Saturday, 1 October 2016

Day 46: One Complete Month

Vocabulary Extension on the Whiteboard
I started this blog around a month and a half ago with sole intention to publish a post each day. I faltered after the first two weeks with some consideration to publish two to three posts each week. However, I decided to reduce the amount of writing in each post and provide a quick tip here and there for each daily post. Initially I was posting around five or six tips or tricks in each post but decided quickly that this wasn't viable and I would run out of ideas before I knew it.

Anyhow, I have now started to post one tip or trick each day and this has proved quite successful. Just over the past two days, I have now received over 6,000 hits on this blog which is amazing. I would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has decided to visit this blog and a huge thanks to the those that have shared my posts. It makes this daily challenge so worthwhile.

In a way, I feel like I have reached a milestone as I have now completed my first whole month (September) and I am pleased to have kept up with my promise to publish a post each day. I would definitely recommend other teachers to try out this blog challenge. You don't even need to do it for a year, which I am planning to do, but you could challenge yourself to write a daily post for a month or even two weeks. Please let me know if you are doing this. I would add a link to my blog to those that are doing their own little blog challenge.

Now, I shall finish this post with a little tip for teaching. When a student asks you, "Teacher. What does '...' mean?", try to think around the word in a context. Rather than explaining what the word would mean in isolation, try to write up a sentence using the word in context. For example, if the student is asking for clarification what 'train' could mean, then you could write the following sentences to better contextualise the meaning:
  • We are planning to train staff so they can help customers.
  • The train will arrive at the station in 1 minute.
As you will see from the examples above, the word 'train' can mean different things in context. Try to work with the definition in context rather than in isolation, as the coursebook will steer you towards isolated vocabulary. It is always more memorable to consider new vocabulary in context. Students will also learn related vocabulary.

How do you answer student queries regarding vocabulary? Do you focus on the meaning in the topic of the lesson or do you look at how the word could change in context? What do you think is best?

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