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中学英语教学法 Unit 7 Teaching Vocabulary. 主讲教师:陈道明 (华南师范大学外文学院). Unit 7 Teaching Vocabulary. Issues for discussion Assumptions about vocabulary and vocabulary building Methods for presenting new vocabulary items Ways to consolidate vocabulary

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中学英语教学法 Unit 7 Teaching Vocabulary

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unit 7 teaching vocabulary

中学英语教学法Unit 7 Teaching Vocabulary



unit 7 teaching vocabulary2
Unit 7 Teaching Vocabulary

Issues for discussion

  • Assumptions about vocabulary and vocabulary building
  • Methods for presenting new vocabulary items
  • Ways to consolidate vocabulary
  • Ways to help students develop vocabulary building strategies
Vocabulary teaching is often integrated with the teaching of reading.

(And maybe with that of listening? And …?)

7 1 vocabulary and vocabulary building pp 71 72
7.1 Vocabulary and vocabulary building (pp. 71-72)
  • The role of vocabulary in language teaching seems to have received more consistent understanding than that of grammar.
  • However, the uncertainty still remains regarding:
What constitute a vocabulary item;
  • Which vocabulary items should be taught and learned;
  • How vocabulary can be taught and learned most effectively.
People have different understandings of:
  • What a vocabulary item is;
  • How an item can be learned and consolidate;
  • Which items should be learned;
  • To what extent the items should be learned and practised. (p. 72)
7 2 presenting new words pp 72 74
7.2 Presenting new words (pp. 72-74)

Different teachers have different ways to present new words.

Some suggestions:

  • Provide creative examples.
  • Elicit meaning from the students before telling them.
  • Use related words such as synonyms, antonyms etc. to show the meaning.
  • Think about how to check students’ understanding.
  • Relate the new word(s) to real life context(s).
  • Predict possible misunderstanding or confusion.
a comparison between 2 teachers
A comparison between 2 teachers

Teacher A:

  • wrote “grumble” on the blackboard;
  • said “grumble means to complain about someone or something in an annoyed way”;
  • translated the word into the students’ native language;
  • gave more examples (sentences) for the students to translate into their native language.
Teacher B:
  • Said “some people grumble about everything. For example, they grumbled about the weather. If it is sunny, they say it is too hot. If it is cool, they say it is too cold. They are never happy with the weather. They always grumble about the weather”.
  • Then set out to check the students’ understanding by asking “So what does ‘grumble’ mean?”
some more suggested ways
Some more suggested ways
  • Use pictures, diagrams and maps to show the meaning;
  • Use realia (plural of realis);
  • Use pantomimes or actions;
  • Use lexical sets;

e.g. cook, fry, boil, bake, grill, roast

  • Translate and exemplify, esp. with technical or abstract words;
  • Use word formation rules and common affixes.

e.g. deduction, induction

7 3 consolidating vocabulary
7.3 Consolidating vocabulary
  • Since learning is subject to forgetting, it is normal that we hear students complain that they keep learning and forgetting, especially when they do not understand the meaning of the vocabulary item.
  • When students study vocabulary individually, very often it is rote learning.
Group learning through various activities and under the teacher’s supervision can be more fun and effective.

Some vocabulary consolidation activities:

Labelling. Use pictures. Write down the names.
  • Spotting the differences. Use pair work and pictures.


Describing and drawing. Use pair work. One describes while the other draws.
  • Playing a game. Show the students some words/objects, and then ask: “What did you see just now?”
Using word series. e.g. Example: Cutlery: knife, fork, spoon

Transport:,, ;

Vehicles: ,, ;

Furniture: ,, ;

Buildings:,, ;

Word bingo.

e.g. Suppose you have learned the following words that are related to shopping:

shopper, customer, seller, sale, shop, store, market, supermarket, discount, goods, price, sell, bargain, buy, pay, receipt

Now make a table of 9 blocks. Write 9 words of shopping in the table, then listen to me. When you hear the word that you have written, cross it out in your table. e.g.:
Now make a table of 9 blocks. Write 9 words of shopping in the table, then listen to me. When you hear the word that you have written, cross it out in your table. e.g.:
If you have crossed out all the 9 words in your table, say “Bingo!” If you are the first one to say “Bingo!” in your group, you are the winner.
Word association. The teacher says “travelling”, and then the students write some words connected with travelling.
  • Odd man out. e.g.

cheese, eggs, oranges, bread, soap, meat

  • Synonyms and antonyms. e.g.
Using word net-worktoothpaste, TV, alarm clock, stove, video, towel, cupboard, sofa, dressing table, wash-basin, slippers, mirror, shower
7 4 developing vocabulary building strategies
7.4 Developing vocabulary building strategies

Vocabulary building strategies are very important outside the class.

Review regularly.

guess meaning from context e g
Guess meaning from context. e.g.:
  • The captain asked the seamen to throw the anchor
  • Let’s synchronize our watch so that we can start the game at exactly the same time.
  • Susan went to the shop and bought some bananas, mangoes, and chirimoyas.
Encourage Ss to use vocabulary learned.

Students should be encouraged to use vocabulary items in real language use. Successful attempts at word use definitely help vocabulary consolidation.

how do we teach the new words e g 20 new words in a unit of a textbook
How do we teach the new words, e.g., 20 new words, in a unit of a textbook?
  • Do we teach all the 20 word at a time in an isolated way, i.e., without context? or:
  • Do we use context and allow the new words to occur in a natural way?
a possible way
A possible way
  • Before reading the text:

T: We are going to read a story about Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa. Which of the following words do you think may be used in the story?

prison, rights, violence, lawyer, youth, league, position, matter, fact, president;

vote, accept; continue

black, equal, poor, young, wrong, worried

Make a guess.

While reading the text:

The students can guess the meaning of some new words from the context.

  • After reading the text:

The teacher can ask the students which words in the text they don’t know, and help them to know the meaning of the words, and if necessary the teacher can translate the words into Chinese.


Two problems in vocabulary learning:

  • Students treat vocabulary items indiscriminately, or without context.
  • Many students learn vocabulary in ineffective ways such as rote learning.
The teacher should help the students to use the context in vocabulary learning.
  • Besides, the teacher should also help the students to develop vocabulary building strategies.
end of unit 7

End of Unit 7

Thank you!