Vocabulary is, what I believe, the most important part of learning a language. I believe it is more important than learning grammar. Now don't get me wrong grammar is very important when it comes to writing and speaking professionally. But one cannot write nor speak professionally with knowing VOCABULRY.
In order to keep this all free for everyone I have had to make 2 sites for vocabulary. Here is the link to the second site: http://english-vocabulary-2.webs.com/
Vocabulary is important for reading. If you don't know or have a good understanding of words and their meanings, you will not be able to understand what you have read.
Vocabulary is important for writing. If you don't have a good vocabulary and an understanding of the vocabulary, you can not write well.
Vocabulary is important for speaking. Oh yes, if you don't have that vocabulary you can not speak correctly. if you have a good vocabulary you can converse anywhere at any time with confidence.
If you haven't heard of him, I'd like to introduce Robert Marzano. This guy is pretty amazing, having spent countless hours observing students and teachers. An education researcher and teacher, he stresses that in all content areas, direct vocabulary instruction is essential and suggests six steps:
Step one: The teacher explains a new word, going beyond reciting its definition (tap into prior knowledge of students, use imagery).
Step two: Students restate or explain the new word in their own words (verbally and/or in writing).
Step three: Ask students to create a non-linguistic representation of the word (a picture, or symbolic representation).
Step four: Students engage in activities to deepen their knowledge of the new word (compare words, classify terms, write their own analogies and metaphors).
Step five: Students discuss the new word (pair-share, elbow partners).
Step six: Students periodically play games to review new vocabulary (Pyramid, Jeopardy, Telephone).
Marzano's six steps do something revolutionary to vocabulary learning: They make it fun. Students think about, talk about, apply, and play with new words. And Webster doesn't get a word in edgewise.
At this point, you might be thinking that there just isn't enough time for all this pre-reading word analysis, direct instruction of vocabulary, and game playing. (You have content to teach!) So, I'd like end with a few quotes for you to consider:
Vocabulary is the best single indicator of intellectual ability and an accurate predictor of success at school. -- W.B. Elley
Because each new word has to be studied and learned on its own, the larger your vocabulary becomes, the easier it will be to connect a new word with words you already know, and thus remember its meaning. So your learning speed, or pace, should increase as your vocabulary grows.-- Johnson O'Connor
We think with words, therefore to improve thinking, teach vocabulary. -- A. Draper and G. Moeller
Now a little about me. Don't go crazy on me OK?
My Life???? Wow that’s a joke. This is the first part of many to come. I hope.
I was born in Boston City hospital in 1946, because there was no hospital near our home. Which at the time were in Hampton, New Hampshire. Or this is what I was told when I asked my mom. Yea know the only thing I remember – I mean is it possible to remember something from when you were born? I had asked my mother once about it and she just said it was a dream, but I wonder was it? Why would a picture like that stay in my mind all these years. I can see it as plain as day right now even and I am 69.
We lived in Hampton, N.H. until I was 6 I guess and then we moved to Lexington Mass. We lived behind a golf course. I remember it was great being there. We had the best fun on the golf course in the winter. All the snow – it was great. We would go sledding, skiing and just all kinds of fun in the snow. But we were kids then.
I have done so many things in my life. And I would say about 99% of them I am not ashamed of. I spent 20+ years in the United States Air Force – loved it. Well – liked it a lot. Learned a lot also. After I retired there I started working for an international trade show company and stayed there with them for over 10 years and became eligible for early retirement. That is when I moved to Thailand and have been ever since. When I came here to Thailand, the government – Immigration- said I was too young to retire. So they suggested for me to teach English in schools. I did that for almost 20 years and then retired. I have taught everything from primary all the way through university and loved it. Now i only teach special courses that I write myself. It is fun also because I have to correct all my own mistakes.