Saturday, 14 September 2013

How to reinforce student vocabulary skills

This school year I am determined to think more carefully about the ways how I teach vocabulary to my students, as this is one of their weakest skills. The results of the state exams regularly show that the lack of sufficient knowledge of vocabulary leads to making lots of mistakes and getting lower scores.

One of the most efficient ways to reinforce students' vocabulary skills is to use videos.

Below is a great video showing a method of building students' vocabulary by using special word cards. The video is taken from Teaching Channel which is a fantastic site for teacher professional development.

The next is a video which explains the most common mistakes learners make. The presenter on the video is a teacher but not the one standing in front of the classroom, so perhaps they will listen more carefully?
(I have removed the video as it was really slowing down my site but you can click on the link.)
The Most Common Mistakes in English

Another helpful video deals with the most common pronunciation mistakes. The humorous way of talking and the presenter's personality may appeal to the students and make them remember the most important points.
79 Common Mispronunciations

Besides videos, there is another simple way to learn the new words, i.e. flashcards.
There are numerous sites for creating interactive flashcards. The latest I have tried and used with my students is ExamTime flashcard builder. Below you can see a flashcard set Clothes: materials. Students learn at home, at their own pace returning to the hardest words until they have been memorized.

More resources:
Edutopia have published a great article giving 11 tips on teaching vocabulary.
On Edudemic you can find another great article with 4 activities to teach vocabulary.
Learn English is a marvellous website for learning vocabulary. Each topic comprises some theory and online practice.
The article Presenting Vocabulary published on website gives fantastic practical suggestions on teaching vocabulary.
Finally, read the post about 4 online vocabulary resources on WizIQ website.

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