Bridge course, Module9.docx - Module 9 Teaching Vocabulary...

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Module 9Teaching Vocabulary9.1 IntroductionIn previous modules, we discussed analyzing language into language skills and language systems inorder to balance instruction and to select effective lesson planning strategies. So far, we have workedon the four skills, reading, listening, speaking, and writing. These skills are the things we do withlanguage. In this module, we turn to a language system, vocabulary. Vocabulary is a component oflanguage, along with grammatical structure, phonology/pronunciation, and function. These systemsare the things we know about a language.Vocabulary matters. When we first consider learning a language, we think about words. We ask ourfriend who speaks the new language, “What does that word mean?” We try out the sound of thenew word. Our friend smiles at our efforts. Learning new words in our target language isfundamental. In this module, we will review some effective approaches to vocabulary instruction. Wewill also review all the different aspects of learning or knowing a word. In this way, teachers cananticipate English language learners’ difficulties and guide them successfully.There are some challenges that are specific to learning English vocabulary. For example, spellingwords correctly and recognizing them in their spelled forms can be a challenge since English haspatterns of correspondence between sounds and letters, rather than a fixed phonics system. In theprevious modules, you have seen some information about the vocabulary of the English languageand you are aware of the language's origins and size. This history is part of the reason for thecomplexity of our vocabulary. Moreover, you know something of the creative tendency of the Englishlanguage to borrow and integrate vocabulary from other languages. Unlike some other languages,English vocabulary is changing and flexible, reflecting what is current in our culture. MerriamWebster just added the words Bollywood, speed dating and telenovela to the English dictionary. Areyou ready to teach them?9.2 The Many Aspects of Recognizing and Understanding a WordIf you are a native speaker or a person who became fluent in English at an early age, it is easy tooverlook the challenges that a learner faces to "know" a word.Knowing a word encompasses somuch more than simply understanding the meaning. And what if a word has more than onemeaning? At what point do you say, as a teacher, that a student "knows" a word? This sectionintroduces several aspects of "knowing" that you must know and know how to explicitly teach to.Cognates/Homonyms - spoken or written form recognizedWe know a word when we see it in written form or hear someone say the word. At times, a learnerbelieves he recognizes an English word because it resembles one in his first language. These wordswith a strong resemblance to each other are called cognates. An example of a cognate is the word"hamburger" in English, which can be recognized by most Spanish speakers due to its resemblance to

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Term
Spring
Professor
Martha Tolleson
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