How to Teach English Vocabulary in Middle School

By Lauren Webb,2014-08-30 10:02
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How to Teach English Vocabulary in Middle School

    How to Teach English Vocabulary in Middle School

    Abstract: The English vocabulary teaching in the middle school is an indispensable part of English curriculum. Just as a famous linguist Wilkins said, Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed. The writer found many drawbacks in the

    traditional English teaching through the teaching practice, for example, neglecting the scientific rules of study, etc .In order to improve the problem, the writer has done some research in different ways and put them into practice in class teaching. It proves that it is very useful to use different visual props, guessing the meaning of the words and playing games to stimulate students' interests. It will help students to overcome their anxiety and avoid the unfavorable affection from mother tongue and stimulate their motives of studying vocabulary. It has been adopted and proved to be effective in the vocabulary learning.

    Key words: vocabulary, context, competence, stimulate


    摘要;中学英语的词汇教学是教学的重要环节。正如著名的语言学家维尔金斯所说,没有语法,我们几乎不能明确地表达思想; 而如果没有词汇我们则完全无法表达任何东西。作者通过教学实践发现了传统中学英语词汇教学的不足,如忽略了科学的学习规律等。针对目前中学英语课堂这些问题,笔者在课堂上尝试用不来同的方法来改善这一现状,并在教学实践中进行深入的探讨和充分运用。结果发现在课堂内,使用不同的直观教具、猜测词意、做游戏等方法来激发学生的学习欲望是非常有用的。在课堂外,应帮助学生克服学习词汇时的焦虑思想以及强调学习词汇的目的等方法解决学生的心理障碍。




    Abstract„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„i 摘要„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„ii Contents„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„iii Introduction„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„1 1.The Importance of Vocabulary Teaching in Middle School„„„„„1 2. The Ways of Teaching Vocabulary in Class„„„„„„„„„„„2 2.1 Using pictures „„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„2 2.2 Using drawings„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„4 2.3 Using objects and slides„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„6 2.4 Guessing the word's meaning„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„7 2.5 Playing games„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„8 2.6 Learning in the communication„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„10 3. The Methods of Improving Their Vocabulary Out of Class„„„„11 3.1 Helping students to remove their anxiety„„„„„„„„„„„12 3.2 Training students' interests and stimulating their motives„„„13

     3.3 Teaching students to overcome the negative effect„„„„„„„13 Conclusion„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„14 Bibliography„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„16 Acknowledgement„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„„17



    Grammar provides the overall patterns, and vocabulary is the material to put in the patterns. Without grammar we can convey a little, but without vocabulary we can convey nothing. In the middle school, many students devote large amounts of time and energy to the learning of vocabulary, but they still complain that their vocabulary size is not large enough or they cannot avoid forgetting. It is very important to make students aware not all words are equally important and that effective way of vocabulary learning help to reduce forget. Vocabulary teaching is an indispensable part of English curriculum. However, English teachers sometimes have tendency to overlook the importance of vocabulary teaching. This is especially obvious in the middle school. It is necessary for the teacher to know the importance of vocabulary teaching in the middle school.

    1.The Importance of Vocabulary Teaching in Middle School

    The word is one of the three basic language units (sound, word , grammar). It is essential to communication. One of the famous linguists Wilkins once said that, “Without grammar very little can be conveyed,

    [1]without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.” For Little children learn to

    speak in isolated words and then in chains of nouns and verbs. A child says, “Mum bye-bye bike”, is easily understood by English-speaking adult.


    Students who are immersed into a new linguistic settling tend to pick up vocabulary first, and then gradually develop a more accurate, structural framework in which to use these words. And they must continually be learning words as they learn structures and as they practice the sound system. Therefore, vocabulary teaching is an indispensable part of English lessons in middle school, and an important task for the teachers. Whether a middle school English teacher can follow scientific methods to teach vocabulary or not directly bring good or bad influence toward the students. If the teachers' methods are suitable for the students and beneficial for them in the long run, the teacher could arouse their interest on English and help them to develop a solid foundation of language acquisition ability, whereas if he fails to do so, it might result in the students‟ diffidence toward themselves and might cause them to disgust English. As a teacher, to learn how to teach English vocabulary is very important. Therefore, I will discuss kinds of ways of teaching vocabulary in the following part.

2. The Ways of Teaching Vocabulary In Class

    The teacher using the menial method in traditional teaching of teaching vocabulary, it is bad for the students to learn the vocabulary to keep the students involving at most. It is necessary to adopt various teaching techniques in class.

    2.1 Using Pictures


    Pictures for vocabulary teaching come from many sources. Pictures that have been cut out of magazines and newspapers are also useful. Many inexpensive books for children have attractive pictures which show meanings of basic words.

    Often a picture will show a situation or a sconce, in which there are several different things and persons. It is good for students to see the total sconce or picture to see how its parts are related to the whole. It is also helpful to see a picture of single object or a person as the only focus of attention.

