You can say almost anything with words!

22 January 2015 By In Language Blog
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All languages have words. Language emerges first as words, both historically, and in terms of the way each of us learned our first and any subsequent languages. The coining of new words never stops nor does the acquisition of words. Even, in our first language we are continually learning new words, and learning new meanings for old words. Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed. If you spend most of your time studying grammar, your English will not improve very much. You will see most improvement if you learn more words and expressions. You can say very little with grammar, but you can say almost anything with words! 

In my language classes, I always use different methods to teach vocabulary, one of them is teaching vocabulary through contextual redefinition. I use this teaching strategy to help students learn the importance of context clues in understanding the meaning of a word or concept. What I do in this is that I give a paragraph to the trainees and ask them to underline the difficult words and ask them to predict the possible meanings through different clues (antonyms/synonyms; local context; structural analysis—word parts, background knowledge; or global context—beyond sentence-level). Then I provide a pack of words which give the meanings of the underlined words, or sometimes a short definition, in shuffled form. They try to find out the exact meaning of the word from the given pack and try to contextualize it. This instructional strategy is appropriate for teaching students how to use context clues and definitions to solidify knowledge of word meanings. Teaching vocabulary through contextual redefinition is always a great teaching experience for me and a fun learning experience for the students!

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