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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 1

Expected time frame: 1-2 lessons

Teaching and learning purposes

These learning activities are designed to activate the prior knowledge and lexis of students and to extend their topic-specific vocabulary. A number of collaborative oral and reading vocabulary activities are included to give students many opportunities to use key vocabulary in different ways.

ESOL US 2986 v7 performance criterion addressed:

1.4 The meaning of essential vocabulary as used in each text is given.

Ensuring learners know the content and language learning outcomes

  • Share the learning outcomes, including language learning outcomes, with your students, for example:
    • I know some keywords about Antarctica

Activating prior knowledge

  • Brainstorming. Ask students to individually brainstorm words about the topic, in their first language (L1) or English, and write them in a list.
  • Ask students to share their brainstormed words with a partner. Each student ticks a word s/he already has or adds that word to her/his list.

Giving learners many opportunities to first notice then use new language

Pre-teaching key vocabulary

  • Write the Keywords (Word 21KB) for this section on the board and ask the students to identify and talk about the words they recognise and also add the key words they don't have to their lists.
  • Say the key words and ask students to imitate.
  • Say the words. Students tick each word as they hear them (two ticks if the words are repeated.)
  • Say the words and ask students to mark the syllables and stress on their lists. This needs to be taught if the students do not already know how to do this.
  • Demonstrate the meanings of the words using pictures. For guidance see  https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/presenting-vocabulary
  • Syllables Spelling Jumble (Word 20KB). Ask students to work by themselves sounding out the syllables and putting them back together. They check their pronunciation with a partner.
  • Put the students into groups of 3 - 4. Distribute a set of pictures and cut-up words to each group, or a set of Words and Definitions (Word 63KB) for students match up. Alternatively, students can find their own words from their lists to write on each picture.
  • Ask each student to make a sentence with one of the words. Monitor this activity to check correct usage.
  • The students paste the pictures into their books. Under or next to each picture they write a sentence describing the picture. Teachers can add other pictures as needed.

Reviewing key vocabulary

The following strategies can be used to revise the keywords at any stage in the unit or - in some cases - set as homework.

  • Whispering game: Divide the class into teams. Give the last person in each team a word. When the teacher says "Go", the last student whispers the word to the one in front and so on until the first in line has the word and runs up to the board and writes it. The first team with the correctly spelt word on the board gets a point. At the end the students are able to see the whole list on the board again.
  • Vocabulary Jeopardy: Write new words on the board in jumbled order. Dictate the definition or show a picture. The students write down the words in the correct order.
  • Antarctica Extra Vocabulary Tasks (RTF 1MB). These include a collocations chart, a cline and a word cluster.

Published on: 09 Jan 2018