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Dictionary skills ‒ vocabulary development

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Autor: Radmila Záviská
Anotace: The fourth practical article of the series Dictionary Skills in English Lessons for the 8th and 9th grades. Two activities in this article give tips how to organize new vocabulary, other activities focus learners’ attention on idioms, collocations and the usage of expressions that are different in British and American English.
Čtvrtý praktický článek ze seriálu Dictionary Skills in English Lessons for the 8th and 9th grades. Rozšiřování slovní zásoby pomocí slovníku patří k základním dovednostem, ke kterým by žáci na ZŠ měli být v rámci práce s cizojazyčným slovníkem vedeni. Aktivity nabízené v tomto článku dávají několik tipů, jak si efektivně zapisovat novou slovní zásobu, jak pracovat s idiomy nebo kolokacemi a poukazují na fakt, že v angličtině existují výrazy, které jsou v americké a britské angličtině rozdílné.
Podpora výuky jazyka:
Klíčové kompetence:
  1. Základní vzdělávání » Kompetence k učení » vyhledává a třídí informace a na základě jejich pochopení, propojení a systematizace je efektivně využívá v procesu učení, tvůrčích činnostech a praktickém životě
  2. Základní vzdělávání » Kompetence k řešení problémů » vyhledá informace vhodné k řešení problému, nachází jejich shodné, podobné a odlišné znaky, využívá získané vědomosti a dovednosti k objevování různých variant řešení, nenechá se odradit případným nezdarem a vytrvale hledá konečné řešení problému
  3. Základní vzdělávání » Kompetence sociální a personální » účinně spolupracuje ve skupině, podílí se společně s pedagogy na vytváření pravidel práce v týmu, na základě poznání nebo přijetí nové role v pracovní činnosti pozitivně ovlivňuje kvalitu společné práce
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Organizace řízení učební činnosti: Frontální, Skupinová, Individuální
Organizace prostorová: Školní třída
Nutné pomůcky: psací potřeby, papír, pastelky, výkladový slovník, překladový slovník
Klíčová slova: vocabulary, dictionary, dictionary skills, teaching English, idiom, collocation, British English, American English

Vocabulary development

One of the essential parts of dictionary training is learning to deal effectively with a particular word or phrase once looked up in a dictionary so two activities in this article give tips how to organize new vocabulary. Other activities look at the usage of idioms, collocations and the usage of expressions that are different in British and American English.

1. Words of the month

TIME

5 minutes a lesson

OBJECTIVE

To encourage visual memory and association, to give students a tip how to organize new vocabulary

MATERIALS

 A large piece of paper to make a chart

DESCRIPTION 

  1. Explain that you are going to make a vocabulary wall-chart as a project and show your pupils a piece of paper with the headline WORDS OF THE MONTH. Continue the lesson as usual, but just before the end of the lesson, ask the pupils to say at least one new word they have learnt. Choose one or two most useful ones for your pupils and write them on the chart.
  2. At the beginning of the next lesson revise the words eg. by using them in a sentence or just translating them. Continue throughout the month, adding new words.
  3. When you have written enough words, prepare cards with either the definitions of the words or translations and give each pupil a card or some of the cards. Then they write them next to the correct English word.
  4. Try to revise the words as often as possible and at the beginning of a new month prepare a new wall-chart.

COMMENTS

This activity really helped the pupils to realize the importance of organizing new vocabulary. In the 9th grade they were even able to write down new words without any need to remind them – useful skill especially for those pupils who intend to study at e.g. grammar schools. 

2. Topic based vocabulary

TIME

30 minutes

OBJECTIVE

Vocabulary development, spelling of new words

MATERIALS

A bilingual dictionary for each pupil

DESCRIPTION 

  1. Explain that the pupils are going to look up in their dictionaries words connected with certain topics. Ask them to draw a grid with 9 squares.
  2. Ask the pupils to name the topics they are interested in and write them on the board. The pupils copy them into the grid ‒ all pupils will have the same nine topics.
  3. For each pupil choose one different letter of the alphabet and tell them that they have to find one or two new words beginning with that letter and associated with each topic. Give the class some time to browse their dictionaries.
  4. When they have found the words, form the pairs. The pupils in pairs now compare their words and explain the meanings of the words (either in English or Czech). If they are interested in the partner’s words, they can write them in the grid. Then the pupils can form a new pair and the activity is repeated.

