When English EFL, ESL or foreign language learning students ask you, “Teacher, what can I do to learn more words faster?" Here’s an answer that will serve you and them handsomely. Create your own TEFL vocabulary building games, activities and puzzles to boost your vocabulary in record time. Not sure how to go about it? Here are some suggestions:
Complete the Chart
First fill in a chart of foods under categories like:
You can use a dictionary, talk with classmates or friends, look at pictures, etc. whatever you can to get yourself the biggest list you can as fast as you can. Once you have a good “stash" of vocabulary, reinforce it by using it in other activities like the ones that follow.
Create a Word-Find puzzle
Make a 15 space by 15 space grid on a letter-size sheet. You can use a computer or manually draw one. Leave space at the top of the page for a title and other data. There should be an even larger space at the bottom of the sheet. This is going to be the space for your word list. Now, using any of the words from your chart, make a list of about 25 to 30 words at the bottom of your puzzle page. Then, fill in the grid spaces using those words. Horizontally, vertically, diagonally, even backwards will do to use up as many spaces as you can.
If you’re using this exercise in a class, students swap papers to solve each other’s puzzles. They can also check for errors, omissions and missing words or letters. You’ll be using peer correction to its fullest.
Categories to Be Used
Word lists are created using relevant themes from the class. Examples of “evergreen" themes which can be used repeatedly include:
The list of possibilities is virtually endless. You’ll also be able to use these same categories and word lists in other exercise types coming up in Part 2 of this series.
Three of my favorite puzzle creation programs are available online:
If you love flashy colors, are an artist who paints, draws, cartoons, creates or crafts, then your brain is highly - developed in the visual - spatial area. Do jigsaw puzzles increment and stimulate your brain? Then visit this website for more info and to try your hand at some visual - spatial activities. You can create or associate word lists to accompany each of the puzzles offered for free download at:
We’ll continue in Part 2 of this series with more suggestions for developing English language vocabulary at the fastest possible rate for learning English as a foreign or second language. The same techniques exactly apply for developing foreign language vocabulary. In the next section we will focus on creating specialized puzzles like cross word puzzles, using the same vocabulary lists you’ve already developed. See you in Part 2.
For Part 2 of this article go to: http://bettereflteacher.blogspot.com
Prof. Larry M. Lynch is a bi-lingual copywriter, expert author and photographer specializing in business, travel, food and education-related writing in South America. His work has appeared in Transitions Abroad, South American Explorer, Escape From America, Mexico News and Brazil magazines. He now lives in Colombia and teaches at a university in Cali. Want lots more free tips, help and information on language learning, public speaking, writing and mental skills development? Go now to: http://bettereflteacher.blogspot.com Be sure to ask for your free, in - depth special report on making yourself smarter using these strategies with sample practice activities.