How to develop vocabulary teaching materials

Kazakhstani education system is modernized more and more and demands of economy for citizens’ knowledge in languages are rising. There several schools and universities as Nazarbayev’s Intellectual Schools and Nazarbayev’s University which supposed to be a model for other education provided institutions in Kazakhstan. However, their teaching materials and goals are much more different from secondary schools as they use different teaching resources. On the other hand there is one general goal to develop and support Presidents’ Trilingual Policy for all educational institutions. In this respect we would like to develop teaching vocabulary materials for secondary school children, especially for 5th grade students. Developing vocabulary teaching materials is very important nowadays. It will help students to better acquire knowledge and fasten their ability to use language.

Vocabulary teaching has the goal of supporting language use across the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Studies of effect of pre-teaching vocabulary on reading comprehension indicate that such teaching needs to be rich and reasonably intensive if it is to have a positive effect on comprehension. However learning through communication is more effective rather than others. There some ideas that is very important in developing vocabulary teaching materials. Besides, planned approach to vocabulary development will be much more effective than dealing with vocabulary in opportunistic way.

While developing teaching materials several factors should be taken into consideration. These are the factors such as learners’ needs, goals, environment analyses, format and presentation, monitoring and assessment. Because these factors help to prepare good teaching materials which can be useful for learners. Without thinking the necessary amount of things to be considered in preparing materials these materials cannot be done well. Speaking about environment analyses we mean learners’ background, their level of English language and their interest unless prepared activities can be unusable. From environment analyses depends on the goals of the vocabulary teaching activities. Teacher should review curriculum or syllabus carefully. Then teacher should make notes on ideas for teaching materials that he/she may need in order to teach the skills and knowledge listed in the curriculum or syllabus. This may seem like a preliminary step that can be dispensed with, but it's actually very important because it is necessary to make sure that creating teaching materials that are relevant to the curriculum or the syllabus that teacher is to teach.

As it was already considered the leaner’s’ background is very important thing to knowTheir current knowledge is important while designing an activity. Students’ level of language play important role in developing material because vocabulary can be in different level. There many types of vocabulary and it are necessary to choose right one to teach. Materials which do not consider learners’ level make them hard to acquire knowledge. Our task is not to make activities beyond the learners’ level but to make everything understandable and useful for learners. However, tasks should not be too easy. They should be designed on a way that helps to develop students’ thinking and memory.

Learners’ age is very important one. Activities suitable for learners’ age can raise their motivation on learning and help them to memorize words easily. Activities based on learners’ interest can bring much satisfaction in their learning. Besides, activities which contain things which will answer the questions that they are looking for in real life can capture their attention. These analyses about learners and their interest must be done through survey. Finding out what learners are interested we can determine their needs. Teacher should make notes about the class, the students, or the level of students you will teach and consider what their prior knowledge, skills, and interests are, or are likely to be. Besides, teacher should make notes on what kinds of activities they enjoy in or outside of the class.

Needs analysis is directed mainly at the goals and content of developing materials. It examines what the learners know already and what they need to know. Needs analysis makes sure that the material will contain relevant and useful things to learn. Good needs analysis involves asking the right questions and ending the answers in the most effective way. Prepared materials should meet the learners’ needs. In order to meet learners’ needs number of things should be done. Materials developed for teaching vocabulary should be concentrated on learners’ needs and fill the gaps in their knowledge. Furthermore, it should be considered on certain kind of vocabulary to teach. Well-designed activities can influence greatly on learners vocabulary learning. There are several requirements on designing materials for teaching vocabulary which can give more favorable conditions for learning. The list of possible teaching materials with the list of interests and skills of students’ should be compared. It is important to highlight the ideas for teaching materials that seem to match or complement the likely interests and skills of the students. During this step, teacher will likely think of other, even better, ideas for teaching materials and add these new ideas to the list.

Well prepared teaching material should have the right goal. From the goal set to the activity depends on whether the materials will be useful or not. For instance, our goal on preparing teaching vocabulary is to develop students’ knowledge in vocabulary. Furthermore, make them able to recognize the word in written, spoken, listening form and in the text. Besides, students should be able to use words easily when necessary. This means that our goal is not only to teach bare words but to teach them in engagement with the text. Because, words seen in texts can help students to know where exactly and when to use them. Overall, right goals can bring more enjoyment for students in learning language and the main thing there will be result after practicing activities.

