Teachers on several listservs and blogs have been discussing how to present vocabulary and what works best for students to retain it. Approaches are diverse; here is a sampling of them:
Some teachers promote autonomy in and individualization of approaches to learning vocabulary:
Here is an article on the British Council’s website about autonomy and vocabulary: http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/vocabulary-autonomy
Here are some suggestions for self-study from Busuu: http://blog.busuu.com/learn-vocabulary-even-faster-with-our-checkpoints
Vocab Man is a rubric in which students select among different study activities to accumulate a required total number of points. Here is a description of it:
Have you heard of the "Vocab Man?" I stumbled across it years ago and modified it to meet my needs. It is essentially a large "man" and inside each body part is a vocabulary review/learning option- IE write words 3X each= 10 points, create a mini book or Powerpoint with 1 drawing/image per word = 20 points, etc. I require 20 points and students that wish to review the vocab with their fellow classmates before a quiz/test (usually with PowerPoint or their books, and I even allow outside the box options that they come up with like creating games).
Botts, L. Re: [FLTEACH] Differentiation with introducing vocabulary. FLTEACH listserv (FLTEACH@LISTSERV.BUFFALO.EDU, 3 Oct 2012).
An example of the rubric for Vocab Man is available here: http://aquinasgrammar.com/2011/10/hombre-de-vocabulario , and here is a long list of possible activities: https://sites.google.com/a/dunkerton.k12.ia.us/sramcd/vocab-man-options
Megan Johnston of the Creative Language Class blog describes how she recently guided students through the process of creating their own personalized vocabulary lists for a particular topic: http://creativelanguageclass.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/new-vocab-lists-learning-or-both
Several teachers recommend different online vocabulary-study sites. Here are the most-often recommended:
Quizlet (http://quizlet.com ), described here: http://casls.uoregon.edu/intercom/site/view-article.php?ArticleID=6166
Conjuguemos (https://conjuguemos.com ), described here: http://casls.uoregon.edu/intercom/site/view-article.php?ArticleID=1471
WordChamp (http://www.wordchamp.com/lingua2/Home.do ), described here: http://casls.uoregon.edu/intercom/site/view-article.php?ArticleID=2610
English language teachers will appreciate Larry Ferlazzo’s webpage with annotated links to resources for developing academic vocabulary: http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2008/04/06/the-best-websites-for-developing-academic-english-skills-vocabulary
Vocabulary Baseball is a recommended review game. Here’s a description:
Divide your class into 2 teams. You can do this by splitting the room down the middle or by having team captains choose the teams. Designate where the bases are around the room since the runners actually stand at the bases.
You are the pitcher. Give the batter the English word. When my class played, the batter had to give the Nom, Gen. and gender of nouns, the principal parts of verbs, etc. If the batter gives the correct answer, he goes to 1st base. If there are runners on the other bases, they move to the next base. If the batter is wrong, it is an out After 3 outs, the side is retired and the other team is up. At the end of the game the team with the most runs wins as long as the losing team got up to bat that inning and made 3 outs. This is important in case the game is ended mid-inning because class is over.
Base stealing: A person on base can may try to steal if the batter answered incorrectly and it was not the 3rd out. The baserunner trying to steal answers the question given to the batter.. If he is incorrect, it is an out. If the base stealer answers, correctly, he advances to the next base.
When the batter gets a hit, everyone on base moves one base. If a baserunner "steals", only those runners who must move for him to get to the next base move. So, if the base stealer is on 3rd, he goes home and makes a run but if there are others on base, they don't move. If there is no runner on 2nd and the runner on 1st steals, he is the only one to advance a base. However, if the runner on 1st steals and there is a runner on 2nd, the stealer moves to second and the runner on second moves to 3rd, etc.
I also used the 10 run rule. If a team scores 10 runs in one inning, the side is retired and the other team is up. This insures that everyone in the class gets up to bat.
I generally used baseball for vocabulary review, but it also works for other types of reviews.
Peterson, R. [Latinteach] Vocabulary baseball rules. Latinteach listserv (firstname.lastname@example.org, 10 Oct 2012).