Friday, August 24, 2012

But they won't know those words!

I often want to teach a movie, song, poem or article with the knowledge that students won't know some of the words. Often I'll just have them guess(I think this is a great skill), but if I know the vocabulary will be important to the unit is to follow my CELTA "road map" of how to teach vocabulary from meaning.

I have found it super helpful, so maybe others will find it a nice review and included some examples that work well for me. This works with ANY level you are teaching.
"Oh... so that's what handball is!"

Meaning- Tell a story, show pictures, use a song, use smells, bring in realia, bring in movie clips do anything you can to SHOW the meaning of the words you are going to work on (this works best if the words are all grouped somehow). With preschoolers maybe this means you are showing a video of Arthur the aardvark at school. With older students you are asking them about their weekend and hinting at all of the theme of your lesson.

Pre-Teaching Lexis- The words you have selected to teach should be words that you don't think they know, but give them some credit. Start the draw and tell but don't tell them what each thing is, have them guess. "Struggle" with a word and see if they can guess what it is. Play hang man. Scramble the word. Play password. Etc.

Text-  Finally introduce them to the text where they will see the words used. This can be a reading, or audio. They may want to circle the vocab words and see if it matches what they think it means. They can also listen to the story to make sure it makes sense.


Language Focus- Ask some concept check questions to see if they understand the questions. Have them do chants if they are younger or choruses if they are older and need the pronunciation help. If they have a word journal now is a good time to have them add to it.

Controlled Practice- This is when they have a gap fill or word to definition match, TPR, following of directionsfix mistakes, answer specific questions (adding details), some simple pair games (more complicated ones are free practice), Songs

Free Practice- This is a LOT more fun. Have them draw the picture, make an rhyme,
make them  practice sentences and pictures,  answer open questions etc. (see more from Carissa here: http://eslcarissa.blogspot.mx/)

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