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New GCSE - learning vocabulary

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by katerina_78, May 25, 2017.

  1. katerina_78

    katerina_78 New commenter

    There is a massive new impetus on learning and retaining vocab as part of the new GCSE spec. We're following Edexcel.
    Has anyone changed their approach to teaching or ways in which the students learn vocab?

    We are using Vocab Express and setting weekly assignments that are then tested in class the following week. But they don't seem to retain the words and just complete the task as a HW task no as not to get a detention. So retention and application is not great.

    Would be great to hear of any other ways people are teaching/getting students to learn and retain.
  2. parkert

    parkert New commenter

    same boat as you. We use ActiveLearn by Pearson. My Y10s are better as they chose the subject but Y9s are poor - it was made compulsory for them.
  3. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    They can cheat easily enough using Vocabexpress, but if the student uses the tool properly it can really motivate them. Perhaps follow up each block of learning with a competition or race rather than a test. Low stake testing to start every lesson works also really well, giving the chance to revisit learning as well as introduce new vocabulary. We have also just started using ActiveLearn, but I don't know this well enough yet to pass judgement.
  4. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    I will be encouraging pupils to learn vocabulary in a variety of ways.

    I will be encouraging children to learn sentences with new words; create mnemonics; use various online ways to practise such as memrise; learn a wealth of songs available on youtube; getting children to make up stories; getting children to make up songs; careful design of sequences of lessons so that important vocabulary is regularly reviewed; pupils thinking up links and hooks; as well as the usual look, say, cover, write or revision cards. There are more of course. I will be looking for children to produce something with their learning rather than just testing. However I think that more classroom time is going to be taken up drilling, and testing - it is inevitable.
  5. sam enerve

    sam enerve New commenter

  6. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

  7. Coventrymiss

    Coventrymiss New commenter

    We faced the same challenge, although with IGCSE. What we have done is to produce key vocabulary lists per topic. These contain around 100 words or phrases (sometimes broken down into 2 sets of 50) and are issued at the start of the topic teaching. The first week, pupils are given the same vocabulary with the English removed. They have free choice over any 10 to fill in. The next week it is any 20, and so on. This means that they are constantly consolidating their language and because they are peer marking, they are also checking their knowledge when marking.
    The negatives are that a) it takes some time to set up, b) some pupils pre-learn the English word order, so it is worth mixing your word lists up and c) it takes time out of your lesson every week. However I would argue that it has definitely been worth it as our pupils have a very strong vocabulary and have said themselves how well they feel they get the language. We have also been strict and set compulsory retests for anyone scoring below 8/10 or the multiple equivalent.
    Our first cohort has gone through this time so I will let you know how we get on!
    Random175 likes this.
  8. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Does anybody in their word lists include conjugated verbs in any tense and test those as well. I find pupils learn nouns etc ok but the real difficulty is ensuring they recognise, let alone use verbs with various pronouns. I make them learn conjugations and try to provide copious examples in short reading activities / and short listening activities. Trouble is it really increases the amount of 'words' you are expecting the children to learn. I am of course thinking of making them learn sentences now having read some of the research about how memory works. Anyone any other bright ideas regarding learning verbs - especially the third person plural!
  9. ladyofrohan

    ladyofrohan New commenter

    When I teach verbs, I always teach the full paradigm in the present tense, so they are already very familiar with them. I also help them look for patterns - so we have boot verbs; 3/4 verbs; V verbs. When we meet a new verb, we look to see if it fits with a pattern to help remember it. I have 'verb mats' (laminated sheets with the pronouns on) so they can write out verbs quickly and easily as a starter/review activity. We play Battleships to practise verbs as well as dice games.
    pascuam49 likes this.
  10. Coventrymiss

    Coventrymiss New commenter

    Yes random, we include set phrases in various tenses based on common phrases that we consider useful such as on s'est bien amuse or je voudrais y retourner.

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