Introduction New Lexical Items - Teacher's Zone

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Introduction New Lexical Items

by Anna Sawa

New vocabulary should be presented in a well-known context - a new word has to be the only difficulty. A teacher can also show a picture, a gesture or an object that help students to understand the meaning of a new item. No matter how the new words have been presented, the teacher has to check whether the learners have understood them. Besides, the words should be taught in spoken form first to avoid wrong pronunciation.  

Teaching tips, methodology of teaching

Some techniques to introduce new lexical items you can find below:

Showing an object
A new word is illustrated by an object which is its equivalent. This technique is useful when the teacher presents objects in the classroom or things that are easy to bring.

Showing a picture
A new vocabulary item is illustrated by a chart, a map, a picture, a postcard or a photo. The best way to present the words that can be visualised, but there are not appropriate objects in the classroom. In this way the teacher can also present verbs by pictures of some activities.

Gesture and mimic
Giving the meaning of the word in nonverbal way: gesture, mimic - this technique is useful to present some verbs (e.g.: open, close, write, read, sit down, stand up), shapes, feelings and prepositions of place.

Synonym
The teacher gives a well-known word of a similar meaning to explain a new lexical item.

Antonym
The meaning of a new word is given by its opposite. It is necessary to underline that it is antonym to avoid misunderstanding.

Explanations and definitions     
This teaching technique is rather for intermediate students. The teacher explains a word by presenting a short speech, a dialogue or a simple definition. It can be also a dictionary definition as an introduction to using a monolingual dictionary. In the event of doubt about meaning the teacher should ask the learners to translate the word.

Translation
Giving the meaning of the word in learners’ mother tongue - it is useful technique when the teacher cannot explain a word by above-mentioned ways, for example an abstract concept or when the learners have problems with appropriate understanding. It can sometimes save time but should not be overused and a foreign word has to be expressed emphatically.
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