Format and Presentation of materials are very important. Nowadays students are interested in computers and new technology so when developing materials different types of material presentation should be used. According to the learners age and their level different types of activities can be used. Teaching should be based on developing students’ speaking, reading, writing and listening. Materials should be prepared in combination of those skills. It means vocabulary activities should be presented on listening, speaking, writing and reading exercises. It is not necessarily to use activities for all four skills in one lesson; however, they can be used according to teachers’ goals. When designing an activity attention should be paid on a theme of the lesson. Secondly, activities depend on current grammar material. Because, without relation between theme of the lesson and the grammar material vocabulary can lose its value in the lesson. Students’ should be concentrated on one theme and on vocabulary connected with this theme.

Teaching materials should follow logical way in their presenting. They should be connected with each other and the theme of the lesson. Materials should be based on teaching vocabulary principles. Several principles of teaching vocabulary were mentioned by Wallace M. on his article called “Teaching Vocabulary” such as engagement with vocabulary, teaching through word combinations, vocabulary presentation and etc. It is boring to just give the learners list of words to learn and check. Because, in such case learners’ main aim will be to just learn the words to get good mark after they will quickly forget them. By making vocabulary study meaningful and by integrating it with reading, spelling, and writing, it makes sense to the students and they take ownership of the material. In this respect we can say that teaching vocabulary needs engagement with vocabulary. Various actions and tasks used can allow students to become directly involved in the learning process, rather than remaining passive. Furthermore, material can be in the form of games, texts for reading and exercises.

Language teaching has five main components such as students, a teacher, materials, teaching methods, and evaluation. According to Allwright materials should be resource book which contain ideas and activities for learners and they should be used to teach. However, Allwright believed that textbooks are inflexible to use as teaching materials. On the other hand, O’Neill believes that textbooks as teaching materials are very useful. First of all, textbooks are helpful for learners to make review and prepare for the lessons. Secondly, textbooks are efficient in terms of time and money. Thirdly, textbooks can make it possible to adapt and improvise.

Furthermore, Allwright believes that materials control learning and teaching. While O'Neill believes that they help learning and teaching. It is fact that mostly teachers and learners rely on textbooks, and textbooks set the components and methods of learning, that is, they control the content, methods, and procedures of learning. Students learn what is provided by the textbook, and the way the textbook shows material is the way students learn it. What is given in the textbook will affect the class and the learning process. Moreover, in many cases, teaching materials are the center of instruction and one of the most important influences on what is happening in the classroom.

Theoretically, experienced teachers can teach English without using the textbook.

However, they cannot do it in every lesson, because it is not so easy so they could allow themselves do it sometimes. The main reason for this is that in most cases teachers do not have enough time to prepare supplementary materials, so they just use the textbook. Therefore, textbooks take on a very important role in teaching language, and it is important to choose a good textbook.

At the end of 1970’s paid more attention to the learners’ role in teaching language rather than teachers. This means that learner centered approaches were started to use and considered more useful. In this respect learners became more important than teachers, materials, curriculum, methods, or evaluation. As a matter of fact, curriculum, materials, teaching methods, and evaluation should all be designed for learners and their needs. It is the teacher's responsibility to check to see whether all of the elements of the learning process are working well for learners and to adapt them if they are not.

According to this approach, learners should be the center of instruction and learning. The curriculum is a statement of the goals of learning, the methods of learning, etc. The role of teachers is to help learners to acquire knowledge. Teachers have to follow the curriculum and provide, make, or choose materials. They may adapt, supplement, and elaborate on those materials and also monitor the progress and needs of the students and finally evaluate students.

Materials can be textbooks, video and audio tapes, computer software, and visual aids which can influence the content and the procedures of learning. Besides, materials can affect the choice of deductive or inductive learning, the role of memorization, the use of creativity and problem solving, production, and the order in which materials are presented. There is several technology equipment which can influence on teaching and learning and support the material. They are video, audio tape recorders, cameras and computers. Furthermore, evaluations such as tests and others can be used to put marks, to determine their learning and to give feedback to the learners.

