• INCORPORATING INTERACTIVE VOCABULARY ACTIVITIES INTO CLASSES

    INCORPORATING INTERACTIVE VOCABULARY ACTIVITIES INTO CLASSES
    By Maggie Courtright and Cathy Wesolek
    (re) presented by: Ms. Anita Zuraida
    Students know vocabulary development is important for them to learn English, but often they don’t have a clear understanding of how to go about really learning vocabulary. It is our job, as a teacher, to help our students understand how to learn it effectively. Therefore, incorporating interactive vocabulary does take extra time for the teacher.
    So, what is Interactive Vocabulary Activities? IVA is learning about the words in a variety of interactive ways. Below are the examples of Interactive Vocabulary Activities:
    BEGINNING LEVEL
    For students at these very beginning levels of language and instruction, recognition of and exposure to English words are critical. The examples of activities are:
    1. To spot differences between words those are similar in appearance but often radically different in terms of grammar and/or meaning.
    - Cross out the word that is different.
    dairy dairy daily dairy
    butter better better better
    2. To provide a semantic frame for vocabulary words that are part of a larger schema.
    Animal
    Meat (general)
    Meat (specific)
    Pig
    Pork
    Bacon, ham, sausage
    Cow
    Beef
    Hamburger
    Cross out the word that doesn’t belong in the same group.
    Pig chicken beef sheep
    Bacon ham sausage pig
    3. To make grammatical distinctions among vocabulary items.
    (Students produce sentences which highlight their understanding of the different part. The purposes of this exercise are to show that not all word families have the same members (adj or adv form) and to expose students to some of the irregularities of English).
    Write short sentences using each of the following words.
    n. happiness adj. happy adv. Happily
    n. friend adj. friendly
    4. To have students find the differences between minimal pairs orally (like example no.1)
    INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
    While the elementary level student is grasping for a word to communicate meaning, the intermediate student is seeking to expand that basic vocabulary. The examples of activities are:
    1. Differentiating related vocabulary items within a set.
    Give an example of a food that can be described by each of the following adjectives:
    sweet salty spicy sour
    bitter bland plain hot
    The aim of this activity:
    To generate practice in a context that requires students to fine-tune their knowledge and learn more about the nature of vocabulary acquisition.
    2. Application Question.
    Having read an article in which terms such as symbol, motto, and oath occur, students are asked to apply their understanding of these terms.
    a. List 3 entities that might have a motto
    b. List 3 symbols and what they represent
    c. List 3 situations in which you might be asked to take an oath.
    3. Generating sets (playing guessing game)
    After reading a unit on recreation, have students created cards for “Things you can do at the Beach “ or “Equipment you need for Camping”. Give teams five minutes to generate the cards. Then allow the opposite team to guess what is on the card. The guessing team gets points for every match they make within 60 seconds.
    4. New Context Prompts.
    Applying a set of vocabulary items to a completely new context. Consider some of the vocabulary associated with a disaster:
    Survivors crashed serious
    Injuries destroyed fatal
    Investigated tragic consequences
    If students have read an article about an airplane crash, the teacher can ask them to write paragraphs about a natural disaster. Students can also be assigned to describe the events depicted in photographs of a rescue attempt, avalanche, or earthquake.
    ADVANCED LEVEL
    Students at this level need opportunity to practice using words on their vocabulary lists so that they will feel more confident use the words independently later. These activities allow students to further refine their knowledge of word usage:
    1. Web Contexts
    Find an online magazine or newspaper that is searchable. Type in the vocabulary words and copy the sentence(s) in which the word is used. These sentences can be copied into a word processor. In that way the class can examine several contexts in which the vocabulary words are used.
    2. Paraphrasing
    Paraphrasing activity can be done with sentences from the reading passages.
    3. Finish the Sentence
    Students are given the beginning of a sentence and asked to complete it in a way that clearly shows they know the meaning of the word.
    4. Stories and Role-plays
    -Write a newspaper account or police report of the murder described in Edgar Allan Poe’s story The Tell-Tale Heart
    - write a dialogue using vocabulary in the word bank.
    5. Real-life Questions
    In small groups, students draw questions from a bag. Each question contains a vocabulary words. Students are allowed a few minutes to think and then must read their question out loud and answer it using the vocabulary word or a related form.
    Example:
    a. What is something your country has an ample supply of?
    b. What is something scarce in your country?
    6. Extended Writing
    - Write a story (fictional or true) using as many of your vocabulary words as possible.
    - Write an essay using at least five vocabulary words in the word bank.
    - Write a restaurant review or a description of a dish from your country, using at least ten of the words from the vocabulary list.
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