Enriching Academic Vocabulary: Strategies for Teaching Tier Two Words to E.L.L. Students

Learning academic vocabulary can be a daunting task for foreign language learners. This article describes “Robert Marzano’s Six Steps to Better Vocabulary Instruction

  1. Pronounce the word and write it down
  2. Describe the word using various examples with pictures and or sentences
  3. Students write their own definitions of the words in English or their mother tongue. They should NOT just copy a dictionary definition. Then use the word in an original sentence.
  4. Reinforcing exercises
  5. Student discussions
  6. Games

Larry Ferlazzo says that “It’s clear that multiple exposures to new words in different contexts (or, the Principal of Re-contextualization and the Principle of Multiple Encounters) is critical, though there is not universal agreement about the exact number of repetitions needed before the word is fully learned. Some researcherssuggest eight to 10 times in different contexts will do the trick.” At Beth English Tutor Pro, we use 1 ,2, and 5 quite regularly. We practice the pronunciation of new vocabulary, describe it, and then use it in day-to-day sentences while having discussions about students’ days and interests.

2 Comments on “Enriching Academic Vocabulary: Strategies for Teaching Tier Two Words to E.L.L. Students

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