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Teaching Vocabulary


1. Aims and tasks of teaching Vocabulary. Interrelation of vocabulary and other aspects of the target language.

2. Selection of minimum Voc. Methodological typology of Voc.

3. How to teach Voc.:

a) ways and techniques of presenting a new word and conveying its meaning;

b) drill exercise for teaching active Voc.;

c) ex-ses for improvement of Voc. habits.


The main practical aim of T.Voc in a secondary school is to form the pupils’ Voc. habits as a basic component of all the language activities.


Vocabulary work is inseparably connected with all the other aspects of the target language:

a) With pronunciation: lexical meaning are expressed with the help of phonic means of a language: -short and long vowels (fill-feel, knit-neat)

-open and close vowels (beg-bag)

-voiceless and voiced consonants (lad-let)

b) With morphology:

c) With syntax,

d) With spelling: fair tale – fare tail;

e) With stylistics: father, pa, daddy, pop, oldman.


By vocabulary habits we mean the ability:

  • To transfer of a word from distant memory to immediate memory;
  • To check the correctness of selection of a particular word in the given situation;
  • To instantly evaluate combinability of the word chosen with other vocabulary items;
  • To quickly choose the proper paradigmatic form of the word suitable for a particular structure

By methodological typology of the language material we mean distribution of lexical units into groups in accordance with the degree of their complexity for assimilation.


Different approaches to recognition of lexical (vocabulary) complexity:

taking into account qualitative characteristics of words, that is formal, functional and semantic peculiarities of a particular word and complexity of its assimilation under the condition of contact between two languages.

taking into account quantitative characteristics of words which imply wide use of words as well as their length which is measured in the number of letters or syllables.


The basic principles of selection of the active minimum Voc.:

1. semantic approach;

2. combinative approach;

3. stylistic approach ;

4. frequency approach;

5. word-building value;

6. words of polysemantic value;

7. excluding synonyms;

8. excluding international words.

NB! The active minimum Voc. is selected on the basis of topics and communicative situations, analysis of phonogram, dialogues, written speech.



The criteria of selection of the passive minimum Voc.:

§ derivability;

§ polysemantic character;

§ frequency and wide use;

§ topical associations;

§ semantic and word-building value.

The main stages of formation of the vocabulary habits.

Stage I - presentation of a new Voc. Aim – to introduce a new word and disclose (convey) of the meaning of each word.

Ways and techniques to convey the meaning of a word

v dictionaries v synonyms v antonyms v morphological analysis (word building) v context v definitions v examples v interpretation v matching (synonyms, opposites) v familiar or famous (international) words v demonstration of school paraphernalia (realia) v illustration material v models v demonstration of movements, mime, body language v pictograms, pictures, schemes v translation by means of giving an equivalent v translation-interpretation v comparing a foreign word with that of the mother tongue


The choice of a way of conveying the meaning of a word depends on the following factors: 1) whether the word belongs to the active or passive minimum Voc.;

2) on the stage of learning: at the junior level – visual techniques, speech-patterns, translation; at the intermediate level – synonyms, antonyms, word-building analysis; at the senior level - context, definitions;

3) on the level of the language preparation of the class;

4) on the qualitative characteristics of a word.


How to work at a new word?

There are two ways: at an isolated word

In a context


How to work at an isolated word:

Ø when you deal with proper names, geographical names;

Ø sometimes you can give some words to develop the language guessing abilities (the first word is given in a context, the rest – in isolation: a runner – in a context; a jumper – will be easily guessed);

Ø when teaching the pupils to work with a dictionary.


Work at a new word in a context is more widely used: in a phrase, in a situation, in a story, in question-answer form, in a talk, in a story with elements of a talk. It leads to better assimilation of new words.

Stage II – drilling. Aim: to create/form the stereotypes of usage of a new word.

Stage III – situational (communicative practice). Aim – improvement of the vocabulary habits and developing of the pupils’ skills of using the vocabulary independently.



Lecture 9

Date: 2015-02-16; view: 1532

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