In the recently published “Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning – Volume II” (2011) there is an informative chapter by Nation and Webb on what research says supports vocabulary learning. I will outline the five conditions they describe so that you can work towards these in your classrooms to support the learning of vocabulary:(1) Motivation – The English Language Learners need to be interested and attentive when learning vocabulary.
(2) Repetition – The English Language Learners need multiple opportunities to work with and see the word.
(3) Four strands – English Language Learners need (a) the word to be presented to them meaningfully; (b) to have opportunities to produce the word meaningfully themselves; (c) be deliberately taught the word; (d) have opportunities to practice using the word.
(4) Thoughtful processing – English Language Learners need to consciously attend to the word and it’s meaning, be given opportunities to recall the meaning of the word, and use the word in a different (although correct) way than it was taught.
(5) Meaningful relationships – English Language Learners need to be taught sets of words that relate to one another in meaningful ways, as opposed to being taught lists of words that do not have meaningful relationships to one another.
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Everyday ELL is now Every Language Learner.