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7 Great and Easy Ways to Introduce New Vocabulary

7 Great and Easy Ways to Introduce New Vocabulary | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Teaching vocabulary is an integral part of every ESL class. There are many ways teachers can introduce new vocabulary to their students that aren’t dull and boring and actually peak the students’ interest and get them excited to learn. Here are 7 great and easy ways to introduce new vocabulary to your ESL students.

1. Keep it Real

Using real-life objects to introduce new vocabulary to your students will greatly help them associating a mental image to the word. Kinesthetic learners will especially enjoy this way of learning as it gives them a physical connection with a lexical concept. You can use toys, clothing articles, plastic (or real) fruits and vegetables, animal figures, and more. Show the object to your class, introduce the word and write it on the board. Next, pass the object around class having each student say the vocabulary word out loud.

Also read: 4 Super Easy Tips for Teaching Vocabulary to Young Learners

2. Teach Pairs

Teaching word pairs at one time is a great way to introduce new vocabulary to your ESL students. Opposites are the perfect topic for this kind of vocabulary exercise. You can also tech synonyms, homonyms or any other pair of words that have some kind of connection in this way.

3. Picture This

One of the easiest ways of introducing new vocabulary to your ESL students is by using visuals. This can include flashcards, magazine images, online photos, printed photographs or even picture dictionaries. This is especially useful for young learners as they tend to learn a lot better with visual stimulation.

4. The Root of the Issue

Advanced students will find it easier to learn new words when you teach the word roots of new words. This allows the students to understand the function and origin or the new word they haven’t seen before. It also helps students to make links between their native language and the English language.

5. Tell it like it is

Taking the new vocabulary word and putting it “into a scene” increases the ability to memorize the new word and put it into context. For example, if the new word is “overeat”, you can set the scene by saying “I ate too much food. I overate.” This way, the students will build a connection between English words and pick up synonyms at the same time. Win-win!

6. Sing it out loud

Young ESL learners respond incredibly well to music. Using songs to introduce new vocabulary will not only aid certain learning types, but also bring an element of fun into your classroom. Youtube offers a plethora of fun ESL songs introducing vocabulary - or, you can also make up your own song! To do this, use a simple, familiar tune like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and use your own lyrics using the vocabulary you want to teach.

Also read: 4 Reasons Why Using Songs in the Classroom is Important

7. Get Physical

TPR (Total Physical Response) is a very useful ESL technique linking physical movement to words. This works especially well with verbs or adjectives expressing feelings. Introduce the word to your students illustrating it through an action. Then, have the students repeat the action and the word at the same time.

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