Post by Jennifer Chow
#CdnELTchat brings together #ELT enthusiasts to discuss topics of interest twice a month on Tuesday evenings at 6 PT / 9 ET. On March 30, we had a chat about “Teaching and Learning Vocabulary.”
Vocabulary development is one of the most important components of language learning. Knowledge of vocabulary enables us to understand and communicate with others. What are some effective approaches and strategies that help learners with vocabulary acquisition?
To guide the discussion, we posed questions that #CdnELTchat community members contributed on our Padlet:
Q1: How do you address vocabulary development in your classes? What vocabulary teaching strategies do you use? #CdnELTchat
Q2: What is the role of lists in teaching and learning vocabulary? How do you decide which words from the unit or activity you are teaching to include? Is there a tool you use? #CdnELTchat
Q3: What strategies can students use to turn passive vocabulary into active vocabulary? Do you have any favourite activities you use with your students? #CdnELTchat
Q4: How can we support independent vocabulary learning strategies? #CdnELTchat
We’ve collected the tweets from our March 30th chat in Wakelet, but here are some of the highlights from our discussion:
- Use a vocabulary notebook, index cards or Quizlet to encourage autonomy
- Get students to notice and use collocations, lexical chunks, and patterns
- Provide repetition and rich input in context to increase vocabulary retention
- Use word lists, like the General Service List (GSL) and the Academic Word List (AWL), as a tool to help students prioritize and focus on words and expressions that have high currency
- Provide opportunities to personalize vocabulary to increase retention by creating an emotional connection
Thank-you to our participants for sharing so many useful resources and tools that support vocabulary development. These have been collected in a Google Doc, Resources for Vocabulary Development in ELT.
We hope #CdnELTchat can provide the space for #ELT educators across Canada and beyond to continue to reflect on what we’re learning, what we’re finding challenging and what solutions we’ve tried, especially during this time. Use the hashtag #CdnELTchat anytime to connect and to share information of interest to the #CdnELT community.
#CdnELTchat is a collaborative effort that we hope will lead to more reflective practice for all of us involved in ELT. If you are interested in joining our team, or have any ideas for topics, please send @StanzaSL, @EALStories, @Jennifermchow, or @ELTAugusta a tweet. Our Padlet is also always open for your questions and comments.