COMMENTS

This activity showed the pupils a tip for learning a topic based vocabulary. A variation of this activity is mind maps – I gave to all pupils the same topic but a different letter of the alphabet and their task was to find at least three words connected with that topic and beginning with that letter. They had to write the words in the form of a mind map. After some time they shared their ideas and we chose 15 the most interesting or useful words of the topic.

NB: This activity is based on [6] p95.

3. Mind maps

TIME

30 minutes

OBJECTIVE

Vocabulary development, spelling of new words, practising parts of speech

MATERIALS

A bilingual dictionary for each pupil

DESCRIPTION 

  1. Divide the pupils into groups of three or four.
  2. Give each of the groups one topic (animals, food, buildings etc.) – each group has a different topic which is unknown for the other groups.
  3. Explain that the pupils are going to look up new words associated with their topic and they have to find at least two nouns, two adjectives and two verbs. Of course they can find other parts of speech. Tell them to write the words down in the form of a mind map to teach the pupils another way of organizing new vocabulary. (In the group each pupil creates the mind map.)
  4. Give the class 20 minutes to browse through their dictionaries.
  5. After time limit mix the pupils in the groups. It would be perfect if the pupils in each new group had a different topic.
  6. The pupils in the new groups take turns in dictating or spelling their words. The rest of the group both guess the topic and note down the new words.

COMMENTS

This activity was useful not only from the point of view of learning new vocabulary but also it was good listening practice. The pupils tended to choose really difficult words so I helped them to look up the words which were more suitable and useful for their level. 

4. Auction

TIME

20 minutes

OBJECTIVE

Development of topic based vocabulary

MATERIALS

A bilingual dictionary for each pupil, playing money (appendix 1)

DESCRIPTION 

  1. Explain that the pupils are participants in an auction. If necessary explain what the auction means.
  2. Divide the class into two groups at least. Give them the rules of the auction: the teacher gives the topic, e.g. food. The pupils have 30 seconds to recall as many words as possible. They can look up some new words in a dictionary and write them down.
  3. After 30 seconds ask for the highest offer – each group have to secretly write the number of the words they have and the amount they are willing to bet, e.g. 20 words/£10. Then the teacher takes the offers. The group with the highest number of the correct words gets the same money they have bet. The other groups have to pay the teacher the money they have bet.
  4. Then you can give them another topic and the auction continues.

COMMENTS:   

While doing this activity in the lesson, the pupils started to call out their offers earlier than after 30 seconds and it made this activity more as a competition. They can start with a lower number and then they can bid according to the number of the words of the other groups. It was more as a real auction.

5. Running dictation for colour idioms

TIME

30 minutes

OBJECTIVE

Vocabulary development, to practise finding idioms in a dictionary

MATERIALS

A monolingual dictionary for each pupil, copy of a worksheet (appendix 2)

DESCRIPTION 

  1. Divide the class into pairs and give each pair a copy of the worksheet only with the definitions. Explain the word IDIOM. Give them time to look up any unknown word in a dictionary.
  2. Pin up the cards with colour idioms around the class. (It can be done before the lesson.)
  3. Explain that one pupil from each pair will leave his/her seat in order to read and remember one idiom pinned up around the class. Then he/she returns and dictates the idiom to his or her partner. Both pupils together try to match the definition to the idiom. If they are not able to do it, they just write the idiom down and the other pupil in each pair goes round the class to find the next idiom. The procedure continues till the pair has written down all the idioms.
  4. If there are some idioms the pupils do not understand, they can check them in the dictionary. Then go through all the idioms with the whole class and the pupils can add the Czech equivalent.

COMMENTS

In this activity some of the pupils heard the expression IDIOM for the first time. They liked movement around the class and the dictation was also a good listening exercise.

6. Are you British or American?

TIME

30 minutes

OBJECTIVE

To realize differences between British and American English and distinguish them in a dictionary

MATERIALS

A bilingual dictionary for each pupil, a copy of the worksheet (appendix 3), colour pencils

DESCRIPTION 

  1. Ask the pupils if they can tell the difference among people speaking British, American or for example Australian English. Explain that there are differences not only in the accents and pronunciation but also in the spelling and in the naming of the same things. Give such examples as the word colour, written in British English, but color in American English, or different pronunciation of the word city. Show the pupils how British or American expressions are marked in the dictionary.
  2. Give the pupils a copy of the worksheet each and let them colour it. The pupils should use one colour for one pair of words.

COMMENTS

In the 8th and 9th grades the pupils have already noticed that there are certain differences in British and American English but they do not distinguish what is British and what is American. This activity helped them to concentrate on this problem.

