Teaching Vocabulary





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Teaching Vocabulary 

Teaching is a complex process. According to Brown, (2000) teaching is “showing and helping someone to learn or to do something giving instruction, guiding in the study of something, providing with knowledge, causing to know or to do understand”. Teaching is guiding and facilitating the learners and setting the condition of learning. Teachers should prepare themselves better in order to teach successfully.

“If language structures make up the skeleton of language, then it is Vocabulary that provides the vital organs and the flesh.” (Harmer 1993: 153). Vocabulary teaching is one of the most important components of any language class.

There has been increased focus on teaching vocabulary recently, partly as a result of “the development of new approaches to language teaching, which are much more ‘word-centered’.” (Thornbury 2004: vi). It is important for the teacher to predict what words the student needs to know for talking about everyday life, people and things surrounding them. “When such words are learnt, the new language can immediately be put to use”. (Allen 1983: 108).

One of the criteria affecting the teacher’s choice is the frequency in which the particular item is used in common language. In general, “The words which are most commonly used are the ones we should teach first.” (Harmer 1993: 154). McCarthy in his book stated “ No matter how well the students learn grammar, No matter how succesfully the sounds of L2 just cannot happen in any meaningful way (Norbert, Schmitt and Mc.Charty. 1990. P.140). 

So the first that to be master in learning English is vocabulary. Vocabulary is one of important points of English learning. If we teach young learners, we must know the ways for teaching in order to increase the student mastery in English. Based on Moras (2001), there are several aspects that have to be considered in teaching vocabulary:
  1. Translation: awareness of certain differences similarities between the native and the foreign language.
  2. Grammar of vocabulary: it will enable students to build up different forms of the word or even the different words from that word.
  3. Pronunciation: ability to recognize and reproduce items in speech.

Teaching English vocabulary to young learners aged 7 to 12 is presented well as useful activities in the process of developing speaking, listening, reading, and writing skill. Games, song, teaching method, and stories are very important component for an English class in Elementary School (Sabilah, 2004).

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