Teaching Vocabulary

| September 30, 2005
Teaching Vocabulary

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Paul Nation
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Bio Data
Paul Nation teaches in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has taught in Indonesia, Thailand, the United States, Finland, and Japan. His specialist interests are language teaching methodology and vocabulary learning.

Deliberately teaching vocabulary is one of the least efficient ways of developing learners= vocabulary knowledge but nonetheless it is an important part of a well-balanced vocabulary programme.

The main problem with vocabulary teaching is that only a few words and a small part of what is required to know a word can be dealt with at any one time. This limitation also applies to incidental learning from listening or reading, but it is much easier to arrange for large amounts of independent listening and reading than it is to arrange for large amounts of teaching. Teaching can effectively deal with only a small amount of information about a word at a time. The more complex the information is, the more likely the learners are to misinterpret it.


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Category: Main Editions, Volume 7 Issue 3