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How To Teach Vocabulary

Updated on October 22, 2011

Appealing youthful brains is most successful when education is fun. Initiating fresh notions through fresh techniques represents and maintains concentration. Different activities used for teaching vocabulary can be a lot enjoyable for the learners. There is long journey with young ones to follow in future and for that they need to retain their knowledge of vocabulary that they learn.

There are four stages involved in obtaining new words.

Four Stages

The first stage is that the learner is going to notice the word with the help of instructor. That is an observation will be done by the brain of the language learner that something new have been introduced.

Second stage that comes up is that student would start to be familiar with the word. Now the instructor would help student out to start recognizing the word.

Third stage is when learner would start to recognize word on his own. This is when they would be able to analyze the word themselves and develop better understanding for it.

The fourth and last stage is when the learner would not only be capable to recognize the word in fact would also start to use and reproduce it in his conversation and use of language. This is the stage where there is successful transmission completed by the instructor to students towards learning a new word.

Making It Interesting

One thing that is very important for getting better results during teaching vocabulary is that learners should remain motivated. Vocabulary generally becomes boring for students as its difficult to bring in innovations, but it should be taught in as interesting way as possible like other subjects. Different types of exercises, activities and strategies could be used according to the different stages of vocabulary learning.

Tips For First Stage

As the first stage is to get the word notified to the learner so it is more of a visual involvement stage so, flashcards and pictures could work best for it.

Now this can be done by either showing just a word or by putting on a flashcard that have highlighted word meant to learn used in a sentence.

Tips for Second Stage

Now as second stage is of recognizing the word by the learner so for this stage there are numerous activities that could be planned by instructor. These activities could be like true/false given in reference to the targeted word.

Classify the words harmonizing. (This activity if used can provide with huge variety of categories of exercises used) Matching the word to its description, antonyms, adjectives and nouns, verbs and adverbs, word to the image, matching two words that go jointly, multiple choices or even drawing the word would work like anything.

Circle the word you listen to is also an effective activity especially for students at younger ages.

Tips For Third Stage

This is the stage of reproducing the word. Fourth stage and third stage as are almost similar to each other in practical so you can use same activities on both stages. At this stage dictations would work as now the learner have been introduced well with the word and moved ahead of recognizing stage also.

You can also carry out a question answer sessions with the limitation to use the word once at least in both questioning and answering so students would be well aware with the use of word.

Picture descriptions can also be done as use the particular targeted words while explaining any of the pictures so that learners may learn more extensive use of the word in different ways.

Imitating and miming the word would also be an interesting and thrilling activity for students. They would become active while trying to depict each word that they learnt through expressions and actions without pronouncing it.

Basic Strategy For All Activates

The basic strategy needed to be followed while planning and practicing any activity and while delivering to students that it should be creative and motivating. It should be interesting and as communicative as possible. This would not let the learners to lose their interest into learning more.

Considerations For a Teacher

There are few thing needed to be considered by the teacher while planning to make learners learn new words. First is that teacher should decide herself first that in one lesson or topic how many new words should be introduced. According to studies and researches five to seven words are perfect if introduced. 

There is no need to go for each and every drill and activity given in the lesson. This may stretch the time for teaching long and may make students feel bored. The selection of activity should depend over as to how useful activity is, is there capability in exercise to make students understand more about language or is there any way to make the exercise more interesting.

Give more time to listening and speaking this would develop your learners’ skills more. Let them work in pairs or small group so they learn more and more while conversing.

Here were some very authentic and practiced advises for all the instructors who are into making young English language learners learn more about language. Use these and become successful. See the rate of learning of your students increase.

Good Luck!!!


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    • htodd profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      Interesting post..

    • gramarye profile image


      11 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Excellent suggestions here. Well written hub.


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