Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Teaching Vocabulary to Beginners: Research and Resources

Stacy1By Stacy Hagen
Co-Author, Azar-Hagen Grammar Series

Teaching vocabulary to beginners is definitely challenging! In terms of research, Betty and I have a few resources to recommend:

Keith Folse has an excellent book: Vocabulary Myths: Applying Second Language Research to Classroom Teaching. Here’s a link to a summary of the eight myths: http://esl.fis.edu/teachers/support/folse.htm

Paul Nation has done extensive research on teaching vocabulary. His article on teaching beginners is short and to the point. His website may also be useful, including download links for free graded readers.

Both Folse and Nation advocate some use of the L1 to teach vocabulary.

American English at State posts short, user-friendly vocabulary lessons on their Facebook page (though I couldn’t find these lessons on their website.) If your students are on Facebook, they might enjoy these.

American English at State also offers a free app for learning English. If you are interested in other English language learning apps, here is a helpful review. At the beginning level, these programs seem to emphasize vocabulary.

Good luck! We hope these resources are helpful.

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