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6 Great Ideas for Developing Vocabulary in English Learners

6 Great Ideas for Developing Vocabulary in English Learners | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Exposure to a language is of prime importance if one intends to excel in it. Like every language, English needs to be practiced in all its integrated skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Vocabulary has always been among a key component of language learning that teachers rely on. The following are 6 great ideas for developing vocabulary in English learners.

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Keep a journal of newly learned words

Students should keep a journal for noting down every new word they learn during the day. It's also a good approach to add example sentences for every new word so that the student knows how to apply it in various contexts. Then, this list of new words should be put into practice by students at the end of the week to ensure proper use and understanding.

Read newspapers

There is no substitute for reading. Students must read to develop their vocabulary and learn pertinent words to use in their daily lives. A well-read person demarcates from a non-reader. Besides fiction and novels, teachers should use authentic texts to inculcate the habit of reading. Twenty minutes of in-depth reading of newspapers without distractions for students aged 12 and above is imperative for good vocabulary development.

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Watch documentaries

There is a great variety of excellent documentaries available on the internet for free, which teachers can use as a resource for students to learn vocabulary in a certain context. For example, suppose it is a documentary on Roman history. In that case, students develop the subject's knowledge better, and the right use of words in these contexts and enrich their subject relevant vocabulary.

a male teacher having a lesson with adult students

Play word games

Crosswords and "figure out the lie" are two games that can lead to students thinking of accurate words and their meanings. In "figure out the lie", a list of 4 options is provided from which 1 doesn't fit the definition of the word. Students are asked to point the odd one out. Similarly, crosswords can be used effectively to make students think of the right word that fits the puzzle in detail. This way of learning is a sound reinforcement for developing the students' word bank

Vocabulary lessons

Oftentimes, vocabulary is left to the students to learn on their own. However, the teacher can also implement this topic in the classroom. For example, give your students vocabulary lists with demonstration examples if you want students to use those words. A thesaurus or dictionary is a must in classrooms and should be avidly used and effectively taught to the students.

Practice usage

There is absolutely no alternative to this; "unless you sharpen the ax, the tree won't be cut." Similarly, a precise vocabulary helps you do the same. Finally, you can achieve a rich resource of vocabulary only if you practice your skill. Use the words in context until it becomes natural.

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