Q:

How do you teach vocabulary?

A:

Quick Answer

To teach vocabulary, one should use strategies supported by educational and memory research, such as modeling its usage and helping learners make cognitive connections between new information and prior knowledge. One should also provide opportunities for repetition so learners encounter and use the same words and concepts numerous times.

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Full Answer

Also effective is facilitating learners’ recollection of definitions by encouraging them to use their own language to construct word meanings. Synonyms can often be used as definitions, so directing learners to find synonyms for each new word is usually quite helpful.

One might also allow learners to compose jingles as a way to integrate new words with preexisting knowledge. Letting them draw pictures to reinforce what terms represent, create review games to rehearse their definitions, or act out word meanings to stimulate procedural memory are other options.

The more people hear words, the more automatic their use of the terms become, so consistent modeling and creating vocabulary notebooks help accomplish this goal. This helps students use the words more easily in writing and speaking.

Instructing learners to break words into their component parts for analysis is effective as well. Also, the volume of reading people do has a significant impact on their vocabulary development, so one should encourage learners to read a rich variety of texts.

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