Studiu de specialitate – Vocabulary and practice

Autor: prof. Diaconu Mihaela-Claudia
Școala Gimnazială, Comuna Sagna, jud. Neamț

Acquisition of vocabulary has become as important as the acquisition of grammar, because it means more than decoding a simple meaning as words might have several meanings, and they imply the whole environment and communication purposes, and the place where that word is used, it means also teaching its pronunciation and form or spelling. To know a word means „knowing the meaning, the word use, the word intonation and information, the word grammar” (Harmer 2001), thus the study of vocabulary ought not to be separated from the study of phonetics and grammar.
The methodologies introduce students to a wide range of vocabulary through dialogues, reading texts, exercises and listening. In a regular class, procedures for the presentation of vocabulary usually occur due to a text or a dialogue. Although textbooks today are richly illustrated to help vocabulary learning, other techniques for presenting new vocabulary are also useful:

„Showing and indicating real objects.
„Drawing on the board or project them using a video projector or interactive whiteboards (today there are specialized teaching sites that offer a lot of PowerPoint presentations ( for free and help teachers with any topic they choose to talk about).
„Showing flashcards and magazine pictures.
„Miming or acting.
„Explaining in simple English, translating or explaining in the native English (situation to be avoided).
„Using a dictionary (paper or on-line version).
The choices of the techniques to be chosen will belong to the teacher and depend on the type of word to be taught or used. All the new vocabulary should be regularly revised, whether by using the lists provided by the book, their own vocabulary notebooks, glossaries or the material presented by the teacher. For example during a simple and traditional class, Substitution tables are suggested to be used. They are, of course important, as they show students what is the system behind the new language they are learning and in early stages students must be helped by the teacher to understand how are these tables working and which elements may vary and used inside sentences.
The presentation of the new vocabulary on the interactive board or over head (video) projector is very important for the focus it gives to the lesson as indicated before in Chapter I. This draws students’ attention and is very useful for the teacher who is able to control practice efficiently. Simple structures, diamond ranking, Venn diagrams and line drawings, presented on PPTs, can quickly give the explanation for a new word and substitution tables easily show a grammatical pattern. Information on slides should be presented briefly, boldly, structured and arranged in sections, with no more than 10 lines per slide. Additional areas should be left free for spontaneous examples, questions, drawings or games or further indications. (fragment)