Sunday, July 8, 2012

ESL Vocabulary Development Using the Newspaper

Note: Normally, I do not publish my blog, English Updates, on weekends. However, I publish several other blogs during the week having to do with ideas in English education that are not current, but still useful. On weekends, I will publish samples of these ideas. RayS.

Answer/Quote: “Begin with newspaper ads. Point out pictures and say ‘This is a …[car, carrot, tree]…. Have students repeat the phrases after you and intersperse auditory drill at various stages by asking them to point out the various objects by name (noun label), action (verb label), or description (adjective label).” 

Yes/No Responses. “Now reverse the procedure by turning the statements into questions which require only ‘yes/no’ responses, e.g., ‘Is the car orange?’ or ‘Does the tree grow?’ or ‘Is this [point to the car] a carrot?’

Positive Statements. “Gradually guide students to make statements about newspaper objects by requiring them to elaborate on ‘yes/no’ responses.”

Pronouns. “As students develop statements, above, guide them to substitute pronouns for the subjects and objects.”

Possessive Pronouns. “Use illustrations …or headlines…to develop possessives.”

Question Forms: “Students need an opportunity of form questions since the teacher has a tendency to be the one asking questions a large percentage of the time. Work to reverse this habit by following a teacher question—student response interaction with a request for the student to ask the same question of another student.”

Noun Plurals: “Have nonreaders find pictures of objects in the paper and clip them for categorization under ‘one’ (singular) or ‘more than one’ (plural), labeling each object appropriately with its singular or plural name (e.g., carrots, chair).”

Comment: This is pretty basic stuff. But it shows the classroom teacher how the ESL teacher can begin with pretty basic stuff from the newspaper. A place to start. The real problem, of course, is teaching academic English. In the next few weekends, I will provide some ideas on teaching academic English to ESL studentw. RayS.

Title: “Use the News: Newspaper Activities for the Second Language Student.” S  Kossack and J Sullivan. Journal of Reading (May 1989), 740-742.

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