Thursday, August 14, 2008

Topic: Vocabulary

10-minute Review: Memorized word lists do not work.

Title: “Teaching Vocabulary Expeditiously: Three Keys to Improving Vocabulary Instruction.” English Journal (March 2008), 20-25. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Quote: “Traditional models of teaching vocabulary that focus on giving lists of words to students on Monday and testing their knowledge on Friday are not effective. Even if students score acceptably on the test, the majority of the words from these lists do not become part of their reading, writing or speaking lives. Instead, they are quickly forgotten after the quiz.”

Comment: Here's how vocabulary should be taught. (1) Pre-teach vocabulary words before reading assignments. (2) Use Word Power Made Easy by Normal Lewis, featuring the concepts behind words and identifying their roots, prefixes and suffixes, and building other words based on the same roots, prefixes and suffixes. (3) From personal reading, use 3" X 5” index cards to record the word and pronunciation on one side and the shortest, one-word or two-word definition on the other. It works. RayS.

The purpose of this blog is to share interesting ideas I have found in recent American professional publications dealing with the teaching of English at all levels, elementary, secondary and college.

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