Monday, September 19, 2011

Word Banks and ESL

Question: What are some purposes for word banks with ESL (English as a Second Language) students?

Answer/Quote: “A word bank, in the traditional sense, is a list of words that has been accumulated to build sight vocabulary…. Because it uses the student’s own vocabulary, a word bank can become an endless resource for building vocabulary, practicing spelling….”

Sample Word Bank on the Topic of Gardening.
Plant, weeds, tree, tomato plant, dig, hole, shovel, rake, lawnmower, weeds, air blower, sweep, hose, fertilize, seeds, corn, clippers, pruner, carrot, onion, tulips, lettuce, hoe, chives, rocks, grass, sod, rototiller, axe, renting, buying, dump, tool shed, plastic bags, equipment, goggles.

 Comment: Cluster related words in the word bank: “clippers,” “pruner,””axe,””tool shed.”. A good technique for developing vocabulary. A good technique for teaching how to brainstorm. See how many words related to the topic can be produced by the class. Find the spelling trouble spots in the words. Break down multi-syllable words: “fer- ti-lize,” “let-tuce.” What are “chives”? Students keep copies of their word banks to help them remember the words they have learned. RayS.

Title: “Word Banks for Adult Literacy.” LAustin-Anglea. Journal of Reading (December 1990), p. 300-301.

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