Classroom Resources

10 Do’s and Don’ts for effective vocabulary

We know that there is a strong relationship between vocabulary and reading comprehension. Systematic vocabulary instruction must be an integral component of a K-12 comprehensive instructional framework. While there is no one correct way to teach vocabulary, common characteristics of effective vocabulary instruction have been documented in many professional journals and books. And yet, recent results for vocabulary reveal no significant change in vocabulary scores for 4th- and 8th-grade students. In short, we still have a long way to go to improve vocabulary instruction and student word learning. Effective vocabulary instruction across grade levels and content areas is key. Whether you implement vocabulary process or integrate digital tools into your instructional toolkit, the 10 Do’s and Don’ts highlighted in this infographic can help you drill down to the basics and strengthen your instruction. It can also set the stage for discussions to improve vocabulary instruction and word learning across classrooms in your setting.

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Classroom Resources

Stereotypes Lesson Plan

This topic is always interesting and really gets students talking and giving their opinion. It’s always interesting to hear how other nations see others. I created this lesson plan last summer when I had a multi-national group of students from Japan to Argentina. Of course, you first need to make sure your students won’t get offended by this topic and can handle it. Also you’ll need access to some technology to make life easier as there is a video involved in the lesson.

national-stereotypes

If you use it with a monolingual group of students, I’d be really interested to know how it goes as I haven’t. You might ask Ss to pretend they are from other countries as an idea.

This lesson will focus on speaking in the form of giving opinions and views. It also has a reading where students are required to read quickly for key information. Additionally it builds on vocabulary and expressions for describing people and habits.

  1. Introduce the lesson by handing out the following or displaying the following on the board.

// In a perfect world the police are …. the cooks are…. the mechanics are ….. the lovers are…… and everything is organised by the ….. // – I think this idea was taken from New English File, but I’m not sure.

Let Ss fill in the answers before asking them to share. In feedback you can elaborate on some of the answers and focus on any general language or mistakes that might come up.

2. Show Ss the American flag and ask them to generate some words that they connect with American, good and bad.

In feedback ask Ss to share their ideas before telling them that you are going to show them a video.

  1. Tell Ss you are going to show them a video in which different people give their opinion about America. Tell them each person speaks in their own language, including English, so it is there job to read the subtitles and listening for how each country’s person describes America.

The cities in the video are

Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Adelaide, Berlin, Bogotá, Dubai, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Tokyo, New Deli.

Give the students the opportunity to watch the video twice before going through the answers and asking if there are any surprising answers and did they say the same things as you?

Answers: Addis Ababa – Paradise – full of god – full of resources

Bangkok – obese – food

Adelaide – don’t travel much – don’t know much about the world – optimistic

Berlin – dumb – fast food – patriotic

Bogotá – entertainment – show business

Dubai – culture – MTV – JT BS

Paris – don’t know geography – think they are always right

Rome – large portions of food – no quality

Shanghai – white people – American dream

Tokyo – pizza, very active – aggressive – open and happy

New Delhi – freedom – justice – good music bands

  1. Tell Ss you’re going to give them a list of countries and ask them to work with their partner to think of an adjective or expression to describe each country. You might use the country you are in as an example.

Here are the countries I used. Of course you can add, change, and chop them.

China France

Italy Poland

Norway Switzerland

Colombia Romania

England England

Spain Sweden

Ireland Germany

Russia Brazil

Saudi Arabia Jamaica

  1. Tell Ss you went on the Internet and took some comments from people talking about other countries. Give an example of your own country and then hand out the list at the end of the post. It has some language your students may not know in bold. Encourage peer teaching and monitor and help groups who are struggling.

These comments are not real and were typed up by me. You can change them and come up with your own if you like. There is also no right or wrong answer, so you can choose whatever country you want to to connect them. In feedback go over the answers and clarify the bold adjectives and expressions in the task.

You will probably want to have some kind of remember stage here to help the students remember any newly learnt vocabulary or expression. I had an upper-intermediate / advanced group when I did this, so I used an impromptu member game here.

