How can you teach ESL students new vocabulary words?


Quick Answer

Instructors can teach English as a second language (ESL) students new vocabulary words by using methods such as pre-teaching vocabulary before language activities, focusing on cognates with the students' native languages and providing scaffolding support. Technology, such as computers and audio books, can help ESL students build their vocabulary and increase their English language skills. Instructors should also encourage students to speak as much as possible in class.

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Full Answer

There are a number of methods available to teach new vocabulary words to ESL students. For example, it is possible to pre-teach new vocabulary before the day's activities to help students have a change to identify the words when used in context. Methods that can assist teachers with pre-teaching vocabulary include role playing, drawings, providing examples and asking students to repeat the word.

Another method is to encourage ESL students to figure out the meaning of new words by comparing them to similar words in their native language. For example, the English word "family" and the Spanish word "familia" are related and knowledge Spanish can help students learn English.

Teachers can also provide support to ESL students using scaffolding methods. Examples include posting new vocabulary words on a "word wall" to review each day and label classroom objects with their English word.

Introducing ESL students to educational shows, English language computer programs and audio books can help them learn new words and increase skill.

Finally, helping students improve their vocabulary by encouraging them to speak as much as possible is another good method. Ask them questions that are interactive and gives them the opportunity to use the new words.

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