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Teaching English to Young Adults

Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed (David Wilkins). This is how the linguist summed up the importance of vocabulary learning. If you spend most of their 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. ( Dellar H and Hocking D, Innovations, LTP). Effective vocabulary instruction is linked with strong reading achievement. Teaching vocabulary should not be an isolated subject or activity with students simply looking up and copying definitions from a dictionary. Vocabulary instruction should be taught in conjunction with the development of listening, reading, speaking and writing. It is determinant to utilize a variety of methods with multiple exposures to a new word. Context clues use the words, phrases, or sentences surrounding an unfamiliar vocabulary word to figure out the meaning of the word. Teaching young-adult learners how to use context clues involves show them how you deduce the meaning based on the clues around it. Practice this frequently with students, and once they understand what context clues are and how to use them, have them practice independently. Give students four or five vocabulary words before reading text together. Have students read sentences containing the vocabulary and write down what they think each word means. When reading the text, have student share answers and provide them with the correct meaning. It is important to teach word-learning strategies. Teaching prefixes, suffixes, and base words can enhance the ability to decode a word's meaning. According to, if students learn just the four most common prefixes in English (un-, re-, in-, dis-), they have the key to deciphering two thirds of all English words that have prefixes. Teaching antonyms and synonyms strengthens the concept of words and develops students vocabulary. When reading together, you can occasionally stop and point out a particular word and ask the students to think of a word that has the same or an opposite meaning. Have an antonym/synonym bulletin board that is interactive. Divide board space in half, one side for antonyms and for synonyms. Place words on that side of the bulletin board the students can easily find antonyms and synonyms for. Let the students who find an antonym or synonym write the new word and display on the bulletin board next to the original word. It's important to teach students how to effectively use a dictionary, thesaurus, glossary and online dictionary and thesaurus. It's not enough to show them that words are alphabetized and how to find a particular word. Teach the students that words have multiple meanings. For example, while reading to the students point out a word that has multiple meanings like

"light". Have students read the sentence and then read the many definitions of "light" in a dictionary. Ask students to choose the correct definition that is used in the text passage. It is important to raise awareness as to the key role vocabulary development plays in language learning. Learning a considerable amount of vocabulary permits that learners can speak the language fluency since it lets them to express their opinions or beliefs. Recognition of the meaning- making potential of words means that vocabulary is relevant in the objective of learning a language. Teaching vocabulary to the different ages is a challenge; many strategies can work with learners depending on their ages and maturity. To teach young-adults it is relevant to present them some reasons to learn something: 1. Adults need to know why they are learning something before they undertake the task of learning. 2. Adults want to experience learning as pleasurable. 3. Young adults especially are responsive to some external motivation, such as better jobs, higher salaries, admission in foreign universities etc. 4. Adults learn better if their learning is task-centered. i.e. Adults are motivated to learn when they perceive that their learning will help them perform tasks or deal with problems that they might confront in their life situations. Apparently, the role of a teacher and the teaching style changes accordingly. The aim is not merely to instruct and impart knowledge or skill, but to direct, guide and facilitate. Teaching vocabulary to young-adult learners requires to give learners some clear reasons to do so. They need tasks and strategies to help them organize their mental lexicon by building networks of associations - the more the better. Words need to be presented in their typical contexts, so that learners can get a feel for their meaning, their register, their collocations, and their syntactic environments. Teaching should direct attention to the sound of new words, particularly the way they are stressed. Learners should aim to build a threshold vocabulary as quickly as possible. Learners need to be actively involved in the learning of words.

Learners need multiple exposures to words and they need to retrieve words from memory repeatedly.

Learners need to make multiple decisions about words.

Memory of new words can be reinforced if they are used to express personally relevant meanings. Not all the vocabulary that the learners need can be 'taught': learners will need plentiful exposure to talk and text as well as training for selfdirected learning. There are many ways of dealing vocabulary to teach young-adults for example: word formation (affixation is one of the ways new words are formed from old. Combining two or more independent words, as in the case of second- hand, word processor, paperback and so on.); collocations( a continuum of strength of association: a continuum that moves from compound words (second-hand, record player), through multi-word units or lexical chunks, including idioms and phrasal verbs; synonyms and antonyms; lexical fields, identifying words (define what exactly a word is, verb, preposition, etc.), word families (words may share the same base or root like: looks, looked, looking). There are number of strategies and activities to apply with young-adult learners which can be motivating to learn vocabulary. Many activities can be exploited for example; learners can use academic texts or horoscopes to get more useful words. Some other activities are: Choose possible answers from a list, matching synonyms, matching opposites, fill in the blank sentences, compete the phrases, correct the mistakes, label pictures, cross out the word that doesn't belong with the others in the group., categories: You give the example; students give the category, analogies - good even at low levels, arrange the words on a scale, crossword puzzles. Teachers can choose interesting stories which suit the linguistic needs of students at each stage of their development in order to provide a motivating environment in which learning can take place. There are also great sources for direct and indirect of vocabulary input, the value of providing contextualized vocabulary input emphasizes on texts display. Authentic texts, including literary texts in particular are rich in vocabulary learning potential, since a large part of their coherence is due to their lexical patterning. Extensive reading of, for example, simplified readers is a good source of incidental vocabulary learning, particularly because of the repeated encounters readers have with words. Narrow reading-reading about one topic over a series of texts offers even more opportunities for repetition. Dictionaries are both a tool and a resource for vocabulary learning, since they contain a wealth of information about words, information that can be tapped through classroom activities, involving multiple decision-making.

Bibliography "">Teaching English Young Adults</a> Copyright 2008-2011 Kevin R. Burns, How to Teach English in Teaching Ideas for Vocabulary | How to teach vocabulary (Scott Thornbury)