspapers, magazines, and textbooks. What they do not need today may be needed one day in the future. Teacher can organize the pictures in the file in categories. For example category (1) is for animals, category (2) is for places ,and category (3) is for jobs and so on.

= Maps and stamps can be used to present a lot of vocabulary items, such as nationalities, languages and countries.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

using visual aids cont
Using visual aids cont.

= Blackboard drawings: T can use simple drawings to present the meanings of new words. T is not expected to be an artist, so only sketchy lines can give the meaning. For example, the words 'tree', "fish' and 'car' can be easily drawn on the BB.

= Actions and facial expression : T can act out some verbs in class to present their meanings. If T feels shy, a student can act out the verbs instead. Verbs like 'jump' and drink' can be presented through actions. Verb like 'smile' can be presented through facial expressions

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

using visual aids cont1
Using visual aids cont.

= Wall-charts and picture cards

Wall-charts are large pieces of hard paper with illustrations, announcements, pictures, tables or model sentences. They can be bought ready-made at the bookstores or made by teachers or students. A wall-chart can be used to present more than one word, especially if the words belong to one category.

= Picture cards are either bought ready-made or drawn by T or Ss. When drawn by T or Ss, picture cards should be of standard size i.e. 10 by 15 cms.1

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

2 using verbal contexts
2- Using verbal contexts

A verbal context may be a phrase , a sentence or a number of sentences. T can use one of the following verbal contexts:

a- Examples. Examples can be either authentic i.e.,. related to facts actually known about Ss, their families, the community or life as a whole. Examples may also be imaginary i.e. T and Ss invent meanings for the sake of word practice.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

using verbal contexts cont
Using verbal contexts cont.

B- Synonyms i.e. words of the same meaning. For example, if the word 'glad' is familiar to Ss, for teaching the word 'pleased' T may say." pleased means glad". In fact, many linguists will argue that that are no two words that are identical in meaning. In other words, true synonyms do not exist in any language. The reason behind that assumption is that words are created to help man express a certain meaning. Once this need is satisfied, man will not think of another word to express the same meaning. This idea seems scientifically correct. So what we may have are just words that have 'approximately' similar meanings

C -Antonyms i.e. words that have opposite meanings For example, if Ss already know the word ' pleased', the teacher may teach the word ' angry' by saying ," 'angry' means 'not pleased'".

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

3 using translation
3- Using translation

T can resort to translation if s/he thinks that no other technique will work. Translation is not recommended because, although it is the shortest way for presenting the meaning, it does not present how the word is used in a sentence. The problem is that once the student has known the meaning, S loses any incentive to see how the word functions in a context. Moreover, it is sometimes impossible to find equivalents of English words in Arabic.

Translation is used for teaching abstract words that may not be understood through either visual elements or examples T gives the Arabic equivalent followed by an example. Ss repeat the example not the Arabic meaning. T should never translate full sentences. It is strange to find Ss' textbooks stained with translation not only of full sentences but also of whole paragraphs.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

using translation cont
Using translation cont.

Teacher should encourage Ss to use dictionaries from the very beginning. Children's picture dictionaries are available. Most common available text books give Ss practice in using picture dictionaries. T also should encourage Ss to guess the meaning from the context.

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

steps for teaching a new vocabulary item
Steps for teaching a new vocabulary item
  • Presentation- Drill - Practice

1- T says the word three times while Ss listen.

2- T presents the meaning using any of the above mentioned techniques.

3- Ss repeat after the teacher in chorus, in groups and individually .

4- T uses the word in a sentence.

5- Ss repeat the sentence individually.

6- T writes the word on the bb and reads it.

7- Ss write the word in their copybooks.

8- T asks questions to check for comprehension. Questions may be personal and/or general.

9- T may give extensive word practice by using word expansion" T gives Ss one word (usually reflecting a concept ). Then T asks them to brainstorm i.e., remember as quickly as possible other words connected with it.Vocabulary building

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz

steps for teaching a new vocabulary item cont
Steps for teaching a new vocabulary item cont.


T School

Sl teachers

S2 class

S3 homework

S4 lessons

S5 exams

S6 holiday etc.

This process is sometimes referred to as 'semantic mapping' i.e. outlining all the ideas related to a certain concept. In addition to the concept 'school' that is mentioned above, another example is the concept of the "farm'. Words that are related to it and that can form a semantic map for 'farm' are : crop, water, pump, canal, animals, harvest, birds etc.

The end

Dr. Hanaa El-Baz