There are many ways to learn vocabulary. With easy access to a electronic dictionaries, internet, etc, using a dictionary has become very easy and fast. So why shouldn’t language learners use them?

Well sometimes they ARE the right thing to use, but overuse can actually slow down language learning. There are in fact a number of reasons why this is the case. Read this post here for one reason why bilingual dictionary learning has its limitations. Of the other reasons, the most powerful reason why we should encourage language learners to limit their limit dictionary work is that over reliance on them can dull their minds. Consider what one would have to do if there were no dictionaries, which in fact was exactly the case for ALL of us when we learned our first language. How do you think we did it? There was no Matrix like download! All we had at our disposal was our mind…and we learned all we had to without dictionaries!!

So, in preparation for the session on “How to convert any class reading material into a vocabulary learning resource“, I have created an exercise that I would like you to do. Doing this before the session on August 12th will enable us to progress far further on the day. So here are the instructions:

  1. Read this amazing story about an a mother and her son for yourself.
    If some of the words or expressions are a problem for you, I will make a suggestion. Do read the whole article first to get a sense of the meaning of the article. And only look more deeply into the words, etc
  2. Once you have done that find 5 words or expressions in the article that you think your students might struggle with and highlight them or write them down.
  3. Have a think about what you might do to help your students figure out the meanings without using a dictionary
  4. Be prepared to share what you have found. You will of course not be required to do that, but that will help discussions we have to be in more depth and valuable.
  5. If you could write the words down in the comments below that would be great. Will help others and also give me a better idea of what the problems might be for teachers and their students from around the planet.

I look forward to catching up with you all on August 12