Friday, March 18, 2011


Nelson Arditto

Nelson Arditto made a presentation about helping students memorize English words.

A bit more about Nelson, he "has been working in EFL for over 10 years and has taught in the UK, Syria, the UAE, the Ukraine, Jordan, Hong Kong and Spain. He has run a number of INSETT sessions for EFL and mainstream school teachers and participated in conferences nationwide."

His sessions (per the abstract, "This session highlights the importance of learner training in the successful learning of vocabulary. By the end of the session, teachers will be familiar with the concept of elaboration as a unique memory tool, and the ways in which teachers can introduce learning strategies to their students to make them more autonomous learners"

Since the English language has more words than any other language students need help when it comes to learning words. Since "lexical chunks" are easier to remember than individual words (which is why I have so many phrases in Dutch but slow on words)

He makes an argument for recording strategies in a notebook:
For example when writing down words you always write down words with a context.

Even more so in a notebook instead of just writing down the word with a translation you could do a lot more! Let´s look at the word strong:

  • Write down the synonyms and antonyms (powerful, weak)
  • Write the words connotation (positive)
  • The part of speech (adjective)
  • Collocations (strong flavor, strong drinks, strong swimmer, strong language etc)
  • Use it in a sentence (The strong man lifts weights every day)
  • Draw a picture
  • etc.
By doing this students will be more likely to remember the individual word since they have made so many different paths to it.

There were some different ideas of how to arrange this (alphabetically or by topic) and that probably depends based on your class.

What else would you have your students add to their word journal?

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