Some good techniques of teaching vocabulary
By- Md. Shahrear Talukder
a. Contextualization can prove very handy in teaching vocabulary. Students with very basic vocabulary can be benefitted from this type of practice. Contextualization establishes a kind of association of meaning of a particular unknown word with the other words in the same text. Students use their logic to grasp the meaning of the unknown word in relation to other known words. In doing so the meaning of the word gets more permanence in their memory.
b. Teaching words with example sentences is a very effective way. Memorizing words individually is very tiresome. In isolation of sentence we get only the broken image of a word. When a word is explained with example sentence meaning becomes clearer for a learner and s/he finds its easy to use it next time either in the same context or a new.
c. Taking words individually and memorizing those is a cumbersome job. In this regard affixation is a good technique for teaching vocabulary. If students are taught the use of suffixes and prefixes, they can remember more words easily. Sometimes even if a word in a sentence is unfamiliar meaning can be understood, if students have an idea about the derivatives of the word in the sentence.
d. Miming and using gestures can play a significant role in explaining meaning of words. Though sometimes it is difficult to explain conceptual words, miming proves useful for explaining concrete words, for instance, ‘build’ or ‘push’. Easily these can be imitated and meaning can be conveyed to the learners.
e. It is very intimidating for a learner of a language to see thousands of words in the dictionary. One gets confused thinking of which words to be learnt first. In this case providing students with a list of high frequency words can be a great help to students’ effort to learn vocabulary. It will help students to develop a basic mental thesaurus essential for understanding a simple text or conversation.
f. A Pictionary-like activity can help to communicate feelings or ideas through drawings. It can be very interactive if words are presented through drawing pictures. Students at the elementary level find this technique very useful as they can establish possible association between meaning and the picture that represent the word.