COURSEBOOK COMPANION: Why not & How to teach advanced EFL reading without glossary.

Ενημερώθηκε: 10 Νοε 2019

Why are Glossaries so popular with EFL classes? Is there too little time to deliver a qualitative lesson? Are there too many participants in the course? Are EFL teachers worn out? Well, fellow teachers, it's high time to get rid of the excuses and drop using glossary with advanced English learning classes.

These five arguments mean to evince the positive impact of not using glossaries, on students' language developement:

  1. Helps students relate the introduced vocabulary to the topic. Therefore, a new word can be recalled easily next time the same topic is brought up.

  2. It saves time!Not rarely, students struggle to understand the meaning of the definition in their mother language due to poor language skills in L1. Consequently, teachers don't know that students don't know what the definition actually means! As a result, students never use that vocabulary deliberately and spontaneously. In most such cases that vocabulary needs to be taught again and again after a while. But, was it students' fault in the first place?!

  3. It boosts their comprehensional abilities. Understanding meaning of written speech, as a whole, though having unknown words enhances students' self esteem and they are more likely to participating actively in reading tasks as time goes by.

  4. Speaking skills are also affected positively when trying to describe meanings. Putting features and details into words takes great effort and pays off. Especially when paraphrasing an abstract idea, eloquency is sure to improve.

  5. Grammar starts being relevant! (at last) In cases of unknown words grammar can give a hint on what's all about. The time of an action can be determined, the part of speech can be identified, an idiom can be assumed. Using these clues students can guess the meaning which should definately be confirmed by the teacher.

This is how : Remember! When working on a text in class, promote teamwork and get everyone engaged.

  • Students take turns and read out loud a passage (team 1),

  • whereas team 2 pays attention to the content and is being prepared to answer comprehension questions as well as analyze the meaning / arguments ect.

  • In the meanwhile, the third team underlines unknown words or parts of unclear meaning and is being prepared to present possible meanings and speculations.

  • Team 1 reconstructs the meaning of the passage.

  • Reassign the roles till the end of the text.

  • During the task, teachers should be kept busy by writing new vocabulary on the board.

  • The teacher sums up, refines definitions and elaborates.

It certainly takes time for the class to coordinate and function effectively but after a while of implementing both class and teacher will be feeling confident and engaged to the activity!

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