Practical activities to help students with vocabulary learning.
This is a good activity for getting your students going in the morning. It is also excellent for revising vocabulary.
This is a very lively activity and can be adapted to different class sizes. If you have many teams, perhaps some teams wait to play. Or if the team sizes are large, you can restrict how many team members do the describing. Have fun!
Vocabulary phonemic revision activity
I am a great believer in teaching phonetic script with new words, alongside their spelling, stress patterns and L1 equivalents. Being able to work out the correct pronunciation of a word from the dictionary all on their own helps the learner to become autonomous and independent of any 'helpers' in real life situations.
So one of my revision exercises goes like this:
I draw up a list of the new words recently encountered in class, but I do so exclusively in phonetic script.
The class is divided into groups A and B. I hand out one list to each group. In their groups, students work out the 'real' form of their words. The teacher goes round checking for correctness.
Then group A gets a separate copy of group B's word list (phonetic). Group B students take turns dictating their words to group A, making up sentences with each respective word. Group A write down the words next to the already provided phonemic script.
The same procedure is used by group A testing their words on group B.
We then make transparency copies of both lists, put them on the OHP, and in plenum check for correct spelling. Also in plenum, words are translated into their L1 equivalents.
Vocabulary self-study activities
Here are some tips you can give your students to help them with their vocabulary acquisition and self study.
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'The Washing Line' - teaching clothes vocabulary
This is a good vocabulary activity to use with younger learners
To teach the names of
clothes, I have my students cut a page of a newspaper in the shape of a hat,
gloves, trousers, etc. Then, using a washing line and clothes pegs, I ask my
students to hang their projects on the washing line. My students repeat the
names of the clothes after me. After teaching the vocabulary of clothes, I ask
them to close their eyes while I hide some of the clothes. A few seconds later
I ask them to open their eyes and name the missing clothes and then to find
This activity is both very useful and enjoyable for my students.
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