Recycling: the best habit on Earth

Without a doubt, learning new lexis is often what many students consider vital in their classes. However, most of them are not sure how to do it effectively. And let's be honest, few will devote enough out-of-class time to memorise the new vocabulary. So if we want our students to expand their vocabulary range, we need to find time in class which we will devote to recycling new words. Don’t we have enough work on our hands, though? Why bother recycling at all?

a) according to research sts need to see a lexical item between 7 and 9 times in order to memorise it b) your sts will learn a lot of new lexis and very often that’s their priority c) it neither takes much prep nor effort (get the sts to record the vocab!) d) you’ll have an endless list of both productive and fun warmers and fillers which need no prep nor planning! So without further ado, here are some practical activities to do with your students. As a disclaimer, I don't pretend to have invented them. They've been around in one form or another for ages, and I've picked them up along the way. I've also done these activities in a workshop format, so those who worked with me in San Sebastian, Budapest or San Jose might recognise the activities straight away. If you know any other activities, please let me know. We could add them to the list :) Enjoy! Recycling Vocabulary – Activities 1.

Vocab column on the board: note lexis that comes up during the class  use it at least once to recycle, e.g. give a definition, students run up to the board and point to the correct word (good for shaking the class up if they're falling asleep)


Ranking activities: putting words on a cline, e.g. the strongest to the weakest

e. pick any order depending on the group of words (i.  Coffepot: substitute a word with coffeepot. the most to the least serious crime)  3. puts the responsibility for learning in their hands)  IDEA 2: if you have a very large class. get them to create their own noughts and crosses with the words they find difficult (makes it more personalised and meaningful) 7.  Taboo: teacher explains the word. for weekend activities  in general. etc)  IDEA: get students to explain the words (takes the focus off you.g.  Gapped sentences: sts prepare at home or if time in class (more demanding and therefore increases retention. they have to make a correct sentence with the word to be able to win the field  when they’ve finished divide the class in half and play as a whole class activity  IDEA: once the sts are familiar with the activity.g. I coffeepot in the morning before breakfast.  Noughts and crosses: draw noughts and crosses board on the whiteboard.I like most/least. putting a word in each field  sts copy it to their notebooks  in pairs. e. others guess (in pairs.  IDEA: do as a dictation  IDEA 2: get sts to do it in pairs (increases Student Talking Time) 6.e. you can have more than one taboo going at the same time to keep everyone busy 4. groups. BUT more time consuming)  prepared by the teacher  IDEA: use questions instead of affirmatives and get sts to do a mingle (more communicative)  IDEA 2: do orally as a dictation (more demanding + a listening practice) 5. Storytelling: .

com/ cgi-bin/crossword. one point for every correctly used word (makes it more competitive)  8. Crosswords. definitions snap.? When was the last time you.? etc.? Do you.. Recycling worksheets: prepare a grid.g.cgi  11.. such as: 3 in a row..g.   Collocations/word sets: list all words collocating with _______ IDEA: do it as a team race or set a time limit to increase competitiveness Blockbusters:  9. Have you ever. story telling/writing. e.crosswordpuzzlegames. word searches: IDEA: get the sts to prepare them at home and use in the next class..each st has a set of words on cards (or the whole group has words face up on the desk)  continue a story adding a sentence with one of the words  IDEA: set a points system. get rid of your cards (explanations/use in a sentence).comhttp://www. Questions: sts prepare questions for their classmates using the words you are revising.g.  IDEA: cut the grid up to make recycling cards  IDEA 2: get sts to prepare the grid themselves (more relevant and personalised)  . where you will put in the words from the class  distribute to groups and play various games...  IDEA: sts write questions on slips of paper.. mix them up and redistribute randomly  IDEA 2: class mingle when sts swap the questions after asking them and move on  12. sentences about yourself (true and false. e. 5 x 5.. sts move across the board by making correct sentences with the words given 10. use the internet to prepare them quicker: http://www.thecanadianteacher. use as many as possible in one sentence. guess which one is false). e..

. Snap: spread word cards in front of a group of sts  ne st provides a definition. the others try to grab the right word as soon as possible 14.13. or gapped sentence.!  learn almost 2500 words in a year in a fun way. Impossible? Read my post about Memrise here. the first student in the line runs up to the board and tries to spell it correctly  IDEA: use a definition instead of the word. or the coffeepot  IDEA 2: put a student in charge  15. Spelling race:  sts stand in rows at the far end of the classroom facing the board  say a word. spending less than 60mins a week on it.

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