How to Teach Vocabulary

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Vocabulary is one of the fundamentals of English. Students need to be prepared with a wide and vivid vocabulary to compete in the world's marketplace. The challenge of teaching vocabulary is creating lesson plans that are both effective and entertaining.

  • Choose a list of words to focus on that's an integral part of the students' existing curriculum. Include words that students find in their everyday lives. Provide vocabulary words that are age appropriate.

  • Motivate students by creating rewards, games, puzzles and other fun activities. Mix a variety of activities centered on vocabulary to reach a broader range of students.

  • Model proper use of vocabulary words. Use language creatively and with gusto. Have fun with your own vocabulary and students will want to have fun with theirs.

  • Create a word wall where students write new and interesting vocabulary words. Refer to the wall often during class so students become familiar with it and its purpose.

  • Quiz and test the students on their vocabulary words. Disguise the purpose, learning vocabulary, of the quiz. Explain that quizzes and tests only help the teacher know how well the students have been taught.

  • Revisit old vocabulary words often. Bring them up casually in class and on quizzes. Tell students that learning does not end after the test. It is important for them to recall vocabulary words.

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