Teaching ESL Vocabulary: Tips for TEFL Teachers
Author: Ed Earl
ESL students enjoy learning new words and feel great satisfaction expanding their understanding of the English language. The following seven tips for TEFL teachers are a great way to help improve your students ESL vocabulary.
1) Vocab book: Collect all the words that you plan to teach your ESL students and put them together in a mini book. Photocopy the book and give a copy to each student. Choose 5-10 words each week for a spelling test. Create a chart on the wall with the students names. Write the test scores on the chart each week. This will motivate the students to learn the vocab.
2) Recycle: It is important that the students recycle the words they learn so they do not forget them. Use the Vocab books to practice all the words they learn. At least once a week have the students read out all the ESL vocabulary words from the book that they have learnt.
3) Flash cards: Create ESL flash cards for each word you wish them to learn. Stick these words on the ESL classroom walls. Play an ESL game which involves them finding a given word.
4) Games: There are many ESL games for practicing vocabulary. Offer to play a game at the end of the ESL lesson if the students finish their work and behave well.
5) Words from home: Ask students to find new ESL vocab words at home and bring them into school. They can cut words from cereal boxes, newspapers and magazines. Offer a prize to the student that collects the most amount of words.
6) Brainstorm: Brainstorms are excellent ways for students to test their vocabulary knowledge regarding a given ESL topic. It is also a great way to review the vocab that students have been studying during a lesson or the previous week. The teacher writes a topic on the board and the students offer as many words that they can think of that relate to this topic. The students really enjoy this ESL activity and you can repeat it many times without them getting bored.
7) ‘Make Some Words’: This is an ESL game that gets the students thinking about vocabulary. The teacher writes a long word on the board and the students have to make as many words as possible from their ESL vocabulary using the letters from the word.
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