7 ways to revise vocabulary

7 ways to revise vocabulary

There have been quite many researches done on vocabulary teaching in recent years. Lots of ELT experts have presented different ways and techniques for presenting vocabulary items. But do we face problems only in introducing and teaching new words and collocations? I would definitely say no. Vocabulary acquisition requires not just introducing the news words but also practicing them minutely. Taking into consideration the utmost importance of vocabulary acquisition and revision, we have collected a list of best techniques to revise vocabulary with your students. 

Memory Challenge (for beginner and elementary levels)

Students may work in pairs or in groups. Set a time limit. Ask them to write down as many words as they remember from the previous lesson or choose a target vocabulary to revise. The pair or group that can remember the most words and expressions wins. 

Vocabulary pictures (for beginner and elementary levels)

Distribute a set of pictures to your students. These pictures should somehow be connected with the target vocabulary. Ask each student to describe one picture using as many words from the previous lesson as possible.  

Slips of paper (for elementary and pre-intermediate levels)

To carry out this activity, first of all, you should choose the vocabulary you want to revise with your students. Then write each phrase on separate slips of paper. To start the game, you need to pick one of the words and call out a definition, synonym, antonym, etc. The first student to guess the word gets the slip of paper. At the end of the activity, the students must count their slips and find out the winner. The winner is the one has the most slips. 

2 Truths and a Lie (for elementary and pre-intermediate levels)

Ask your students to make up 3 sentences about themselves. Two of them must be true, and one – a lie. All sentences must contain the target vocabulary items. If necessary, you can provide the list of the words students should use in their sentences. 

Outburst (for elementary and pre-intermediate levels)

Students work in two groups. The teacher assigns each team a particular topic (e.g. sports, food, school, autumn, spring). Each team collectively writes down a list of 15 words connected with the topic. To begin the game the teacher tells each group the topic of their opponents. Group A then has one minute to try to guess the words on Group B’s list. The members of Group B tick the items which Group A manages to guess. For each correct answer, Group A scores a point. If they give the wrong answer,  Group B gets a point. After Group A finished, it’s time for Group B to guess their opponent’s list. 

Taboo (for pre-intermediate and upper levels) 

Taboo is an intellectual game that may bring lots of fun to your students. They can work in pairs or in groups. Each of them has several cards with different words. One student explains the word in his/her card to the pair or to the group. There are also Taboo words on each card, which can’t be used during the explanation. The game makes students think wider and thus recall all the necessary words. You can play it online or order it on Amazon. There are also plenty of printable board games on Pinterest. 


Mind – maps (for all levels) 

A mind-map technique can perfectly be used for revising the vocabulary. It can be done both with a sheet of paper and a pen or with digital tools. Choose the vocabulary topic you want to revise with your students, for example, ‘Autumn’ and ask them to brainstorm as many ideas as they can. 

To make the procedure easier and more categorized, create a mind – map for your vocabulary and add the main topic, e.g. ‘Food’. Then add sub-maps for different categories, e.g. ‘Vegetables’, ‘Fruit’, ‘Diary products’, ‘Fast Food’, ‘Sweets’, etc. Now it is time to ask your students to add words to these categories. They can also enrich the map by adding a suitable picture or an icon for each word. 

Here are resources for online mind mapping.

Mind Meister

Lucid chart

Ayoa

Additional ideas on how to use mind-maps in education can be found here. 

Choose the most appropriate technique for your classes and revise the target vocabulary with your students. Do your best to help your students not only in learning new words but also in remembering. Revision is the main key to success. 

Вероника Аветисян

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