  1. To end the lesson and try and re-enforce the use of the previously adjectives and to allow Ss to talk about their own country’s. Give the students the below on a handout and give them a few minutes to think over their answers before getting up and mingling with other students to allow them to share their own country’s.

If you have students from the same country, then put them together to allow them work as one.

Enjoy.

Stereotypes – Right down 3 stereotypes about your country that are not true that people think about your country. Get ready to explain your answers in detail.

1.

2.

3.

Describe your countrymen and women, good and bad, and then share with the group.

Good        Bad

1.            1.

2.            2.

3.            3.

=====

Their girls are hot. They all look like supermodels!

They are very positive, open, friendly, and are usually very good on the dance floor

They’re not the brightest bulb in the shop. They’re all a bit ‘big’ too

They always stick together and rarely mix with others. They are also very loud.

They’re arrogant. They think they are better than others and usually look down on others. They also usually are reluctant to speak other languages

They’re all loaded! Fashionable clothes and they drive around in flash cars

They are very easy-going. Good cooks, but usually are high all the time.

The men are like animals. All they care about is bedding the next woman

They are too serious and don’t really have a laugh

They are hard-working students, always focused, but are shy when speaking

They are funny, warm, and usually up for a laugh. They use lots of body language

They have a weird sense of humour. They always drink too much alcohol, especially abroad.

They can come across as rude. They aren’t very considerate, and usually are very insensitive.

They are always taking pictures. They are very respectful, but a little shy.

Mr TEFL – Sharing ideas and lesson plans for the ELT classroom
Classroom Resources, Improve your English

Family vocabulary

family-tree

Parents
Your mother and father are your parents who care for you while you are growing.
Father: a person’s male parent. We usually call our father Dad or Daddy.
Mother: a person’s female parent. We usually call our mother Mum or Mummy.

Grandparents
Grandfather: a father of a person’s parent. We usually call our grandfather grandad (US granddad) or grandpa.
Grandmother: a mother of a person’s parent. We usually call our grandmother gran, grandma or granny.

Siblings
Your brothers and sisters are your siblings with same parents.
Brother: a male person with the same parents as another person
Sister: a female person with the same parents as another person

Our uncle and aunt are the siblings of our parents.
Uncle: a brother of a person’s parent; a husband of a person’s aunt
Aunt: a sister of a person’s parent; a wife of a person’s uncle

Children
Your son and daughter are your children.

Son: a male child
Daughter: a female child
Cousin (also first cousin): a child of a person’s aunt or uncle
Nephew: a son of a person’s sibling
Niece: a daughter of a person’s sibling

Grandchildren
The child of your son or daughter is your grandchild.
Grandson: a son of a person’s child
Granddaughter: a daughter of a person’s child

Spouse
The partner in marriage is our spouse. Our wife or husband is our spouse.
Husband: a male partner
Wife: a female partner

Parents of the spouse
Father-in-law: a father of a person’s spouse
Mother-in-law: a mother of a person’s spouse
Brother-in-law: a brother of a person’s spouse
Sister-in-law: a sister of a person’s spouse

Exes
Your ex-wife or ex-husband is your former partner in marriage.

Half-siblings
Half-brother: a male person who has either the same mother or the same father (but not both) as another person
Half-sister: a female person who has either the same mother or the same father (but not both) as another person

Stepparents
Stepmother: new wife of a person’s father in a second marriage
Stepfather: a new husband of a person’s mother in a second marriage

Stepchild
Your stepbrother or stepsister is the child of your stepparent but not your biological parent.

Collocations with family members

lone, single, widowed father

a father of two/three etc.

lone, single, unmarried, widowed mother

a mother of two/three etc.

big, elder, older, little, younger, full, half, twin brother/sister
maternal, paternal uncle/aunt
future, ex-, former, house husband/wife

from Vocabularypage.com

Improve your English, Just for Fun

Homographs that’ll make your scratch your heads

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no ham in hamburger, no egg in eggplant, neither apple nor pine in pineapple. French fries weren’t invented in France, and English muffins weren’t invented in England. Furthermore, quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is not from Guinea nor is it a pig!

