Presentation on theme: "Putting Vocabulary in Context Inha TESOL 2008. Our Goals Why do we want to put vocabulary in context anyways? Task: discuss with a partner what some goals."— Presentation transcript:
Putting Vocabulary in Context Inha TESOL 2008
Our Goals Why do we want to put vocabulary in context anyways? Task: discuss with a partner what some goals of putting vocabulary in context might be.
Moving Away from Grammar Translation. (1) Increase the amount of comprehensible input students receive. At the same time, we want to decrease the amount of time talking about English in Korean and increase the amount of time talking in English.
Developing Skills in Students (2) We want to develop skills in our students. These skills are more important in the long run than learning vocabulary items. Understanding meaning from context is a skill. If we don’t have students practice this skill, how will they acquire it?
Learner Independence (3) We want to decrease student reliance on using Korean to understand English. When students travel abroad or talk to foreigners, we want them to be able to get the information they need even if Korean language resources are not available.
Learning Vocabulary Use and Usage (4) Most importantly, vocabulary should never be taught in isolation as that leads to misapplications of vocabulary or strange instances of usage. When vocabulary is taught in context, students learn usage including commonly occurring collocations. Korean students tend to put English words into Korean ‘grammar’ or choose words that collocate well in Korean, but don’t collocate well in English.
An Experiment I am going to give you a list of words. Probably you don’t know any of these words. Working with a partner, your task is to try to guess what each word means based on the context.
Here we go: The plane was sherted due to the weather so we waited at the airport for an extra three hours before Krum finally arrived. What does sherted mean?
Example 2 Scientists gave the people of Gormes no warning. When the fabrook struck, over 90% of the buildings collapsed. Water pipes were broken, limiting the supply of fresh water for the survivors. As well, the roads into Gormes were cracked and damaged so rescue workers could not get into the town to deliver aid. What is a fabrook?
Example 3 When Benny heard the news, he was fumurious. He started swearing at people around him and even threw his cup against the wall. What does fumurious mean?
Example 4 When I arrived home the house was blecked out of marn. There were dishes piled up in the sink, empty food containers on the counter, clothes all over the floor, and books stacked on chairs and tables. What does the expression blecked out of marn mean?
Example 5 When the fire alarm rang, Sally didn’t huffiddle. Instead she kept her cool and calmly led her children out the fire escape. What does huffiddle mean?
Example 6 Kevin, who had already put off his trip twice, did not want to keardope the trip again so he decided to go in spite of the rain. What does keardope mean?
Principles of Designing Context The above examples illustrate three guidelines for putting vocabulary items in context. Working with your partner can you come up with some guidelines of your own before we go over the guidelines below?
Guideline 1 Use commonly occurring causes and effects that are likely to be well-known to help students understand either the cause or the effect/consequence. (Target vocabulary in red) Ex) The flight was cancelled due to the storm. We had to take another flight the next day. Flights being cancelled is a common consequence of stormy weather.
Guideline 2 Use clear examples of the vocabulary item to give it context. Ex) However, the company treated her poorly, putting her on hold when she called and refusing to help her in any way. “Putting a customer on hold” whenever they call and “refusing to help” the customers are examples of “treating poorly”
Guideline 3 Slip in a definition of the word in the context. Ex) Sarah felt she had no other options. So, as a last resort, she took the company to court to get her money back. “A last resort” can be defined as what you do when you “have no other options”.
Further Context You can add further context by creating a storyline and a visual presentation. Graphics and story will add context above and beyond isolated text.
Here is an example of a storyboard that was written for a list of vocabulary (in red). keep cool handle (a) problem resolution assertive stand (your) ground take action a last resort treat (someone) poorly
When Sarah’s roof began to leak, Ace construction company said they could handle the problem and repair the roof immediately.
A week after Sarah’s roof was fixed, it began to leak again, but Sarah didn’t get angry. Instead, she kept cool and politely asked the company to fix it.
However, the company treated her poorly, putting her on hold when she called and refusing to help her in any way.
So Sarah decided to take action and do something about her problem. The first thing she did was to go see the manager in person.
She also became more assertive. She demanded the company either fix her roof or give her a refund.
The company stood their ground. They refused to give her a refund or fix her roof even though she called them repeatedly.
Sarah felt she had no other options. So, as a last resort, she took the company to court to get her money back.
The court ordered the company to fix the roof and refund her money. Sarah was very happy with the resolution to the problem of her leaky roof.
A Last Word Finally, there will be times when students are not able to sift through the context to arrive at the meaning, but that is OK. They are developing their skills, which is more important in the long run. Process is as important as the results.