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7 Fun Ways to Introduce New EFL Vocabulary

7 Fun Ways to Introduce New EFL Vocabulary | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Learning vocabulary words is a big part of any EFL classroom. Sometimes, it can be challenging for students to learn and remember new words - this is where the following activities come in handy! Here are 7 fun ways to introduce new EFL vocabulary!

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1. Get Physical

This activity works well for a lot of vocabulary words. It is based around the total physical response method, which links physical movement with learning. Illustrate new vocabulary by acting out the words as you introduce them to your students. You can have the whole class get active and move around.

2. Sing it Loud

Songs are a great way to get your students engaged! Use the melody of a well-known song and change the lyrics to fit your vocabulary words. This not only aids certain learning types but also brings a fun element into your classroom. Familiar tunes like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, “The Wheels on the Bus”, “Happy Birthday”, etc. are ideal for this activity.

3. Keep It Real

This activity is a lot of fun but requires the preparation of props. Use real objects to introduce new words will help your students remember the vocabulary much faster. This method also helps kinesthetic learners as it combines learning with a physical aspect. Go about like this: show your class an object (for example fruits), say the word of the object, write it on the board, and then pass the object around the classroom and have each student say the word out loud one by one.

4. The Root of the Issue

This one works well for intermediate and advanced students, but can also be modified to fit beginner students. Teaching word roots as you introduce new vocabulary helps students deepen their language knowledge. It also trains them to understand new words they haven’t encountered before simply by looking at components of the word itself. An example of this would be the word “egoist”. This word has a root word of "ego" (meaning oneself) plus the suffix "-ist”, indicating it is a person.

5. Introduce Couples

Teaching word pairs at one time is another great way to boost your students’ learning progress. Opposites are perfect for this type of learning. You can also pair synonyms, homonyms, or any other set of words that have some kind of connection.

6. Tell it like It Is

This is a great activity to encourage students to use the words that they already know to describe new things or concepts they might not know the correct vocabulary for. Before introducing a new word, describe it in your own words, or describe the scene in which it is used. Then, rephrase the scene by using the new word. For example: “I ate too much food today. I overate.” This helps students build a connection between English words and also teaches synonyms without even trying.

7. Picture It

One of the easiest but most effective ways to introduce new vocabulary words is by using pictures. Laminated flashcards are great because you can reuse them over and over again and use them in so many other great games and activities. However, you can also use magazines, online pictures, picture dictionaries, or even actual photographs to help your students picturing new words.

Which is your favorite teaching activity?

As you can see, there are many ways introduce new vocabulary words to your students in a fun and interactive manner!

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