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Challenges learners have with vocabulary

Learners/teachers talking about what’s difficult about vocabulary.
Of course, vocabulary, again, it’s useful, it’s easy to learn sometimes, especially if you’re a good rote learner. But problems there, as well, because we have so many idioms. False friends, where you have library in English and librairie in French. OK, so in French it means - it means bookshop. But in English it’s like library, absolutely. So those are the kind of difficulties, then, I think, that teachers need to help learners with. But the more you learn about your own language the more fascinating it becomes. Absolutely. And at first it seems I’m never going to be able to learn this grammar, but actually it’s not infinite, it’s not endless. And language changes all the time. There’s always new words to learn.
Sometimes new words sometimes are difficult, like, the spelling. And it’s like learn how they write, and how they’re used in the sentence is also sometimes difficult. Vocab - words have sometimes many meanings, so different meanings. And it’s sometimes difficult to know every meaning of one word. Vocabulary can be a problem, as well, because many times it’s in the short-term memory, so they learn it in the lesson, and then the next lesson, they already forget it. So the best way, I think, is to practise, like, to revise them consistently.
And there are lots of very good websites online which help reuse and review the vocabulary, and also lots of very good games that you can play in doing the lessons at the beginning or at the end just to relax them more and then revise it.

Now you’re going to hear what Marie Therese, Monica and our learners and teachers think about vocabulary. Watch the video and make a list of the things they say are challenging with vocabulary and how these can be overcome.


One of the ways of helping learners with vocabulary is through word games. Choose a set of words related to a topic, eg weather (rain, sun, snow, wind, cloud, drizzle), fruit (apple, pear, banana, orange), clothes (coat, trousers, shirt, blouse, skirt), houses (bungalow, cottage, mansion, villa, flat) etc, and create your own word game.

You can use one of these websites:

(To open a link in a new tab, hold ‘Ctrl’ [or ‘Command’ on a Mac] when you click it.)

When you have made your game write a comment and, if you have a link, put it in the comment so others can try your game.

Look at another learner’s game and try to solve it. Why do you think learners enjoy these types of activities and why are they useful for helping with vocabulary? Write your ideas in the comments.

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