To use vocabulary effectively in real-life situations, students first need the ability 1. to Pronounce & Spell New Vocabulary and 2. to Get Word Meanings, Functions & Uses. These prerequisites will empower them to use words and phrases in English language communication.
Then there are several techniques or approaches that streamline vocabulary acquisition by systematizing it. End users can learn how to 3. Categorize Meaning, 4. Combine Words, 5. Consider Items in Pairs or Groups, 6. Build Words & Phrases from Parts, and 7. Use Motivating Tools in Vocabulary Acquisition.
In the two halves of Parts & Pieces Chart C: Use Vocabulary, Teachable/Learnable Competencies C-1 to C-4 & C-5 to C-7 are numbered to display information, lessons, or materials in usable sequence. Most important is the Do It! Column: it divides Vocabulary Use into equal or comparable competencies.
Competency Puzzle Piece C Part 2: With six Vocabulary Teaching/Learning products highlighted, here’s the second half of P & P Chart C:
There are 22 sub-categories of the Parts & Pieces four Primary Competencies C-4 to C-7 you can read in each row of the Chart(s) which spelling lessons, text chapters, Resource-Guide Ideas, Phonics & Spelling Puzzles, Vocabulary Card Decks with Activity & Idea Books, and more are available for that competency.
Here’s some commentary on the four rows that describe sample Parts & Pieces as well as a number of complete Vocabulary Books & Games with links to each:
C-4. Combine Words in Compounds. Before tackling “Word Building from Word Parts (Prefixes, Roots, Suffixes),” it makes sense for language learners and new readers to notice compounds (vocabulary items consisting of two or more separate words with meaning). The three main kinds of compounds are closed (lexical items made up of smaller words without spaces between them); hyphenated (two or more words joined by hyphens [-]); and open (phrasal units comprised of two or more separated words that belong together).
How can your learners practice the principles of compound vocabulary items? They can complete free Lesson 6 of --- Practical Everyday Spelling Workbook by labeling pictures and checking their answers.
You can look into Part 7 of --- What’s the Word? to master "Combining Word Elements," you/they can study the pedagogy, join smaller elements into closed compounds, create all 3 kinds of combined items to insert into news articles, make a Vocabulary Chart called Combined Words & Phrases, and go beyond the text to generate lists of compounds from small words that appear in many of them.
It’s challenging and fun to create compounds in response to cues and clues like those in Phonics & Spelling Puzzles, Intermediate & Advanced. Enjoy applying your knowledge of compound vocabulary to Word Puzzles called “Letter Connect,” “Letter Jumble,” “Letter Blocks,” and “Rebus Crossword.”
And how about an overview and review of Compound Words & Phrases, with Word Cards (with definitions on their backs) to manipulate, Worksheets to complete, and extensive Reference Lists of 3 kinds of compounds, with activity ideas. For these, take a look at Idea U (Compound Words & Phrases) of Phonics & Spelling: Everything to Know (Now) . . .
C-5. Learn Vocabulary in Pairs & Groups. In addition to dealing with vocabulary items when they come up in meaningful contexts (speech and writing), language learners and new readers might want to tackle groupings of items related in comparable ways. Though not quite as common or productive as compound words & phrases, the biggest “vocabulary collection” to address may be homophones—pairs or groups of words with the same pronunciation but different spellings and meanings. These are often presented and practiced briefly in spellers, such as Practical Everyday Spelling Workbook.
For an overview of Word Pairings & Groupings that could be taught/learned systematically, work through Part 8 of What’s the Word? (Word Pairings & Groupings). There are explanations, illustrated Vocabulary Charts to fill out, and four folk stories to edit or revise. In all of these, you’ll choose between or among words that are homophones, homographs (items that look alike with different meanings that may or may not be pronounced differently), and other possibly confusing vocabulary items (called “near-misses”). Then you can use accumulated knowledge for “Learning (Vocabulary Systematically) Beyond the Book.”
Idea T of Phonics & Spelling: Everything to Know (Now). . . addresses “Homographs & Homophones.” In its 16 pages, you’ll find a “Homograph Spelling & Sound Chart,” followed by a “Homophone Sound & Spelling Chart.” There are teaching instructions; Multi-Level Pointers in Sidebars; decks of two-sided illustrated Vocabulary Cards (with definitions on their backs) to cut out and use; Worksheets; and extensive homographs & homophones Word Pair/Group Reference Lists.
