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Vocabulary teaching.

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Presentation on theme: "Vocabulary teaching."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vocabulary teaching

2 General approaches that teachers and teaching materials can adopt
Traditional direct approach: Teach vocabulary items Indirect1, learner training approach: Teach conscious vocabulary-related strategies How to help a poor man? Indirect2, natural approach: Create opportunities for spontaneous acquisition via communicative tasks . The three hypotheses.

3 Direct teaching Selection and ordering Amount and rate Presentation
Practice Production Assessment TASK Which are in the teacher’s hands?

4 Selection and ordering… the vocab syllabus
Who does it? What criteria are relevant? TASK

5 Importance, aka utility
Frequency lists e.g. Ministry lists Other student needs Ease, aka learnability, teachability Interlingual, intralingual, extralingual Interest

6 Amount and rate What would be the ideal amount of vocabulary to be learnt overall in a course? What is a suitable rate per hour of new words? TASK






12 Presentation What actually is a pedagogically useful vocabulary item to present? Words? Word families? Lexical chunks aka lexical phrases, formulae, readymades…?

13 Beyond phrasal verbs (e. g. bring up), multiword compounds (e. g
Beyond phrasal verbs (e.g. bring up), multiword compounds (e.g. hard disk) and idiomatic phrases (e.g. pull someone’s leg) to: polyword at any rate, by and large, as well [= ‘also’] frame or slot the [adj.]-er the [adj]–er, as [adj]….as, so [adj]…that… , Little did…realize that… sentence head Could you....., God only knows wh-… sentence tail …, if you would., …and so on. cliché There's more than one way to skin a cat.

14 What is there to present about a lexical item?
..beyond the basic ‘form – one meaning’ link How can presentation be done? Traditional deductive presentation Inductive presentation

15 Deductive presentation
Three basic ways to present word meaning Extension to other aspects of words like collocation E.g. More Words You Need (Rudzka et al., 1985, MacMillan)

16 Inductive presentation, requiring learner strategies
To present word meaning Teacher provides a ‘pregnant context’ , e.g. a situation or story from which the meaning of the word can be easily guessed For other aspects of words like collocation, grammatical behaviour, stylistic value Students work on corpus concordance lines or statistics e.g. at

17 Practice… Production Any repetition / practice of vocab has some at least minimal value… but ….there are many types of vocab exercise/task Teacher needs to choose suitable ones in the light of what kind of work needs to be done on vocab that has been presented So what are the functions of exercises / practice?

18 Confirm that X has been correctly learnt
X = what the teacher presented about the lexical items Confirm that X has been correctly learnt Reinforce prior learning, i.e. aid memory of X Recycling, repetition Establishment of associations Deepening of processing Activation: automatise /proceduralise what has been learnt of X so that learners access it more fluently Activation: extend knowledge of the items beyond X Activation: turn passive/receptive/recognition mastery of X into active/production/recall ability

19 Recycling… or lack of it


21 Exercise types in P and W
Selective attention: Make students identify/notice wordform (e.g. underline the word wherever it occurs in the text) a Recognition: Make students show recognition/receptive knowledge of meaning (e.g. match word with picture) b Manipulation: make students show wordformation knowledge (e.g. change word from noun to adjective) Interpretation: make students show knowledge of collocation and syntactic properties (e.g. guess meaning from context, give grammatical function of word in text) Production: make students show recall/production word knowledge (e.g. open cloze) c

22 Communicative practice/production
Often seen as ultimate goal of vocab teaching ‘Deep end’ approach… reverse PPP Indirect 1 approach needed here

23 Indirect1 teaching Vocabulary related strategies potentially to teach
To help learner where (s)he does not know vocabulary, esp. in real communicative use: Coping Some of those involve learning: Discovery Some involve managing without the needed vocab To help learner remember vocabulary previously met/taught: Consolidation TASK… think of examples

24 Coping Consolidation Skip/avoid
Make do with existing L2 resources (and maybe Discover) Appeal (so Discover) Consolidation Self-selection and note keeping Repetition Association Integrative practice

25 What the teacher needs to check
What strategies do students already know from L1? What strategies have been already taught, maybe implicitly, through direct teaching? For more demanding strategies, check if students have the threshold language prof to be able to exploit them / transfer them from L1

26 Three general approaches:
Allow or encourage them (e.g. ‘Use your dictionary’, ‘Try guessing it’, ‘Why not put that in your vocab notebook?’) Teach them overtly as opportunities arise during a reading task, on specific instances Inductively: e.g. ‘What did/could you do here to get the meaning?’ Deductively: e.g. ‘Look at the phrase after the word and guess’ Teach them overtly and separately from reading task Inductively: e.g. ‘What do you do when you meet an unknown word?’, ‘What do you do to try to remember words?’ Deductively: e.g. ‘I am going to show you how to use your dictionary properly’. Note: examples used may be known words

27 After strategy teaching…
Implement ‘deep-end’ approach Indirect2 should work better now

28 Indirect2 teaching Incidental spontaneous learning in extensive communicative language use The three hypotheses claiming major sources of this Input (Krashen) Output (Swain) Interaction (Long)

29 What really occurs? Incidental learning/acquisition
..but is it unconscious/implicit? The need for noticing So consciousness is involved … but the teacher does not teach vocab or strategies in this approach/phase

30 Conditions the teacher needs to create
Interesting communication opportunities Motivated students ?Input modification Incidental learning may be planned to be Vocab acquisition tasks: required vocab at i+1… but not i+2 Vocab fluency tasks: required vocab at i or i-1 Strategy development tasks?

31 References Thornbury, S How to Teach Vocabulary. London: Longman. Gairns, R. and Redman, S Working with words: a guide to teaching and learning vocabulary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Carter, R. and McCarthy, M Vocabulary and language teaching. London: Longman. Sökmen, A ‘Current trends in teaching second language vocabulary.’ In Schmitt, N. and M. McCarthy (eds) Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press Hatch, E. and C. Brown Vocabulary, Semantics and Language Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (parts only) Nation, I.S.P Learning Vocabulary in another Language. Cambridge: Cambridge Applied Linguistics Series, CUP Read, J Assessing Vocabulary.

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