    Pictures show human situations often interest students. Students enjoy imaging who the pictured persons might be, where they are, what happened before the pictured moment, what might happen next(

    A picture that suggests a story of a situation can be very valuable in the language class. In discussing a picture, students will feel the need to learn English words expressing their idea. Teachers are not native speakers of English sometimes avoid such discussions because they lack confidence in their ability to supply all the words. The students might need for expressing their thought. The more imaginative students enjoy stretching their English while writing stories. When the papers are handed in, Teachers, should not worried about theses errors and we should not make the writer feel ashamed of them. Most of the mistakes should be ignored. A few suggestions will be helpful to the students, but mainly teachers should just show interest in the story and praise the students attempts to use English words.


    For example, we have some pictures: a church, a taxi, a bus, a traffic light, a policeman, and a mailbox. Suppose each of pictures is large enough to be seen by all in the class. The students have seen and hard the English word for each one. And the students have copied the word into their notebooks. Teachers help the students to master the vocabulary. Teachers consider possible techniques, for making students feel it is important to know the English word.

    The teacher arranges the pictures along the ledge of the blackboard, saying something like this:

    we'll put the taxi here. Thats the first picture Then the bus …… then

    the traffic light…… then church…… then the policeman…… then the


    Teacher: Lee is going to move one of the pictures for us. Were going to

    tell him which picture to move Lee, please move the policeman first. (Lee moves the picture of the policeman, placing it first in the row on the ledge of the blackboard.)

    [2] Teacher: Put the taxi first (Lee does do).

    2.2 Using Drawings

    I think about ways of drawing students attention to the ideas represented

    by theses words (not to the words themselves). I consider a few possibilities and reject some. For instance, we could point to a boy and a girl in our class as a way of preparing students to learn the words boy and girl.


     If the textbook has a picture that shows a boy and a girl, we can direct attention to that picture focus attention on the blackboard. However, I may want to draw a set of illustrative stick figures. If the English words man/men, woman/women have not already been taught, we do not need to introduce theses words now. It is very possible, however, the students will request the English words when they see the picture men and women. When that happens, of course, we are delighted to supply those words. It is the perfect condition for learning vocabulary. When the students offers the English words, many of

    [3]his classmates will quickly learn it.

    If we are totally unable to draw, we can ask someone in the class to drown the set of stick figures on the blackboard before the lesson begins. At the beginning of the vocabulary lesson, we call students attraction to the set

    of the figures. This can be done by pointing, or by covering one of figures with a piece of paper, or by drawing a frame around the figures. As soon as it appears that the students are paying attention, we give them the words that speakers of English use for such human beings. I point to another boy and again said, A boy or That is a boy In the same way each of the girl figures

    is indicated and the word was given.

    Below each of those figures, then we write a boy or a girl. If we wish, we may also teach a man and a woman at this time. Certainly we will wish to do so if the English words for the pictured men and women are not taught now. However, the figures will serve a purpose: they will show that the words girl


    and boy do not usually represent adult persons. It should be given to this presentation of meanings and then of words. Now it will be important to give the students some experience with the use of those words for communication. It can be a very simple experience, but it must require the use of the words girl, boy, or person for giving and receiving information.

    2.3 Using Objects and Slides

    For the beginning class the teacher can prepare labels for objects in the classroom. For example, in the classroom the door might have a cable reading Class Two , above the chalkboard might be a sign saying study hard. If

    the lesson is about foods, the teacher could bring a basket of plastic fruit to class. The students will curiosity or interest on this class. Teacher: what is this?

    Student: It’s a tomato, its a pear, and it’s an orange. In teaching about the

    house, a dollhouse with furniture can be used to teach the names of rooms, floors, and parts of the house, articles of furniture. On the other hand, slides furnish an excellent medium for conveying the connotative cultural meaning of ordinary words in a foreign language. For example, the word house, to

    American students, denotes an American type of house, while to Chinese students, denotes an American type of house. With the facility of slides, teacher can show students what Americanstyle houses look like. Slides of

    daily contemporary sconces of foreign scoundrels can frequently be used in vocabulary teaching. Items of clothing might be taught first, with the help of drawings or pictures. A slide of several people going shopping provides an


    opportunity for the students to talk about what the people are wearing. In this way, foreign words slowly absorb the connotations they have in their own culture.

    2.4 Guessing the Word's Meaning

    Especially in middle school, students guessing have to work out rules and meanings for themselves rather than being given everything by the teachers. It is an appropriate alternative to standard presentation techniques. This is certainly true of vocabulary where students will often be asked to guess what a word means and how and why it is being used.

    The teacher can assume students already have a considerable store of vocabulary rather than teach them new words and show them examples of words in action. The teacher ask them to use their pervious knowledge to work out what words can go with others, when they should be used and what connotations they have.

    The teacher may want to ask students to try to work out what words mean, rather than just handing them the meanings, when students have had a go. With the words we can lead feedback sessions to see it they will understand the words correctly. The teachers know that students will select the words they want to learn and know that the words they have acquired seem to move between active and passive status, and the teacher know the involvement with word is likely to help students to learn and remember them. In other words, if we provide the right kind of exposure to words for the


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