However, if we considered that students and teachers should rely on the materials then the material become the center on teaching process. That is why materials should be adopted or prepared by teachers should take into consideration learners needs. Teachers not always have time to prepare extra materials so it will be good idea to develop vocabulary teaching materials for them.

According to Littlejohn and Windeatt teaching materials have hidden curriculum which contains certain believes concerning knowledge and teaching and learning in general. Furthermore, it can influence on learners perception about society and relationship. Materials have an underlying instructional philosophy, approach, method, and content, including both linguistic and cultural information. That is, choices made in writing textbooks are based on beliefs that the writers have about what language is and how it should be taught.

On the other hand, Clarke (1989) says that communicative methodology is important. Because, this methodology is based on authenticity, realism, context, and a focus on the learner. However, he argues that what constitutes these characteristics is not clearly defined, and that there are many aspects to each. He questions the extent to which these are reflected in textbooks that are intended to be communicative.

Teaching materials are activities used for teaching. They used to make teaching meaningful and assessable. Besides, through teaching materials teaching can be achieved. Otherwise, it will look bare and without base to train the knowledge students get. Vocabulary teaching materials are used to train vocabulary. It helps to develop learners’ vocabulary knowledge and practice them in different aspects. Developing teaching material is an important beginning to teaching any course, class, or student, whether you're a professional or amateur teacher. Teaching materials provide a foundation for the skills and knowledge to be taught and learned, and very often these materials will provide a record or portfolio that your students will be able to use for review at a later date.

Every teaching material should be assessable it means through these materials students’ knowledge on vocabulary should be assessed. In this respect good teaching material should have exact criteria’s on assessing students’ knowledge.

Vocabulary learning greatly helped when listening if the teacher quickly defines unfamiliar words (Elley, 1989) and notes them on the board. While developing materials using glosses can be useful for learners. Glossaries at the bottom of the task can attract their attention so they can remember it.

Extensive reading programmes can provide great opportunities for learning vocabulary, however, these programmes should be well designed and create the favorable condition for learning. Besides, extensive reading can help students to develop their skill and fluency in reading, build previously learning vocabulary and grammar, to get pleasure from reading and be encouraged to learn more through success in language use. However, learning through reading is more focused on story rather than words so that can be the weak point of it. In order to be fluent reader learners need to be familiar 100% of words. So there should be pre-reading activities on vocabulary and after reading activities for checking their attention on new words. While reading attention to unfamiliar word can be stressed by highlighting it.

Teachers can give students interesting reading material and discuss it with them after picking up all unknown words and useful word combinations students should create their own story by using new words. Another thing that we want to highlight is that teaching by dividing into themes at the very beginning of language teaching will be helpful for students. For instance, if it is topic “The Noun” learners should be provided by new words nouns. Besides, while teaching nouns they can also provide with types of nouns and the Articles. Their task will be to making sentences with these new words by putting the correct article before the words. Then when they achieve “The Adjectives” they will be provided by different adjectives. Furthermore, they will be taught how to recognize degrees of comparison of adjectives and where to put them in sentence. After that learners will be given a task as warming-up exercise to distinguish adjectives from nouns and translate them.

Activities for listening can develop students interest to learning and at the same time can lose it. Interest to the language can be achieved when students are familiar of necessary amount of words to comprehend the material. In this respect pre-listening vocabulary activities should be prepared. It will be good if students have already learnt new words at previous lesson and come ready to listen and comprehend the words. While-listening vocabulary activity can be an activity such as putting the missing words into the gaps. Most students find these exercises very useful and they enjoy doing such exercises. Afterlistening exercises can be different. Students can make sentences with new words. Listening can help to develop their pronunciation and comprehension of new words.

Vocabulary teaching can be improved through teaching speaking. Speaking generally depends on vocabulary knowledge of students. Before speaking students should be given exact amount of vocabulary to learn. Then they should be taught how to use these words in speech. When new vocabulary is actively used in speech students have chance to remember words easily. They can comprehend it in others speech while listening. Overall, using new vocabulary in speech considered to be one of the best ways of learning vocabulary.

