Do you also sometimes feel that memories related to your life as a teacher before the pandemic hit have faded or even disappeared? Materials you once prepared lie dormant, forgotten in some binder or box, their underlying rationale swirling murkily in your memory?
Or is it just me?
Thank goodness I got a lifesaver in the mail – the program for the Upcoming July ETAI International Conference.
It jogged my memory.
The amazing, world-renowned Penny Ur will be speaking at the conference!
After hearing Penny Ur talk at the ETAI Conference back in 2016, I was so inspired that I undertook a blogging challenge called 18/100, in which I reflected on one tip from each of the eighteen sections that compose Penny Ur’s book: “100 Teaching Tips”.
The combination of short sections in the book along with brief reflections really packed a punch.
I’m so looking forward to hearing her speak again next month!
Here is one of the original posts from 2016, part 17.
This is part seventeen of my blogging challenge.
As a veteran teacher, it is easy to fall into the trap of doing things a certain way just because I’ve done them that way for years, without remembering the reason why.
I’ve decided to set myself a blogging challenge – reflect on one tip from each of the 18 sections that compose Penny Ur’s latest book: “100 Teaching Tips”, so as to dust off old practices that may have remained unexamined for too long.
Tip Number 89: “Teach a lot of vocabulary”
* Note: I was sorely tempted to reflect on all the tips in the vocabulary section, but a rule is a rule…
I love it when practices we recommend for teaching Deaf and hard-of-hearing students are recommended for everyone.
Sight words are words you understand right away without the need to decode. Check out this quote from the book (page 106): ” It appears that a large sight vocabulary …is the main condition for successful reading comprehension”. When you have words at your disposal that lead to meaning effortlessly, you can focus on the content of the text must more efficiently.
The thing is, the sight vocabulary needs to be large. Even students with normal hearing cannot pick up enough vocabulary based on incidental learning and by seeing words in context in books. Vocabulary has to be taught and practiced. A lot!
Vocabulary flashcards rock!
They will “rock” even more if you include collocations!
Especially good for pair work – an opportunity for students to be teachers too. Meanwhile, you, the official teacher, can work with someone who needs extra help.
The only caveat is the issue of general knowledge. The students have to have a reasonable grasp of the concepts the words denote. Otherwise, the ability to quickly translate the words into their mother tongue does not contribute to reading comprehension.
Which may sound extremely obvious to you.
Unless you are working with Deaf and hard of hearing students…
(For more information on that issue, see the post on the Q/A blog: Translating words into L1 isn’t always helpful. Why?