What ideas would I bring to the classroom to make the learning of vocabulary more interesting and rewarding?
It has been acknowledged by various linguistic commentators that vocabulary plays a very important part in language acquisition. For example, in his book on the mental lexicon, Singleton states that ‘the major challenge of learning and using a language lies not in the area of broad syntactic principles but in the `nitty-gritty´ of the lexicon’ (Singleton, 1999:4).
The idea that learning and teaching vocabulary is of the utmost importance, is also supported by Wilkins who states that, ‘without grammar very little can be conveyed; without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.’ (Wilkins 1972:111).
To help solve these problems, a variety of teaching/learning strategies should be employed in order to promote the students’ development of an effective vocabulary. This essay will describe some of the methodologies that can be incorporated into the teaching of vocabulary items in a language classroom.
It has been determined by several noted linguists that the best strategies for improving a student’s ability to explore, store and use vocabulary items, are those that lay emphasis on self initiated independent learning by the student.
Visnja Pavicic (2003) believes that teachers should provide activities and tasks that will allow students to build a vocabulary and develop strategies to learn the vocabulary on their own. For example, exercises whereby students have to guess vocabulary from context, is the most frequently used way of discovering the meaning of new words. Nattinger (1988)
The following are some of the key strategies used to impart the information and meaning of new words to a class:
Definitions in the target language may be very handy if they are expressed in terms that are better known or more easily guessed than the word that is defined. In this direction teachers and...