Teaching vocabulary: the best solution is to not do it 😊

Yes, the best solution is to engage the learners to do it themselves 😊


Let the students do it in an interactive and self-selecting way. They will learn more and retain more and be more engaged in the process.


How does that work? First make sure you have the normal exposure addressed – you can’t learn vocabulary in any useful way unless you experience it in context – through lots of easy and interesting readers – see e.g. Oxford Reading Tree and of course try to find readers in a local context - English for Asia is different from English for the US.


Of course, as language learners they must memorize new lexis – there is no way around memorizing new lexis if you want to learn a new language. There are lots of good language learning apps – everything from https://www.funeasylearn.com/ to https://www.duolingo.com/ and many more site options for young learners which you can catch in our Train The Teacher Certificate in International TESOL Course.


But apps don’t solve your challenge as a language teacher – how do you have your students learn the language they need for the texts you are using or for the exam they are studying for?

And when they learn it, how do they retain it, and develop some fluency in it?


But apps don’t solve your challenge as a language teacher – how do you have your students learn the language they need for the texts you are using or for the exam they are studying for?

The solution is remarkably simple and remarkable effective. Give the learners one of the TTT Vocabulary Question Lists (VQLs) and as part of your lesson – beginning and end is best – have them ask and answers questions with one another.

This is MUCH more effective, engaging and interactive then either asking them to memorize, read the lexis out loud, or hear the teacher talking about the meaning of the words.

Choose one of the lists (print or e-copy) to suit your learners’ level and off you go!




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