English is also a silly language at times, too. I mean, who in their right mind would create two words with the same spelling and different meanings? I am of course talking about those pesky homographs. For example:

“He wound up the clock with ease, even though he had a wound to his right hand.”

How ridiculous! Of course, you could, and probably would, rephrase that sentence to avoid the homographs. But there are times when we find ourselves accidentally sucked into the vacuum, and like a dog’s mess gracing the pavement of a dark lane, we occasionally step on a homograph-ridden sentence.

Now, before we dive into our list of homographs for your grammatical pleasure, bear in mind that a homograph that is also pronounced differently is called a ‘heteronym’. Oh, and while we’re here, don’t forget the ‘homophone’, which is when two or more words share the same pronunciation but have different meanings, and may or may not be spelled the same way.

And one last thing…

The homograph, heteronym and homophone are all types of ‘homonym’; which is defined as two or more words that share the same spelling, or the same pronunciation, or both, but have different meanings.

Confused? Don’t sweat it. Your friends will scratch their scalps too when you share these:

1. Rita was too close to the door to close it.
2. Dan’s wife said he should polish the Polish furniture on a regular basis.
3. I did not object to the object in question.
4. There is no time like the present to present a friend with a present.
5. The vegetable farm was asked to produce organic produce for the local community.
6. Unfortunately the insurance was invalid for the invalid.
7. The dog lead was dangerous because it was made of lead.
8. I had to hide the animal hide before my vegetarian friend came to dinner.
9. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer pipeline.
10. There was a row between the oarsmen about how to row properly.
11. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
12. She shed a tear upon seeing the tear in the painting.
13. The soldier had to desert his platoon in the desert.
14. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
15. The buck does get rather excited when the does are around.
16. The dump was so full it had to refuse more refuse.
17. To help plant the seeds the farmer taught his sow to sow.
18. The contract was subject to the term that I didn’t contract an illness within the first two months.
19. It took me a minute to locate the minute hole in the fence.
20. After months of procrastination, Helen decided to resume writing her resume.
21. I shall stop here because I am content with this content!

by Jennifer Frost

Improve your English

10 Words Brits Use That Americans No Longer Do

only-british-words

A quick example of the bleeding obvious: people speak differently in the UK and the US. If you’re an American fan of British TV shows—the originals, not the American remakes—you’re probably very aware that once in a while, the characters will utter a word that you won’t hear on the streets of your hometown.

But you may be surprised to know that some of the words we consider distinctly British today were once fairly common in the United States. Read on:

1 Tetchy, adjective Someone who is tetchy is someone with a bad temper:
               You can’t even talk with him these days; he’s just too tetchy.

2 Amongst, preposition While amongst is less favored than among in British English, it’s rarely seen at all in American English.
               There’s a grammar pedant amongst us, and I intend to find out who he is.

3 Marvelous, adjective Sure, you can use amazing instead, but marvelous sounds so much more . . . marvelous:
               We had a marvelous time during that holiday retreat.

4 Fortnight, noun Something that happens once every fortnight is something that happens every two weeks:
                 We try to get together for a family meal once a fortnight.

5 Cheers, exclamation In British English, cheers isn’t something you’d say when it’s time to have a drink. It’s a casual way to say “thank you”:
              Cheers Thom, I really needed that paper today.

6 Rubbish, noun, adjective You know this one, it has the same meaning as garbage. Plus, rubbish can be used as an adjective when you want to say that something is really bad:
              I bought a new keyboard today, but it’s rubbish so I’ll give it to my brother.

7 Blimey, exclamation If you ever get tired of saying “wow,” you might make an effort to bring blimey back:
               Blimey, that escalated quickly!

8 Hoover, noun A hoover is a device that uses suction to clean surfaces—a vacuum cleaner:
               The hoover broke because it’s not supposed to be used to clean up spilled water.

9 Bespoke, adjective Before things were custom-made, they were bespoke, especially if they were suits:
               A bespoke suit is expensive, but it’s a good investment if you want to look professional.

10 Chap, noun Chap is an informal way of referring to a male person, sort of like “dude”:
                  See that chap wearing a yellow bow-tie? That’s my biology professor.