Blog Series: All About Vocabulary

This blog series has been a long time coming. Vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary. Vocabulario, vocabulaire, 生词shēngcí, whatever you call it, this word shows up everywhere in world language curricula, lesson plans, classrooms, and textbooks. And why shouldn’t it? Speaking any language would be rather difficult if, you know, you didn’t know any words!

Words allow us to talk. It would make sense then that, if we want to talk, we should learn more words. And if teachers want students to talk, teachers should teach more words. Perfectly logical and a perfectly reasonable expectation for both parties. But what does any of this mean? What does it mean to learn vocabulary? How do we know when we’ve learned a word? What does it look like to build one’s vocabulary? And why is the focus so often on these questions, as opposed to actually using the words?

After spending a few days planning out how to write out an increasingly lengthy blog post, it became apparent that a blog series (à la our “4 Unique Ways to Use Extempore”) would yield better, more organized results. Instead of one long, infinitely scrollable blog post, this series will be split into three separate posts, as outlined below:

In this series, I want to dive into this world of vocabulary and uncover answers to the questions in the previous paragraph. Through looking at research and some of my personal and classroom experiences, the goal is to share my personal insight and also the research available with other like-minded language teachers like yourself. I don’t expect to uncover any life-changing revelations in L2 word acquisition, but hopefully this series will shed light on some ideas you can consider or even adopt moving forward.

Plan to see these posts roll out over the next few weeks, accompanied by some friendly videos from yours truly to break down what lies within. Lucky for you, the first post, “Vocabulary in the Classroom: Thoughts and Strategies on Acquisition and Assessment” is already published! Read it here.

Stay tuned for more.


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