Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Vocabulary Building and ESL

What strategies have you used effectively to learn vocabulary words in another language?  Do you think these particular strategies would be universally effective for your students?  Explain.
I'm going to chose to use this as my reflection piece tonight. My own language learning technique is rather sparse. Honestly, my main vocabulary learning tool is a piece of notebook paper folded in half. I write the English vocabulary word on one side and the Spanish vocabulary word on the other side. It worked in 10th grade. I'm not so sure it works now, currently. 
I'm not so sure this method works for my students. This is a method my 10th grade German/Spanish teacher taught me. It helped me pass my Beginning Spanish quizzes, but it hasn't really helped me progress in my language learning. It Is my default though, I know this because I caught myself telling my beginning students about it. Then I realized that I haven't used this method in over 10 years and I may not even think it works anymore. It's amazing how these things work out like that. 
I don't know how learning vocabulary works now, for my ESL students, and I would like to know more about this. Honestly, if you come to my apt in Sandy Springs, I have the best intentions of labeling everything around the apt. in Spanish, and I work to friend my Spanish-speaking friends on Social media. I have flash cards too, and a vocabulary book. I work hard at memorizing Spanish vocabulary. I even turn on the Spanish channel every so often and listen to Podcasts in Espanol. You would think I would be fluent by now, but I'm not. Why is learning an L2 so damn frustrating? Why am I struggling so much? 
I suppose I can sympathize with my ESL learners. They do the same thing. They sit in class and listen to their L2 and I know they understand everything I say when I say it, but I know they go right back to their L1 community in Atlanta or Norcross or Lawrenceville and wonder the same thing I'm wondering about why they aren't fluent in their L2. Does it really take moving to another country? 
Do I really have to uproot my life? 
I'm not quite sure at this juncture, but I have an idea...
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