Thursday, September 2, 2010

Topic: Vocabulary

Purpose of this blog: Review of interesting articles and ideas in English education journals, K-12.

10-second review: Technique for studying an unfamiliar word.

Title: “Teaching and Learning Vocabulary with the Interactive Word Wall.” JM Harmon, et al. Classroom Notes Plus (August 2010), 1-7.

Step #1: Use student-friendly definitions as opposed to copying the dictionary definition.

Step#2: Develop a symbol for the word in order to visualize it.

Step #3: Extend the word.

These are three of four or five steps; the others are not particularly useful.

Comment: As I always do, I try these techniques on myself.

I’ll use the word “calumny.”

Step #1: User-friendly definition: damage someone else’s reputation.

Step#2: Symbol. For me it’s someone stabbing someone else in the back.

Step#3: Extend the word by adding synonyms and antonyms.
Syn.: slander, libel, smear.
Ant.: praise, compliment.

Put on a 3” X 5” card with the word and pronunciation (if needed) on the front and the user friendly definition and synonyms and antonyms on the back, and you have a usable flash card for study. RayS.

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