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10 Awesome Ways to Teach English Vocabulary

10 Awesome Ways to Teach English Vocabulary

Do you want your students to remember your lessons as vividly as that? Do you want to make your classes so memorable they’ll be able to easily recall what you taught long after they finish the course?

Well, this post will help make that possible. Here we talk about multisensory classroom techniques that’ll not only tickle students’ senses, but also make your classes positively unforgettable.


Did you know that a student needs to encounter a new word 10 to 16 times to effectively acquire it according to the latest research?

The more words students are able to handle accurately, the better their chances of understanding English and making themselves understood.

To effectively acquire new vocabulary, students must go through three essential stages:

  • first, they notice and understand a new word with help
  • secondly, they recognize the word with help, then later on their own
  • later, they are able to recognize and produce the word


I. Understanding new words

1) Introducing nouns, things, animals, objects.

Visual aids like flashcards, photos usually work the best with nouns, but appealing to students’ senses, called ‘multi-sensory teaching’ , using real objects whenever possible, or even sounds, smells, tastes, and feeling, are proved to be the most effective and natural methods of teaching new words.

2) Introducing adjectives- often we use pictures for teaching opposite adjectives like ‘big’ , small’, ‘ short’ and ‘tall’, realia can be used for adjectives describing texture like ‘smooth’, ‘rough’, ‘soft’, ‘hard’, etc. When it comes to more advanced adjectives, like ‘ stunning’, spectacular’, ‘huge’,, you can bring photos of famous ladnmarks, places like Eiffel Tower, Louvre, The Himalayas, etc, and use them with the new adjectives in a meaningful, clear context.

3) Introducing abstracts – there are things you cannot simply teach with a flashcard. What works best in those cases is putting students in a real life, meaningful context, for instance to teach ‘early’ and ‘late’ we can tell tudents, that those who appear for the lesson before the time the class starts come ‘early’, and those who come after that time, come ‘late’

II.Recognizing new words

At that stage you have a good choice of fun classroom activities and games. For instance:

1) Bingo – the most versatile game used by ESL teachers. You may use it with young learners, teeangers and adult learners.

2) Fill in the blanks (with options) – Join us to make your life easier and have ready online exercises for your students.

3) Matching – This exercise gives countless possibilities. Students maybe asked to matched opposites, synonyms with antonyms, pictures with words.( Join us to make your life easier and have ready online exercises for your students)

4) Fly swatter game – two representatives of each group race to the board with their fly swatters trying to hit the right word said by the teacher. First, you can say English word as it’s written on the board, andduring the next round, say the same words but in the students’ mother tongue to make it more difficult. Great revision activity for all age learners!

See the video:


III. Producing new vocabulary

when students can spontaneously recall learnt words.

1) Guess what I’m thinking– Learners take turns describing a place, or an animal, at all levels of competency, for instance: ”It has got big ears, fours legs and a small tail”.

2) Brainstorming- this works great for a vocabulary review lesson. Tell your students to think of words they can use to describe ” appearance” and write it at the centre of the black or whiteboard. Write each word provided by the students as a ”ray” shooting out from the centre.

3) Descriptions- This might include both oral and written descriptions. You might give your students some guidance like use at leats 5 adjectives or words related to various topics, like weather, shopping, travel, etc.

4) Fill in the blanks ( no options)

Teach vocabulary always in a context, related to a topics, like shopping, travel, etc.. Use songs, puzzles, real life objects, the more you mix the better to cater to different learning styles.

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