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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
Teaching VocabulariesLearning a new language is important if you want to communicate with the people who speak that language. For a long time, english has been the language that people from all around the world speak to communicate. Therefore learning english vocabularies is important because expanded vocabularies enable students to communicate and express their opinions more effectively. It also helps students increase their confidence in speaking a new language. According to Weizman and Snow, students acquire vocabularies through a combination of incidental encounters, meaningful exposure and instruction.
The notion of incidental learning is supported also by well known linguist, Noam Chomsky. He has stated in one of his book that children
already have a natural ability to combine simple grammatical utterances. Repeated exposure to different levels of vocabularies will assist with retrieval of new words in order to communicate in more effective manner. Introducing new vocabularies that are beyond the student’s current vocabularies, it forces them to look for contextual clues in order to understand the meaning of the word. By retaining and eventually reproducing new vocabularies, students are able to add to their already developed words to expand their knowledge (Dockrell & Messer). Students’ vocabulary usages and development is related more to the occurrence of sophisticated words than to the quantity of words heard.
Occurrence of new word items and how students interpret and use them depends on the amount of encouragement that students receive. The direct instruction provides students with meanings of the words are not as important as the quality of interactive assistance (Weizman and Snow). Because quality of interactive scaffolding matters, student to student interactions are meaningful but are less helpful for vocabulary development. Although it is not as helpful, it is still necessary to provide students with student to student interaction to be able to practice their learned materials and to build their confidence in being able to communicate in new language.
Teachers’ and parents’ are responsible and can play a great role in developing students’ vocabulary expansion. In order for students to learn and expand their vocabularies, it is important to incorporate students’ interaction between students as well as with someone who are more developed in their vocabularies. Once students are exposed to more sophisticated words, they require less contextual support and are able to learn more sophisticated words at ease.
Expanding new vocabularies are very important when students are learning a new language. With expanded vocabularies and enough encounters with the language, it helps students to be able to communicate and understand more sophisticated materials and eventually improve their language proficiency. As I was learning english, having more encounters with native speakers has helped me greatly as well as memorizing different levels of vocabularies. I believe in learning a new language the natural encounter with people who speak the language and often exposures to the language itself throughout students’ daily routine is important. I believe students learn much effectively and quickly if they are surrounded by the language as much as possible.
Dockrell, D., & Messer, J. (2004). Lexical acquisition in the early school years. Language Development across Childhood and Adolescence. 35-53.
Weizman, Z.O. & Snow, C.E. (2001). Lexical input as related to children. Developmental Psychology. 37, 265-279.