Vocabulary Teaching v6

Participants: I need at least 60-75 of 10th graders. 20-25 for each of my three group. They are senior high school students in PCSH. Almost all of them do not know K.K. phonetics. So they use some other techniques to memorize newr words.

Test time(C, E1, E2):

  explanation teaching practicing total time
C 2 min 10 min 8 min 20 min
E1 2 min 10 min 8 min 20 min
E2 2 min 10 min 8 min 20 min


Tell the participants the story about a real case about illusion of learning from my student (He can not distinguish “country” from “culture” becuase his way of memorizing words is so poor. He simply look at them and observe their initials and Chinese translations, then tell me he had done the memorization. He does not do the spelling or memorization at all!)

Since they are all 10th graders and freshmen of PCSH, we could anticipate they have very similar English proficiency and word knowledge base.

Our pretest is simple: we take the word for them in the stage of explanation, then ask them to do the multiple choice directly. We will check the answer afterward (in the end of the stage of practicing).

This is the table for our Pre-test

  Vocabulary 中文意思
1 turbine  
2 ambush  
3 depression  
4 coach  
5 flee  
6 hover  
7 bob-cut  
8 suffer from  
9 octopus  
10 parachute  
11 guilty  
12 swarm out  
13 helicopter  
14 parachute-jumping  
15 fight  
16 bind  
17 assist  
18 clips  
19 Denim skirt  
20 belly  

Material (for teaching):

Word list for each comic strips are listed below

There are 4 comic strips in total. Each of them has a different theme.

1. heartline app 2. Spiderman 3. Skype 4. shopping 5. mission
depression 爪子 claw nervous 小喇叭褲 flares/bell-bottoms helmet
hopeless 章魚 Octopus approach 直筒褲 straight jeans
feel  disconnected 捆綁 bind guilty 牛仔短裙 Denim skirt ambush
be remind of 倉皇逃跑 flee program 羅馬涼鞋 Roman sandals helicopter
alone 搏鬥 fight include 七分褲 Cropped pants chopper
suffer from 高架鐵軌high railway soon-to-be father Chinese bob cut boots
support system struggle assist   clips
system 蜂擁而出 swarm out/ rush our in real time   ammo
    on-demand   turbine
    supportive role   parachute-jumping
    coach   hover

The following samples are the comic strips I will use in class.

 Heartline_Storyboard-2 Spiderman2 MeghanCorbett-Storyboard Elizabeth_Colomba_01F_storyboard_01

Teaching the class (the precise process on how to instruct them)

I cancel the grouping and group discussion since it will consume more of my precious borrowed time. Also, it is more natural to assume EFL student to acquire new vocabulary from the setting of independent reading. So it’s perfectly alright to design my instruction in this way.


Material (for testing):

These comic strips could be different from the previous ones we used in teaching stage. However, they need to cover similar ideas and key words within the pictures.

I’d provide these pictures, and ask them to recall their meanings (and plot). This time, no words would be presented on the pictures.

*issues: the conrol group shall be provided with some supportive texts/scripts of the pictures. The text would be a substitution for the comic strips. So that we can make sure the control group also receive enough information from context in a literal way rather than via visual linkage.

To save time, I would just give them the multiple choice as the mid-test.



Mid-Test (C, E1, E2)

Basically, I would only use multiple choice questions to test their retention. The rest of the test items would be saved for the next day’s post-test.

1   John lives alone in the big city. He often feel _____ when he returns to his apartment. (a) connected (b) disconnected (c) supportive (d) guilty
2   Last Saturday, Mary registered a fitness  ______  in nearby the gym. (a) system (b) real-time (c) program (d)ambush



The post-test would be done in the 2nd day.

The Post-test is more difficult then all the previous tests. Participants would be required to do the following types of tests to show how good the newly acquired words have incorporated into their own knowledge system.

*Issues: the the stage of word-recognition test, target words would be addressed in a different scenario. We want to know if it is possible to make the participants recall from a different settings, yet the meanings carried by the words would still be the same. The content of the post-test would be completely different from the mid and pre-test.

  control E1, E2
spelling y y
story recall test y y
word-recognition y y
multiple-choice y y
L1 translation y y

Here are some samples for the post-test

  C, E1, E2 Write down your answers here
story recall test    
multiple choice The hummingbird ____ above the flowers. (a)coach  (b)ambush  (c ) hover (d) parachute
L1 translation flee  


Other references

https://www.coursera.org/course/learning (learning how to learn; chunking skill; illusions of learning)