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The 2 Best & Widely Used Techniques For Teaching EFL Vocabulary

techniques to teaching vocabulary

There are several techniques for teaching EFL new vocabulary. Here are the 2 best and widely used of them

1. Traditional Technique

This technique goes in five stages as follows:

1) Lead-in

In this stage, the teacher should get the students engaged and activate their prior knowledge in relevance to the topic or the context he intends to use.

2) Exposure

The teacher provides a context for the target vocabulary; written or spoken text or a situation.

3) Clarification

In this stage, the teacher draws students’ attention to the target vocabulary and clarify the meaning, form and pronunciation of it.

4) Controlled practice

The teacher checks students’ understanding of the target vocab. and diagnose their problems with it. (choose, fill in the space, missing letters, using one word, sentence completion, opposite word, correct the underlined mistake, etc.)

The aim here is to help students gain control over the target vocabulary and prepare them for free practice activities.

5) Free practice

In this stage, the teacher provides students with more meaningful practice of the target vocab. (use the new vocabulary in sentences, use the new vocabulary in a story, etc.)

The aim here is to allow students to use the target vocabulary more meaningfully in speaking/writing through (a debate, role-play, telling a story etc.

2. RRP Technique

This technique goes in three stages as follows:

  1. Recognition stage
  2. Receptive stage
  3. Productive stage

1. Recognition stage

In this stage, the teacher presents the phonic form, graphic form, the lexical meaning and the grammatical position of the new words. He may consider following these steps: –

a) Create a situation or use the target vocabulary in a meaningful context or use visual aids to show the meaning of the target vocabulary.

To show meaning, the teachers can use various techniques at a time such as:

  • Acting (dramatizing – miming – using gestures and facial expressions)
  • Describing (using definitions, synonyms and antonyms)
  • Demonstrating (using pictures, realia, drawings, flashcards)
  • Student guessing (using context, word games and songs)
  • Translating (as the last resort especially for concrete vocabulary)

b) Pronounce the target vocabulary two or three times and students repeat.     

d) Show the visual form of the vocabulary and spell them.

2) Receptive stage

In this stage, the teacher provides the learners with exercises that stress reception rather than production. It is also important to check their understanding of the meaning.

3) Productive stage

In this stage, the teacher should concentrate on how to use the new vocabulary productively and correctly by providing the students with exercises and requesting them to use the target vocabulary in situational contexts.

Other Techniques You Can Use

  • ECDW = Elicitation, Concept, Drilling, Writing
  • PPP = Presentation, Practice, Production
  • ESA = Engage, Study, Activate
  • TTT = Test, Teach, Test

Want more information about these techniques? Contact me at eltguide@gmail.com

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