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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    how we select words according to the level of our students

    Hello ,
    ı want to ask our experienced teachers how we select words according to the level of beginner student,e.g. how common they are,etc...
    about some words for example :welder,omelette,bloke,chauffeur,angry
    are they appropriate for beginners and why not ???

    Thanks a lot

  2. #2
    oregeezer's Avatar
    oregeezer is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Thailand
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    347

    Re: how we select words according to the level of our students

    I use Google to find lists for vocabulary.
    There are "Dolch Words" - the first words taught to begininng readers in America.
    There are "Fry Words" list of most common words in spoken and written English.
    Just found the Macmillian Dictionary (2nd Ed.) which uses "2500 Defining Words" to explain ALL of the other words in their dictionary.
    And of course the "Academic Word List" (AWL) for college level text readers.
    Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Re: how we select words according to the level of our students

    Thank you oregeezer
    ı want to explain why the words would not be appropriate to teach beginners and have to give reasons :(
    Which of the following words would you not teach beginners and why ?
    welder,omelette,bloke,chauffeur,angry,orange,jacke t,student,car,hungry
    ı mean how we select words according to the level of our students,e.g. how common they are,etc.

    ı hope English teachers will help me
    Last edited by shalala; 11-Feb-2008 at 20:30.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    28

    Re: how we select words according to the level of our students

    and here is an example:

    "Bloke" is not a word for early use.I would definitely not teach beginners is bloke. That is because it is a British colloquialism--quite informal.
    What about ????
    welder,omelette,chauffeur,angry,hungry
    please help!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    47

    Re: how we select words according to the level of our students

    Interesting question. Most experienced teachers just get a feeling of which words work best for beginning level students. Maybe all those classes filled with confused students staring blankly at the start of our careers!

    Adjusting vocabulary and grammar to suit the ability level of the class is a very tough skill. Some people never become so good at it, perhaps because it takes a bit of empathy. Some teachers (who are still very good at what they do) really know what's going on in the heads of their students, and some teachers don't.

    To answer your question, I would teach the following: hungry, angry and (maybe) omelet. I would get rid of: chauffeur, welder, and bloke. It comes down to frequency of usage. Although beginning level students might understand the meaning of all these words, are they likely to use these words in a conversation? Are they likely to hear the words in a conversation? At this level, it's best to give them tools which will get used immediately and regularly. (As a native speaker, I can't remember the last time I used "welder" in a conversation, but I'm sure I've used hungry and angry at some point this week.)

    Chris Cotter
    Heads Up English - English materials based on current events. Just print, and teach!
    English Lesson Plans | Heads Up English | ESL EFL

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    25

    Re: how we select words according to the level of our students

    It obviously depends on your students and what you expect them to be familiar with. With European students, I usually introduce the words I'm fairly sure they will have alread seen: compuiter, taxi, hotel, coffee, pizza - the international words that are scattered everywhere you travel - but with different cultures, different words are likely to be more meaningful. Looking at the Cambridge exam syllabus for young learners and their starters, movers and flyers vocabulary lists gives a nice range of slowly progressing vocabulary introduction for absolute beginners.

    Good luck!

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