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Vocabulary Expansion: Going Beyond the Textbook Penny Ur ETAI 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Vocabulary Expansion: Going Beyond the Textbook Penny Ur ETAI 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vocabulary Expansion: Going Beyond the Textbook Penny Ur ETAI 2011

2 2 The textbook Essential because: Language syllabus Texts Activities Coverage of four skills Interest and motivation Cultural aspects

3 3 The textbook Even the best textbooks need supplementing because May not always be interesting enough May not be relevant to my class Some bits may be too difficult / easy May not provide enough vocabulary

4 4 Not enough vocabulary? Sheer quantity Words and chunks Selection

5 5 Quantity To read and understand a Bagrut-level text you need: 95%-98% comprehension between 5,000 – 8,000 word families Which means …

6 6 Some numbers: We teach English for about ten years About 35 weeks a year So … Each week between new words

7 7 Words and chunks This does not include added meanings for single words chunks (Martinez and Murphy, 2011)

8 8 Selection Students need the most useful and important items So we should try not to waste time on unimportant and (relatively) useless ones

9 9 Examples Rare items eraser purple toe gray Common items something need know feel

10 10 Frequency as a criterion for selection The main criterion Though not the only one! Easy to check out

11 11 An added complications! Books at the High School level may provide a lot of vocabulary through texts But… They may not give enough focused vocabulary work.

12 12 Need for focused vocabulary work Incidental learning of vocabulary through reading is not efficient (Laufer, 2003) You need to ‘notice’ (Schmidt, 1990) And engage with new items (And review… lots of times)

13 13 Bottom line We need to supplement the textbook with focused vocabulary expansion activities These need to be a regular feature of lessons

14 14 Vocabulary expansion activities Aspects of design Not too long and heavy: one to six new items at a time Easily prepared Interesting / fun / enjoyable

15 Some examples Teach new vocabulary based on …

16 16 1. Your own initiative ‘Word of the day’:  A new word or phrase you want to teach a proverb, an idiom, paired expressions  A new word or phrase a student wants to know

17 17 2. Items students already know Words they know  connections Words they know  opposites Association chain

18 18 Connections intelligent

19 19 Opposites know complain admit dream objective interesting reflect synonyms/

20 20 3. Words students teach each other ‘Show and tell’ ‘Experts’

21 21 Pass it round You can break an egg a cup a vase a bottle a leg a promise

22 22 Further ideas for ‘ pass it round ’ Elementary You can eat You can enjoy You can listen to You can hold You can sit on… More advanced You can suffer from You can allow You can organize You can book You can oppose…

23 23 And more … Adjectives (add nouns) a hard… (for example, question) a long… (for example, way) a bright… (for example, colour) Nouns (add adjectives) a/an … book (for example, interesting) a/an…animal (for example, dangerous) a/an…suggestion (for example, useful)

24 24 4. Items students discover themselves Dictionary: derivatives Thesaurus, internet or ‘Word’: synonyms Chunks and collocations What other meanings does it have?

25 25 Derivatives AdverbAdjectiveVerbNoun use useful useless usefully uselessly

26 26 Synonyms know complain admit dream objective interesting reflect

27 27 Collocations range chance officer honest enjoy

28 28 look it up! COCA COCA (range) ForbetterEnglish ForbetterEnglish (range)

29 29 What other meanings does it have? table blue run work train branch

30 30 Another part of speech? Objects with a function hammer nail spoon brake clip pin Applying a substance oil grease water sugar paper paint People and their functions nurse doctor guard boss pilot cook judge Containers bottle pocket can box shelf Parts of the body head hand elbow skin Techological functions google blog text photoshop chat twitter/tweet

31 31 Another part of speech: more advanced Objects with a function mask gear shovel motor thread Containers bin file crate slot drain People and their functions pioneer coach father mother author referee queen slave apprentice broker

32 32 Phrasal verbs Find a one-word verb that means the same as… Find a two-word verb that means the same as…

33 33 Examples back up support break down collapse come across encounter come together congregate consist of comprise get up give back give up, give in go away go back go down go up, let down make up pile up put off put out run away set up sort out, speak to take apart take away talk about throw away turn round wait for work together

34 34 Examples back up support break down collapse come across encounter come together congregate consist of comprise get up rise give back return give up, give in surrender go away depart go back return (intransitive) go down descend go up ascend, mount, let down disappoint make up compose pile up accumulate put off postpone put out extinguish run away flee set up establish sort out classify, solve speak to address take apart dismantle take away remove talk about discuss throw away discard turn round revolve wait for await work together collaborate

35 35 5. Items students create on their own Students are invited to make up their own new words  by combining two words to make a compound word  by adding a prefix or suffix

36 36 Prefixes and suffixes amoral automatic cyberspace non-existent subway telecommunications semi-final deforest prearrange upgrade monologue philanthropy antiseptic postdated counter-attack outplay overdo underline

37 37 To summarize: in teaching vocabulary we should Use the texbook as a basis, but add more! Base vocabulary expansion activities on…  Things you teach yourself (e.g. ‘Word of the day’)  Items the students already know (e.g. ‘Brainstorming’)  Items they teach each other (e.g. ‘Show and tell’)  Items they discover themselves (e.g. Collocations)  Items they create (e.g. Prefixes and suffixes)

38 38 References Laufer, B. (2003). Vocabulary acquisition in a second language: do learners really acquire most vocabulary by reading? Some empirical evidence. Canadian Modern Language Review, 59(4), Martinez, R., & Murphy, V.. (2011). Effect of Frequency and Idiomaticity on Second Language Reading Comprehension. TESOL Quarterly, 45 (2), Schmidt, R. (1990). The role of consciousness in SLL. Applied Linguistics, 11,

39 Thank you for listening and participating


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