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14 Seiten, Note: 1.5
2. Motivating Students of Grade Five by Teaching English Vocabulary
2.1 The Importance of Teaching Vocabulary in Grade Five
2.2 Teaching and Learning Vocabulary in a Motivating Way
2.3 Problems That May Occur Teaching Vocabulary in a Foreign Language Classroom
3. “Blue Line 1” and Its Contribution To Motivating Vocabulary Teaching in the Foreign Language Class
“Indeed, motivation provides the primary impetus to initiate second or foreign language (L2) learning and later the driving force to sustain the long and often tedious learning process” (Guilloteaux and Dörnyei 2008: 56). This quotation indicates the importance of motivation at every level of language learning. It is fundamental for students of a foreign language to be taught vocabulary in a meaningful kind of way so that they are motivated to learn. Moreover, it contributes to their interest in gaining more knowledge. Therefore, this term paper deals with the question how teachers can include vocabulary in the foreign language classroom to raise the students´ interest for the English language.
Consequently, the role of the teachers is to make sure that their students have the possibility to be motivated in different kind of ways. This means for the vocabulary learning process that they can vary the acquisition style. Teachers can show students multiple ways of vocabulary acquisition so that the students can decide which one is the best for their personal language and vocabulary learning progress. Additionally, teachers have an influence on the teaching materials. These should be appropriate as well as stimulating for the children. Especially in grade five, where students have often changed schools and are studying in an unknown and new learning environment, it is necessary for teachers to keep in mind that the students have different levels of English knowledge. They need to adjust the vocabulary exercises considering that fact.
In this paper, I will initially deal with the importance of English vocabulary in grade five of a foreign language classroom. Thereby, I will also show the inclusion of vocabulary in the curriculum. Afterwards, there will be displayed how teaching and learning vocabulary can function in a motivating way. Moreover, I will point out some difficulties that can occur while teaching vocabulary. As an example, I will describe the structure of a schoolbook. It treats and includes vocabulary in different kinds of ways into its teaching units. Not only the schoolbook, but also the workbook show how words and its concepts can be practised, repeated and taught meaningfully. My conclusion sums the paper up.
Nowadays the scope of one´s vocabulary is often regarded as a good indication of how well a person speaks a language. In schools, vocabulary tests are the value, which decides over the fact whether a student did his homework and whether he or she studied the given vocabulary. It also shows if a student uses vocabulary in an appropriate context.
Hence, increasing the vocabulary in the early learning process is valuable for the students´ future. In grade five students are taught together with unknown fellow students because they changed from primary school to a new school. Obviously, at this point the children have different levels of language knowledge. It is important for teachers to find a way to give all students the same possibility to learn and to revise vocabulary. Therefore, the teacher should aim for getting the students to the same level of vocabulary knowledge. Some students might already know the vocabulary, which is new for others. It is a revision for the students who already studied these words. This means that the teacher has to be careful that these students do not get bored and that they are also challenged with for example different or more complicated vocabulary exercises.
Especially young learners need to establish their own language acquisition style and therefore they initially need to be activated. This style needs to be the one with which they remember new words best. Motivation, intelligence and the opportunity to learn are indicators for how well a student can acquire a foreign language. The way material is presented to a student plays also an important role for the achievement of foreign language learning.
Since it is important for students of grade five to get an impression of the language they are studying, they should get the opportunity to listen to it. This can be done for instance with showing the class an English serial with German subtitles. That way, the students can listen to the language and they can understand the plot with the help of the subtitles.
According to Hedge, one can also distinguish between active and passive vocabulary: “Passive refers to vocabulary which can be recognized when encountered, in a text for example, but which the learner cannot easily produce in speech or writing as active vocabulary” (2000: 116). The teacher needs to consider this evaluating the students of grade five. Since the students came from different schools, he or she cannot assess how much the students learned in primary school or how expanded their vocabulary should really be after grade four. In any case, the teacher has to respect the passive vocabulary as vocabulary knowledge of the students as well. Certainly, it is more difficult to test than the active vocabulary.