In a previous post I spoke about the importance of Positive Reinforcement in the language classroom. It’s important that teachers show learners what language they are using correctly and praise them for it.
My justification for this is because we as teachers know what language is correct and incorrect, but that doesn’t mean learners know. In fact, as long as they have executed a successful communicative act, then they have achieved the desired goal: they’ve communicated a message.
Language is a wide topic and showing examples of good language use could range from grammar through lexis to pronunciation. Today, I’d like to focus only on vocabulary. Continue reading
Teacher Training programmes, development courses and INSETT sessions very often try to push teachers into going that one step further in presenting grammar: guide the learners into discovering the rules, set up tasks which demand the use of the target language, let the need for a particular aspect of grammar arise naturally during a lesson.
Vocabulary, on the other hand, seems to take the back seat in the ferocious drive to being the best. An argument for that might be the notion of grammar being more important, as it is the bare bones of language, the structure upon which words are placed. However, research carried out by the likes of Halliday with his work on functional grammar has shown that vocabulary plays a much more significant role in the structural theory of language than ever before thought. There is also the argument of logical reasoning: words carry meaning – admittedly grammar does as well – without words and only grammar, no message could be communicated.
With the importance of vocabulary established, why does it remain on the back-burners of ELT methodology? Where is the demand high movement in vocabulary teaching?