Ans. There are two major techniques of vocabulary teaching explicit and implicit vocabulary instruction. Following these techniques, the teacher can develop their own strategies of teaching vocabulary. However, some major strategies should be considered in every classroom depending on students’ level and interest. Following are the major strategies according to each technique of vocabulary teaching.
Explicit vocabulary instruction can be done following some strategies. First, pre-teaching vocabulary is useful to teach students major words before reading a text. Teachers can pre-select some difficult words from the text. Then they explain the words to the students or cluster the synonyms and anonyms into categories. Discussion on the words also helps students understand the words before starting reading. Second, teachers can use word maps, such as semantic mapping and definition maps to teach vocabulary explicitly. Morphological clustering helps student group words that are similar in meaning. They understand the relationship among the words through the visual representation of the words in a cluster. This helps them guess the meaning of a new word even before knowing the exact meaning of the word. In contrast, semantic maps are very useful in teaching vocabulary. It helps students categorize meanings of a word into groups and subgroups. Therefore, students are able to understand the words in relation to other concepts. Moreover, students can visualize the relationships between the words. This activates their cognition and helps them learn and remember the words better.
Analysing parts of a word is another strategy that helps understand the possible meanings of the word. Students can identify different parts of the word by dividing it into its root and affixes. For example, “uncomfortable” is a word. The root word is comfort. ” able” is a suffix, and “un-” is a prefix. Usually, when the suffix “able” is added to a root it becomes an adjective, while “un” is added as a prefix to a root to make a negative meaning. Therefore, the meaning of the word uncomfortable is “not having comfort”.
Implicit vocabulary instruction, on the other hand, involves two major strategies. Incidental learning is one of the implicit techniques that can help students learn vocabulary while reading a text. They encounter the word in the context and try to relate it to other familiar words in the context. This is how they learn the word incidentally. Another implicit strategy is to learn the word from the context. For this, students have to read the whole paragraph, and try to get as much clue as possible about the word meaning. Then they try to match all the possible meanings to the context, and find out the closer meaning.
Apart from the above, using dictionaries and thesaurus effectively is very important to learn vocabulary. Teachers have to make students aware of this strategy. All the strategies and techniques are equally important. However, they should be applied depending on the context- the students’ levels and needs.