One of the ways that vocabulary teaching should be engaged is writing. Vocabulary can be learnt and developed through writing skills. Learners can learn and remember words through writing. They should be able to recognize new words in written form. Different activities for writing and developing new vocabulary are necessary for students. Prewriting exercises may contain new vocabulary that should be used in essay. While writing learners can look up new words from the dictionary when necessary. After writing should be about checking your writing for grammar mistakes and assuring that you used the right word to express your thoughts. In this respect we come to the conclusion that learners can develop best their vocabulary when they engage learning through four skills such as reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Different games can be used in teaching vocabulary. Games can raise learners’ interest and capture their attention which is very important in teaching and learning vocabulary. Because, through attention and interest new words can be remembered better. That is the main goal of teaching vocabulary is to make learners remember and use the words in real life. Using games in teaching vocabulary as a material for teaching is one of the best ways. However, it cannot be used all the time and in every lesson. Too many games in English lesson can make students unserious in learning language. Besides, the main disadvantages of using games are that it is taking too much time during the lesson. In this respect we can say that teachers should open for students other sides of learning vocabulary. Using internet recourses for example. The main opportunity of using internet resources is that learners can develop their vocabulary not only at school but also sitting at their home. Besides, not only at school learners can develop their vocabulary. They should be taught to use internet resources to learning vocabulary. Different problems which could appear on teaching vocabulary as getting bored or quickly forgetting new words can be solved through new technologies opportunities. As it was mentioned above different internet technology resources can be used in teaching vocabulary. Internet provided students with various games on vocabulary development. Teachers should tell and give them tasks to join the sites and do different games on vocabulary development.

While preparing materials for teaching vocabulary it is worth mentioning the types of memory. Knowing how words are remembered we can prepare materials. First of all, there short term store memory learners can remember words only few seconds. That is actually will not be useful for our learners. Second is working memory. From working memory depends on cognitive tasks such as reasoning, learning, and understanding. Thirdly, it is long term memory. Here learners use several strategies such as repetition, retrieval, spacing, pacing, use, cognitive depth, personal organizing, imaging, mnemonics, motivation and attention. This one will be useful for developing students’ vocabulary. Overall, it can be seen that materials which are focused on repetition, use and motivation can bring more benefit than others. Usually while teaching and learning vocabulary motto "Recognition, Repetition, Reproduction" is used.

Wilga Rivers believes that “Vocabulary cannot be taught” it can be explained, presented, included in all kind of activities. There are several types of activities for teaching vocabulary. For instance, identifying activities is a kind of activity which involves detecting words. Next is selecting activity which is about recognizing the words and making choice among them. For example: when it is asked to choose odd word. Further, it can be selected matching activity where learners should first recognize the word then pair them. Then next activity is sorting activity. It requires learners to sort words into different categories. For example: to sort out to parts of speech. Then is ranking and sequencing of words which is about putting the words into the right word order. Besides, there will be producing activities which are divided into two types. First is about completing sentences or texts, like filling the gaps. Second type is about creation where learners should create context for given words. For example: making sentences with new vocabulary, involving these words into dialogues. In conclusion it can be said that there varies types of activities to teach vocabulary.

Overall, developing vocabulary teaching materials for secondary schools teachers and learners come as support of President’s Trilingual Policy. Because, language developing should be increased and incensed in simple secondary schools too. Learners should not be left behind other schools such as language schools and Nazarbayev Intellectual School. Secondary schools should follow their steps and determine to achieve good results in teaching English language. In this respect, developing vocabulary teaching materials are important. As they can help to increase their knowledge and interest in learning language. Everything starts from vocabulary in language learning. When students know vocabulary and they know how to use them it can bring them a lot of benefit. Good teaching materials can be prepared when several factors are taken into consideration such as environment analyses, needs, goals, format and presentation and assessment and evaluation. Materials based on principles of teaching vocabulary can be right to use. While preparing teaching activities it is important to engage it with listening, writing, reading and speaking tasks. It such cases it will be much more useful for learners’ new words rather than learning only list of words provided by teacher. Though there are five elements in language instruction, and learners should be the center of instruction. They should have correct, natural, current and standard English.

 

REFERENCES

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Year: 2014
City: Almaty
Category: Philology