Train your Students to Be a Good Vocabulary Learner

by Eva buyuksimkesyan / Feb 28, 2011 / 0 comments

Most of us complain that our students don’t learn words and of course we all know that without words the structure will be naked.

We need words to convey our message to others so we should train our learners to become good vocabulary learners from the very beginning of the learning process.

How can we do that?

First of all tell them that you are not a dictionary and they should have their own both monolingual and bilingual dictionaries. Bilingual dictionary to search a word that they don’t know, Monolingual dictionary to understand how that word is used in English. If they are lazy to use dictionaries, tell them to use a good online dictionary.

Tell them they should record vocabulary and when they record, they have to mention which part of speech it is, they may add the synonyms or antonyms and they should definitely write a sample sentence next to the definition to see how that word is used.

Tell them they should train themselves to guess meaning from the context. You may also prepare texts with handouts to encourage them to guess the word from the context. Most of the course books are designed with exercises to make students guess the word from the context. Tell your students that this is a very important skill.

You can give regular vocabulary quizzes to make your students learn because, unfortunately, we know that most of the powerful tool to make a student work is to grade their work.

Revise the vocabulary regularly in the classroom. Tell them to revise them at home. You can advise them to have two vocabulary boxes where they would keep their words written on index cards. One of the boxes will contain words to be learned, the other will contain the words which have been learned.

Have a vocabulary box in the class, add the new words in it. From time to time play games with them like hot seat, tic-tac-toe or you can choose five words from the box .Ask them to write a paragraph or a 50 word story or even a poem or a song and then tell them to recite or sing.

Prepare word posters using word art or any word cloud generator on the web like worditout or ABCya. Display them on the classroom walls or noticeboards. You can ask your students to draw pictures of compound nouns, idioms or expressions. Use the most powerful tools of your classroom to make your students see them all the time. Display them on the walls... You can choose a word poster and ask your students to write a story or a meaningful paragraph using, say 8 words from the poster. You can choose a poster. Put your students in pairs or groups, depending on the size of your class and ask to prepare a vocabulary quiz or a puzzle for their classmates. Monitor them while working. You can even let them use their dictionaries while working.



Eva Buyuksimkesyan is the ESL Tips Editor for Wandering Educators