7. Collocation – find your partner

TIME

10 minutes

OBJECTIVE

To realize collocations

MATERIALS

A monolingual dictionary for each pupil, cards with halves of collocations (appendix 4)

DESCRIPTION 

  1. Write an example of a simple collocation, e.g. fish and chips, on the board. Explain that collocations are more or less fixed expressions, words that go together.
  2. Cut the worksheet with the collocations and give each pupil a half of a sport collocation. Tell them they have to find the second part. If they are not sure which words collocate, they can use a dictionary to find the correct collocation. One of the pupils has the name of the sport (or a verb describing the sport activity) and the second has the name of the place where you can practise this sport.

COMMENTS

This activity showed the pupils that for one Czech word (in this case HŘIŠTĚ) there are several expressions in English and they are used in the certain collocations.

8. Collocation – a game

TIME

30 minutes

OBJECTIVE

To realize collocations

MATERIALS

A monolingual dictionary for each pupil, playing cards with halves of collocations (appendix 5)

DESCRIPTION

  1. Remind the pupils that collocations are more or less fixed expressions, words that go together. Ask them to name several collocations they know.
  2. Write on the board the second parts of collocations (part 2 of the worksheet). Ask the pupils to have a look at them and tell the first parts of collocations – either they know them or they can use a dictionary to look them up.
  3. Now the pupils can start the game. Divide the pupils into groups of four. Each pupil will get one playing card (with the first parts of collocations) and each group will get a set of second parts of collocations (to be held in a pile facing down).
  4. One pupil takes a card from the pile and reads it. The pupil, whose first part collocates with this card, takes this card and puts it on the playing card to hide the first part. Then he/she continues in taking cards and the pupils take turns. The winner is the first pupil who gets all second parts of collocations.

COMMENTS

The pupils enjoyed this game. In the lesson the activity continued in practising the collocations – after the game the pupils saw only the second parts of the collocations and their task was to repeat the whole collocation. To make this revision more difficult the pupils can change their playing cards so they have new collocations.

Zařazení do seriálu: Tento článek je zařazen do seriálu Dictionary skills in English lessons for the 8th and 9th grades .

Ostatní články seriálu:

Citace a použitá literatura:
[1] - Collins Cobuild New Student’s Dictionary. 4. vydání. Glasgow : HarperCollins Publishers, 2000. 754 s. ISBN 0003750949. 
[2] - Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary – worksheets. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2001. 14 s.  
[3] - Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. 7. vydání. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2005. 1780 s. ISBN 0194316491. 
[4] - HAIS, Karel; HODEK, Břetislav. Praktický slovník anglicko-český, česko-anglický. 1. vydání. Voznice : Leda, 2003. 664 s. ISBN 8085927241. 
[5] - FRONEK, Josef. Anglicko-český, česko-anglický slovník. 1. vydání. Voznice : Leda, 2003. 1277 s. ISBN 8085927489. 
[6] - WRIGHT, Jon. Dictionaries. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1998. 172 s. ISBN 0194372197. 
[7] - Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. 2008. [cit. 2012-02-23]. Dostupný z WWW: [http://www.oup.com/elt/catalogue/teachersites/oald...].  
[8] - WARING, Rob. How to get your students to use their dictionaries effectively. 2001. [cit. 2012-02-23]. Dostupný z WWW: [http://www1.harenet.ne.jp/~waring/vocab/dictionary...].  
[9] - VÍT, Marek. Jak na to: Používáme slovník. 2006. [cit. 2012-02-23]. Dostupný z WWW: [http://www.helpforenglish.cz/tipy-a-triky/jak-na-a...].  
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Publikován: 23. 02. 2012
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ZÁVISKÁ, Radmila. Dictionary skills ‒ vocabulary development. Metodický portál: Články [online]. 23. 02. 2012, [cit. 2019-12-16]. Dostupný z WWW: <https://clanky.rvp.cz/clanek/c/z/12623/DICTIONARY-SKILLS-‒-VOCABULARY-DEVELOPMENT.html>. ISSN 1802-4785.
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Komentáře
1.Autor: Recenzent1Vloženo: 23. 02. 2012 21:12
Příspěvek popisuje několik aktivit, při kterých žáci pracují se slovníkem. Popsané aktivity jsou zaměřené především na rozšíření či osvojení nové slovní zásoby za pomoci slovníku, pracuje se také s rozdíly mezi britskou a americkou variantou jazyka. Autorka popis jednotlivých aktivit doplnila o své vlastní zkušenosti s těmito aktivitami. K dispozici jsou také pracovní listy autorky k jednotlivým aktivitám.
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