Last week I had three students and decided to use the vocabulary lessons. These are an interesting part of the Smith’s curriculum. They consist of many units each comprising 12 words. The words are random and unrelated for the most part. Some are nouns. Some are verbs and some are adjectives. Some can be used as verbs or nouns. (You can also teach the related forms.)
There are many ways to use these. I have used them, perhaps, a hundred times. If you ask the students to take turns asking questions of each other about the words or using them in a sentence or question, you can keep it moving very well. I generally use four basic questions which I write on the board and this works well as this allows each of three students to have a chance to ask and answer each question and make a sentence for many of the words. When one of the students cannot answer the question, they ask me the same question and I answer it and the process continues.
I write the English definition on the board along with an example of a sentence from the students or my own. The student write the words down with the definition and the example sentence.
At the end I ask the students in turn to make a sentence or question with each word. Then as homework, I ask them to pick out 4 and write sentences.
For those who are curious, the four questions are as follows:
- What part of speech is —-?
- What does —- mean?
- What is —- in Japanese?
- How do I use —- in a sentence?
Simple but it works well. The students get a lot of practice and learn a lot of vocabulary.
Oh! Why did I paste this picture? It is the Glass House designed by Philip Johnson. I like it. I guess if you live there. you have to be willing to show it all because there are no curtains; only the forest to hide you and in the winter you have only your bath robe. It is a fun exercise to ask the students how they would live differently in such a house. Give them a picture to take home and think about it.