my favourite ways of revisiting vocabulary

blog postI’ve recently come back to work!

yes, for 9 month I was off work – at least I wasn’t teaching English to real people, that is. I was a blogger and materials writer. But now 2 times a week I have individual classes (HR English), and 2 times a week I teach an indiviual student using Skype (Business English, conversational English and grammar)

It’s a great feeling – being back to work&different life, to have somewhere to go to for a change, some hours a week to be not just a mom, but smb else!

Now I have a lot of time to prepare for my classes very thoroughly (not that I wasn’t preparing before, but I tended to prefer something less time-consuming, with all the work load and many teaching hours a day), and as both of my students are in need of expanding their vocabulary, I’ve been trying to apply different ways of revisiting it. Here is a short account of what I’ve already remembered and tried:

a kind of jigsaw puzzle (see the photo). Here is today’s example: I wanted my student to refresh in her memory some of the phrases that can be used for giving recommendations – something we worked with at our previous lesson. As I wanted her to remember the whole sentences and to pay attention to the word order, this worked well. It was a starting point for the speaking exercise where she had to give recommendations for several HR cases. And she did use almost all the phrases from the worksheet.

a story with mistakes. A thing I used with my Skype student. We’ve already had 4 lessons, and there were quite a lot of new words,collocations and phrasal verbs, so I wanted him to come across this new vocab again (he has already learned most of the words – more or less, and could remember them if I asked him to, but was not too accurate using them. Moreover, bearing in mind that you ahve to come across anew word 7 times before you really remember it, why not provide a student with an additional opportunity?)  Here is an example of my story story with 12 mistakes

the list included

venue/complain/ autrocious/ apart from the fact that/ whole/ to come up with/ to be sure/thanks to/ i’ve been wondering/ go-ahead/ if it is possible  . My student detected most of the mistakes easily, but he spent  some time in sthinking and doubts, mostly just in the places I wanted him too.

cards. Well, good old cards never fail to work: just write the words on them and ask your students to remember and explain what they mean, or to group them up with some idea in mind (e.g., these words are about sports, and there words are about travelling) , or to use them in a vocabulary story (which I did today, having written the most important words and collocations from the last 3 lessons and today. It found out to be a good way to finish off a lesson). Cards can be both real (paper, mostly post-its in my case), or electronic (will tell about it and other things to use for Skype learning later).

pelmanism. Works great for collocations, of course. My favourite way is to cut a number of round post-its into halves, writing halves of collocations on them.

definitions match To come back to the second lesson of HR English, I made little cards containing definitions of some HR words and phrases my student was supposed to learn. Unfortunately, my student didn’t learn them as she hadn’t had time (what an original excuse, ha? ok, explanation), so we lost a little more time on that, me having to help and hint and giving clues all the time. So for the next time I prepared something more thoughtful: a matching table offering 3 columns: words, definitions and translation. And one more column was left free, for example sentences. This worked better, may be because it let my student feel more confident and to see the wordlist.

this was what I’ve done and remembered so far, but there is definitely a lot more… Any suggestions? What do you do to revisit vocab from your previous classes?


About Svetlana Urisman

I am an ADOS and an English teacher (and materials writer) in a language school in Moscow. I have been an ADOS and a teacher trainer for a couple of years and a teacher for about 10 years. I am keen to share some ideas and materials I've developed in order to take them further and not to lose them. You are welcome to use any materials represented in this blog, and I will be happy to get your feedback afterwards if you take them to your classroom! ;-)
This entry was posted in Business English, grammar, intermediate, lesson plans, lesson starters, lists, materials writing, Professional development, teaching higher levels, teaching lower levels, vocabulary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to my favourite ways of revisiting vocabulary

  1. iwan says:

    Svetlana, Thanks for the sharing

  2. Reblogged this on English?! Mais c'est facile! and commented:
    Some really great ideas on vocabulary here!

  3. Naty Profe says:

    Thank you for very good practices to use in the classroom when working on the vocabulary. I have been using some like these already but it’s always nice to learn something in addition.

  4. Pingback: The Best Sites Where ELL’s Can Learn Vocabulary | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

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