Sunday, May 19, 2013

Another Vocabulary Book

Oh yes, I always "dress" for reading!
In the ongoing saga of "Kathy learns to teach vocabulary", I'm moving to the next book on my list: Teaching Vocabulary to Second Language Learners by Graves, August, and Mancilla-Matinez.  Although this book is aimed at K-12 ESL instruction, there is no reason that the main principles should not apply to teaching adults.  Perhaps we'll see about that over the next 6 months!

I've just completed the introductory portion of the book.  As in Folse, the authors assert that   vocabulary instruction is neglected far too much (some of the same studies are cited).  In this book, the authors propose a vocabulary teaching program consisting of four parts:

- providing rich and varied language experiences
- teaching individual words
- teaching word learning strategies
- fostering word consciousness (noticing, yeah!)

The meat of the book consists of one chapter for each of these topics and there's a final chapter which  discusses and compares four "empirically validated vocabulary programs for ELLs".  Because I'm not in a reading group this time, I'm going to have to provide my own discipline!  By that, I mean pausing after each chapter to ask myself some questions and rereading the chapter before continuing. I'm also setting a deadline of the end of June.  I'm giving lots of time for pondering each chapter -- allowing for a shift from "receptive" to "productive" understanding?

image courtesy of plum leaves

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