К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2011
Автор: Камзина Жаннур Калибековна
As the greatest
linguist David Wilkins says “Without grammar very little can be conveyed,
without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed”, vocabulary is the basic factor necessary
for mastering a language. Only by accumulating a large number of vocabulary
words students can speak fluent English and read quickly.
teachers, everyday in our classroom we are faced with teaching vocabulary in
various ways for a variety of purposes.
There is a number
of different methods and approaches how to teach a foreign language, including
vocabulary. Some of them are more popular and more often used than others.
Also, it is up to the teacher which techniques he or she decides to use but
always the effectiveness of teaching should be considered. To my mind, every
teacher tends to use and prefers some technique that he or she finds
It should be noted
that, one of the first vocabulary learning strategies for any classroom is how
to ask for words you do not know in English, and how to ask the meaning of
English words you do not understand, so phrases like “What’s the word for…in English?,
“How do you say …?,” and “What does…mean?” are useful to teach at the basic
levels. As students progress, another useful strategy they can use to
paraphrase: “It’s a kind of…,” “It is like a…,”and “It is for…-ing X” etc.
from the elementary level, it is important to include vocabulary lessons not
just single words, but also larger “chunks” such as collocations, phrases, or expressions,
even whole sentences and strategic vocabulary, as well as grammatical
patterning, idioms, and fixed expressions.
Nation, like most
researches lists the different things learners need to know about a word before
we can say that they have learned it. These include:
• The meaning(s)
of the word;
• Its spoken and
• What “word
parts” it has (e.g., any prefix, suffix, and “root” form);
• Its grammatical
behavior (e.g., its word class, typical grammatical patterns it occurs in);
• Its collocations;
• Its register;
associations it has (e.g., words that are similar or opposite in meaning);
connotations it has;
• Its frequency.
One more an
important vocabulary acquisition strategy which Nation calls “noticing”
is seeing a word as something to be learned. In this view, knowing what to
learn is a necessary prerequisite to learning. Teachers can help learners get
into the habit of noticing by making clear in classroom instruction and
homework assignments: which item should be learned, what each item is a single
word, a phrase, a collocation etc.) and for what purpose (active use or passive
recognition). As a result, materials can help teachers in this in the following
clearly marked vocabulary lessons;
• Making the
target vocabulary set stand out, including focused practice and regular review;
• Giving lists of
vocabulary to be learned for the lesson [1; p. 199].
Schmitt, organizing vocabulary in meaningful ways makes it easier to learn.
Textbooks usually present new vocabulary in thematic sets, as an aid to memory,
but there are other types of organization and these can be described under
three broad headings: real word groups, language-based groups, and personalized
The first groups
occur in the real world, such as the countries within each continent, parts of
the body, the foods type (carbohydrate, protein, fats, etc.) activities that
take place for a celebration (e.g., at a wedding), expressions people typically
use in everyday situations (e.g., when someone passes an examination, had bad
luck, etc.) Students can draw on their general knowledge to group English
vocabulary according to the concepts with which they are already familiar.
The second groups
draw on linguistic criteria as ways of grouping, for example, the different
parts of speech of a word family, words that have the same prefix or suffix, or
the same sound; verbs and dependent prepositions; collocations of different
kinds (verb + noun, adjective + noun. etc.)
The third group
use students’ own preferences and experiences as the basis for the groups. It
might include grouping vocabulary according to likes and dislikes, personal
habits or personal history, for example foods that you like or do not like, or
eat often, sometimes, rarely, or that you ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner
yesterday. Making vocabulary personal helps to make it more memorable [2; p. 209].
implication is provided by Lewis, which is based on the overwhelming amount of
lexical patterning that exists in English. He suggests that the implication of
this patterning is that teachers should present words in the classroom in
sequences whenever possible. In his publications he provides numerous examples
of how this can be done, including the following:
Exploring a Simple Word (According to Lewis)
Do you know the
word book? Add as many collocates to the following as you can.
“collocation” generally refers to the way in which two or more words are
typically used together. For example, we say that we make or come to a
decision, but we don’t do a decision.
useful for finding the collocates of verbs like have, get, make, and do, which
are often referred to as delexical verbs, which don’t have a meaning of their
own, but take their meaning from the words that they collocate or are used
with. For example, the verb make has a different meaning in each of the
expressions make a cake, make a decision, and make fun of.
Some of the
frequent collocates of the words make and do [3; p. 89]:
classroom may be the main place where students hear or use English, it is
important to include in lessons the strategic vocabulary and it up to teachers
to find ways to introduce this vocabulary. This type of vocabulary in class
means words and expressions that writers use to organize written texts or it
unusually speakers use to organize and manage conversations.
