Developing vocabulary in English

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One collaborative strategy I have used which is proving to be quite effective is getting students to create a vocab list in a shared document.  We’ve been focusing on creating two lists,one of common words and one of specific words which relate directly to the text or our topic.  In this instance students are writing a film review for Tama Tu.  From this list their aim is to try and incorporate more ‘specific words’into their review.   Having created the word list students then copied the words and went to vocabulary.com where they created a new list which automatically populated definitions for the words.

This task was quite successful,all students were engaged for a considerable amount of time and all were contributing to the google sheet.   Working on a shared document enabled the lesser ability students to see real time modelling from their peers and they quickly caught on to what they were supposed to do.  There was a bit of time spent discussing appropriate commenting and word use but generally this was a positive exercise.  It also gave the class a good base of specific words which we used for spelling tests and students tried to include as many of these words in their written answers.

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