Why I Prefer the LingQ Method / The Importance of Vocabulary

This is a slightly modified re-post from the LingQ forum (http://tinyurl.com/yhywy68)

Watching Steve’s video entitled ‘In Praise of Passive Vocabulary’ (http://tinyurl.com/yb9qtmx) was one of the defining moments in my transition to the LingQ method from the more ‘traditional’ standpoint taken by Cambridge and the people I teacher- trained with. I had always sensed that this ‘spoonfeeding’ of students was somehow wrong, but it wasn’t until I watched that video and the one on Krashen, which led me to then read Krashen’s book which we happened to have on-site, did I say ‘This is what I’ve been looking for!’

This is an interesting excerpt from ‘Vocabulary Instruction for Academic Success’ by Ahley Bishop, Ruth Helen Yopp and Hallie Kay Yopp:

“*Providing Extensive Experiences with Language

Language learning cannot occur without exposure to language. Research shows that most vocabulary is not directly taught; huge numbers of words are learned incidentally—through experiences with language. Thus, it is crucial that teachers establish language-rich environments.

This means that teachers must offer myriad opportunities for students to hear and engage with spoken language and to read, write, and engage with written language in multiple contexts. Indeed, Johnson (2001, 19) stated that “the best way to help schoolchildren expand their vocabularies … is to provide plentiful, interactive oral language experiences throughout the elementary and middle grades.” Nagy agreed that “experiences with rich oral language are critical for vocabulary growth” and noted that wide reading “is the primary engine that drives vocabulary growth” (2005,29). Thus, one essential aspect of vocabulary instruction is exposure to plentiful language in the classroom.”

Obviously we know that teachers are not necessary to ‘establish language-rich environments’ or ‘provide plentiful, interactive oral language experiences’ – all you need to do is consistently surround yourself with the language with a system like LingQ and an mp3 player, and regularly use the opportunity to speak with native speakers and use new words and phrases via the LingQ tutor system to promote your active vocabulary.

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