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Simple and Effective Ways to Teach English Vocabulary

Simple and Effective Ways to Teach English Vocabulary | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Vocabulary is the knowledge of words and word meanings. As we all know, vocabulary plays a significant role in language. If we want to speak or write, we need to know the vocabulary first. So as an English teacher, we have to know some effective ways to teach vocabulary otherwise the class is going to be so dull.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Ruqiong C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Here I listed some effective ways to teach vocabulary:

When it comes to teaching vocabulary, there are plenty of easy options. The funniest one is playing games! No matter younger learners or adults, they both love games! Games are easy to motivate students to learn. The first game I am going to introduce is Brainstorm. Brainstorm is a very good game for gathering the words together and letting students review them. Vocabulary builds upon itself, and association with words that are already familiar to students is one of the effective means of teaching students unfamiliar words. This game is suitable for beginner and up to beginner levers. The second game is a classical game "Pictionary".The game allows students to work in groups.Teacher Split the class into 2 teams. Have one student from each team come to the board. Assign them one vocabulary word to draw. The students’ teams should try to guess what vocabulary word is being drawn. The last game I am going to mention is "Bingo".This one is all about guessing. The rule is Create a Bingo card for each student. Have them write a vocabulary word in each space. Then, read the definition of each word. Students should be able to determine what word you defined and put a counter on that square. Have students say “Bingo” when they get 5 words in a row. As an extra incentive, provide a prize for winners. It could be a free homework pass, candy, or small toy.

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The next effective way to teach vocabulary is by using popular songs and amazing videos like TV shows. They are very good to learn vocabulary and also good to learn about the culture. The most amazing TV show I want to recommend is "Friends", And I think lots of people have already heard about that show. It is still a heat right now. It talked about six people who are friends with each other and they all live in New York City.Because of the plots so it has lots of authentic vocabulary in which native English speakers use them a lot. And talk about the songs, the teacher can play popular music in the class and let students finish a gap-fill activity. Students can learn more vocabulary from songs and activities.

The third one I am going to mention and it's really important, that is teaching the prefixes and suffixes. The prefix is placed before the stem of a word. Adding it to the beginning of one word changes it into another word. For example, if you know the word "usual" and the prefix "un" then you must know what does the word "unusual " means.The prefix "un" means "not" so "unusual "means "not usual".In reverse!suffix is placed at the end of one word to make it change part of speech. For example "quick" is a verb but if it has the suffix "ly" after that, it becomes an adverb "quickly".So if students understand the rules then they can retain lots of words easily.

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The last effective way I am going to mention is using authentic materials as much as possible. Authentic materials mean the materials that aren't aimed for students to learn English but for native English speakers to read or listen, like newspapers, magazines, or more. We can select some good passages from magazines or newspapers then give them to our students for reading. Also let them figure out the new words in the passage by using the context or group working, then after that teacher and students can read it together. This is a good way to make students immerse themselves into authentic materials that can let students learn the vocabulary which native English speakers use a lot.

There are still a lot of good ways to learn vocabulary. I believe that good teachers also can create some good ways by themselves.

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