Walsh divides all
types of talk that happen in classrooms into four “modes”:
3) Skills and
refers to the way teachers organize the class and move between activities. In
doing this, it is possible to use a range of basic discourse markers of starting,
concluding, and changing topics such as All right/Okay, So, Let’s start,
Let’s move on. Although Walsh sees this type of talk primarily as the
teachers’, as the one who organizes and manages what happens in the classroom,
there are aspects of managerial talk that students can usefully learn to help
them to organize pair and group work (OK, let’s change roles; That’s it,
were finished), or to interact with teacher in order to change the way the
class proceeds (Could you explain that again please?)
refers to the talk that takes place when teachers and students are doing an
activity in the materials. This includes eliciting answers from students, checking
and explaining answers, and giving feedback on answers. In this type of talk,
it would be useful for teachers to model different kinds of responses when
evaluating students’ answers (That’s right, Excellent) and when seeking
clarification (You mean…? He went where).
Skills and systems
mode is the largely teacher – directed talk that goes on when the teacher is
trying to get students to use a particular language item or skill and will
involve the teacher in giving feedback, explaining and correcting. In this mode
teachers can model phrases for the reformulation (I mean…) and for
organizing and staging information (Now, … First of all, …)
mode refers to the type of language learner’s use when they are talking about
their personal experience or feelings – sometimes called “freer practice activities.”
Here the teacher’s role is to listen and support the interaction, which is the
most like casual conversation that learners will engage in.
support these conversations by teaching the types of strategic vocabulary in
order to help students manage their own talk, relate to other students,
respond, and manage the conversation as a whole [5; p. 299].
Nation, one of the great mistakes many teachers make is to focus on a new word
only once, leading to a high probability of that word being forgotten and the
time spent on teaching it wasted. He suggests that it is as important to
recycle older, partially known words as it is to teach new ones in order to
avoid this waste. However, there are more efficient schedules for recycling and
revision. To understand the best timing for this recurring exposure to words,
it is necessary to understand how the mind forgets new information. Typically,
most forgetting occurs soon after the end of the learning section. [1; p. 204]
comprehensive listing of vocabulary learning strategies is presented by
Schmitt, who includes 58 strategies, divided in five categories:
strategies used by an individual when faced with discovering a new word’s
meaning without recourse to another person’s expertise.
• Analyze any
available pictures or gestures
• Guess meaning
from textual context
• Use a
dictionary(bilingual or monolingual)
strategies involve interaction with other people to improve language learning.
• Ask the teacher
for the synonym, paraphrase or L1 translation of new word
• Learn and
practice new words with a study group
• Interact with
strategies (traditionally known as mnemonics) involve relating new words to
previously learned knowledge, using some form of imagery or grouping.
• Use semantic
• Use the keyword
• Associate a new
word with its already known synonyms and antonyms
strategies entail manipulation or transformation of information about words to
be learned, although they are not so specifically focused on mental processing
as memory strategies.
• Keep a
• Put English
labels on physical objects
strategies involve a conscious overview of the learning process and making
decisions about planning, monitoring or evaluating the best ways to study.
• Use spaced word
practice (expanding rehearsal)
• Test oneself
with word tests
• Continue to
study word over time [2; p. 212]
Tomlinson suggests a number of principles for developing successful materials
in vocabulary instruction, which can be done with unusual and appealing
content, attractive presentations, and variety. Teachers can use different ways
to present vocabulary including pictures, sounds, and different text types with
which students can identify: stories, conversations, web pages, questionnaires,
news reports, etc. In each of these contexts, topics should be relevant to students’
interest [1; p. 102].
instruction occurs in the classrooms everyday and at a variety of levels and
for a variety of purposes. After all, words are the currency of education. In
addition, teachers are faced with difficulty to determine the most important
words and phrases needed to establish a suitable vocabulary for conducting
conversations most effectively. Teachers need to repeat often vocabulary,
because students must work with a word or phrase many times before acquisition
takes place, and we must offer variety to keep the exercises fresh and to cater
to different learning styles.
1. Nation, I.S.P. New ways in teaching vocabulary.
Alexandria, VA: TESOL, 1994.
2. Schmitt, N. Vocabulary Learning
Strategies. In Schmitt, N., and M.J. McCarthy. Vocabulary: Description,
Acquisition and Pedagogy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997, 199-227.
3. Lewis, M. The lexical approach. Hove:
4. Tomlinson, B. Materials Development in
Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
5. Walsh, S. Investigating Classroom Discourse.
6. McCarten, J. Teaching vocabulary.
Lessons for the classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2011