Vocabulary that occurs in pairs and groups lends itself readily to materials design and card play. Using Homophones is a three-level set of materials comprised of 6 decks of beginning, 5 packs of intermediate, and 4 packs of advanced two-sided Word & Picture Cards. These are accompanied by three Activity & Idea Books containing instructions for learning activities and games, level-appropriate Homophone Quizzes, and Reference Lists.
Two other kinds of Word Pairings & Groupings to teach/learn systematically are Synonyms & Opposites, as presented and practiced in Part 6 of What’s the Word? (Saying the Same Thing in Different Ways). There’s pedagogy with sidebar explanations. Working from a Vocabulary Chart: Synonyms, you can “rewrite” an article called “The Powerful Influence of Weather” by substituting equivalents for underlined words. Then you can use various vocabulary in your answers to comprehension questions; exercises will improve your proficiency in “Choosing the Best Synonym.” A section on “Vocabulary Items with Opposite Meanings” offers instructive matching and substitution exercises. Finally, you can follow steps to continue understanding and using synonyms and opposites on your own.
Like other kinds of vocabulary, words to acquire in pairs or groups can appear in the solutions to an array of letter & word games and puzzles. For innovative ways to practice them, review the pedagogy of incorrect substitutions, Homographs that are “heteronyms,” spelling reasons for Homophones, Synonyms, Antonyms. Then try the Word Find, Criss-Cross, Linked Letters, Letter Choices, Maze Words, Switched Letters, So What’s Different?, Meaning Categories, Word Connect, Letter Blocks, and Rebus Crosswords in the “Word Groupings” section of Advanced Phonics & Spelling Puzzles. Learn from the supplied “Puzzle Solutions” and extensive Word-Reference Lists.
C-6. Build Vocabulary by Building Words. The most academic method of expanding one’s “Vocabulary-Word Bank” is to analyze the parts of words, usually their roots or stems and their affixes (suffixes & prefixes).
Idea R: Word Parts = Roots & Affixes, from Phonics & Spelling: Everything to Know (Now) . . . offers all you need to know to optimize use of this approach in vocabulary building. There’s background information (pedagogy) with Multi-Level Pointers in Sidebars. Then you can follow instructional steps to benefit from two-sided Multi-Syllable Word Cards—and create and use Word Parts Vocabulary Charts and innovative Worksheets with supplied answers. Finally, there are comprehensive Prefix, Root, & Suffix Word-Reference Lists to teach and learn from. Click above for samples of all of these.
Part 9 of What’s the Word? is titled “Word Parts—Endings & Beginnings.” With pedagogy and instructions, it offers Word Endings & Word Beginnings Charts to fill in. And there’s a portion of a classic story (“The Sea Adventure Moby Dick”) to complete or improve with word parts and polysyllabic vocabulary.
And “Building Vocabulary by Building Words” is an excellent skill to foster through innovative versions of traditional kinds of Word Puzzles, such as the Word Find, Criss-Cross, Linked Letters, Letter Choices, Maze Words, and other challenging designs in the “Word Parts” Section of Advanced Phonics & Spelling Puzzles.
C-7. Use Motivating Tools to Teach & Learn Vocabulary. By the time you get to this point in your teaching/learning of vocabulary, you’ll be convinced: not only that this area of linguistic study is worth time and energy, but also that it provides some of the most satisfying, entertaining subject matter for interactive activities and games. Ideas V, W, X, and Y of Phonics & Spelling: Everything to Know (Now) . . . detail the principles behind and the steps to take to create and use vocabulary Word Puzzles & Games, Card Packs & Games, Grid & Board Games, and even Games of Knowledge.
And in the 52-page How-to Resource Book: Creating Card Decks & Games, you’ll get an overview of the kinds of subject matter and procedures involved in planning, creating, and using Flash Cards, (Doubled) Matching-Pairs, Matching Quartets, Sequencing, and Traditional Card-Deck Design materials for vocabulary instruction and engaging, self-motivating activities.
Of course, if you prefer to purchase ready-made materials of these types, you might take a look in the worklifenglish.com bookstore for: Initial Consonants Card Packs & Books, Rhyming Words Card Decks & Books, Vowel Sounds & Spellings Card Decks & Book, Phonics & Spelling Bingo, Phonics & Spelling Puzzles, Everyday Phonics & Spelling Workbooks, Picture This! + Picture This, Too! Ways with Words Vocabulary Puzzles, Symbols Card Decks & Book, Using Homophones Decks & Books, and even Great-Grammar Verb Forms Card Packs & Books or Great-Grammar Kinds of Nouns Card Deck & Book.
Below are cover images that link to some of the sources mentioned in this blog: