How do I use the word boxes in my textbook?

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How do I use the word boxes in my textbook?

Unread postby Fiona » 13 Dec 2004, 15:45

Dear Auntie,

My textbook has a word box at the end of each unit. It has all the new words studied in it. But I don't know how to use it.

I'd be grateful for any ideas.

thank you


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How do I use the word boxes in my textbook?

Unread postby Lucy » 13 Dec 2004, 15:52

Dear Fiona,

Word boxes can be very useful as they group together new words and can serve as a reference for students. However, they are not very exciting and course books don't always include activities associated with them. I think it's useful to spend some time on word boxes as it is an opportunity to consolidate vocabulary. Here are some ideas that you can use in class or set for homework:

Ask students to organise the words in the box according to different categories. For example, words I know and use / words that are new to me / words I recognise but don't use / words I'd like to start using
words I like / words I don't like / words I'm indifferent towards. Students might like the words for the sound or for a memory it evokes. They may dislike the word because it's difficult to pronounce or for any other reason.
They can also categorise words according to where the stressed syllable falls. For example, words with stress on the first syllable, second syllable, etc.
They could organise words that rhyme or find words that contain the same sound.

The point to all of these activities is that the students engage in some way with the lexical items and start discussing them. This will make the words more memorable. You can also work on correct pronunciation of the new words while they are talking.

You can also have students write quiz questions in groups. Examples of questions could be: how do you spell "contribution"? How do you pronounce the word r-h-y-t-h-m? What does "agreeable" mean? Tell me a word beginning with "s" that means foolish. After students have written their quiz questions, you can re-group them to test each other.

If you have a vocabulary bag (see my answer to Jane on 26 Sept), you can allow the students to decide which words are included in the bag. It will be more meaningful to them, if they decide. If they omit any that you think are particularly important, you can ask for them to be included.

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