Vocabulary: Ways to extend student learning

Craig Thaine

Craig Thaine has been involved in ELT for 30 years, working as a teacher and teacher trainer in many different countries. He has extensive experience developing and teaching English language courses to adult learners, and is co-author of Empower.

We often suggest to our learners that reading will help increase their vocabulary. However, in order for students to read fluently, they should ideally use graded readers that limit the lexical load. It is also assumed that students will learn vocabulary incidentally when they read. This is useful, but it doesn’t always mean that students engage with new lexis in a lot of depth and extend their range as much as possible.

Craig recently presented a webinar, Vocabulary: Ways to Extend Student Learning, where he looked at ways of helping learners engage with vocabulary during lessons and as part of an independent learning programme. He detailed some freely available online resources that can supplement course book vocabulary activities, and examined strategies that learners can deploy when they are using a graded reader.

In terms of supporting students’ vocabulary learning, Craig says we need to provide students with strategies so their incidental learning is more effective, and provide direct vocabulary instruction that aims to broaden and deepen their lexical knowledge.

Catch up on the webinar:

Watch another webinar from Craig Thaine on EAP learners and pronunciation.

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