Unplanned Vocabulary Instruction in the Adult EFL Classroom

| May 2, 2008
Unplanned Vocabulary Instruction in the Adult EFL Classroom

Keywords: Vocabulary, methodology, unplanned, instruction, framework

Ciarián McDonald
Queen Mary University of London

Bio Data
Ciarān McDonald has worked in a variety of roles and fields including: Academic Director of an EAP Programme; Centre director of an EFL School, ESOL Community Tutor, teaching asylum seekers; ESP Course Designer and Materials Writer; and Volunteer Teacher Trainer, working for a non profit school in Bolivia. Ciarān is interested in methodology, CALL and vocabulary acquisition. However, he is particularly interested in EAP having taught at a number of UK universities and having studied EAP at Masters level. Ciarān is currently teaching Academic Writing on the Pre-Masters Course at Queen Mary University of London

A large proportion of the direct vocabulary instruction an adult learner will receive in the EFL classroom will be unplanned (McDonald, 2006). Although unplanned vocabulary instruction can provide many of the conditions learning theorists recognise as being necessary for learning to take place, its spontaneous nature means it has certain limitations. The approach that guides such teaching will need to consider these limitations. As unplanned vocabulary instruction can mean diverting time away from the lesson aims, teachers must make difficult ad hoc decisions on how and when to dedicate time to such instances. This article aims to provide teachers with a loose framework to inform such decisions.

See pages: 29-44

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Category: Monthly Editions, Volume 28