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Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building PREFACE Vocabulary plays an important part in language learning. It is an essential ingredient to the richness of any language. Many times in the long course of studying a language, learners seem to surrender themselves to the memorization of vocabulary. So exhausting and tedious a job it is that many fail and soon abandon what is the materials and foundations for building a good erudition of any language. English has a rich and varied vocabulary and learners should be urged to make use of this by introducing some variety into their own speech and writing. Good English means having a big vocabulary! However, building vocabulary is a long job! English, particularly, requires learners to master quite an extensive vocabulary pool for understanding daily phrases as well as academic knowledge. Hence, learners often find themselves buried under tons of new words. Learning these without a good plan is futile. Words are better remembered if they go in groups or relate to the same event. Therefore, many try to link certain words with certain situations or context. With time, surprisingly they find a connection among those words. This magical link is called theme and then born the incredible way of learning vocabulary: studying words in themes. RATIONALE The variety of English words enables the Englishman to fully express himself in the most appropriate way for every situation he may encounter. The delicacy of English language troubles most learners. There dozens of words to describe one situation; to remember each one subjectively is painstaking. Yet, putting them all in a category with a general definition makes the identification of them much 1 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building more comfortable and convenient. The purpose of theme-based vocabulary building is to increase learners’ knowledge of English words and expressions and so encourage them to extend the range of their own vocabulary. The use of thematic contextual passages enables students to learn more in depth into a certain topic. This aids students not just in expanding their vocabulary but also that of general knowledge. Information and knowledge are presented in concise sections to allow easy understanding and absorption of information. Luong The Vinh high school is a school for gifted students. Students majoring in English are always have a strong desire for enlarge their vocabulary. A test and a set of questionnaire were given to students in Grade 12 to investigate their knowledge and use of vocabulary related to the topic “Education”, which is included in the text book, as well as their motivation and attitude toward the innovation of vocabulary teaching and learning. The result indicated that they failed to use the correct words or phrases in the right context and they were all eager for the new approach of teaching and learning. Theme-based Vocabulary Building is intended for students majoring in English in Grade 12 at Luong The Vinh High school. It is suitable for use in class and for self-study in view to developing as well as reviewing the vocabulary that students have studied in the textbook . The students are asked to do the exercises individually, in pairs or in groups. It is really interesting and helpful for students to put what they have learned into practice in such a way. In fact, the students are eager to take part in such activities. The benefits gained from this approach are great. 2 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building INNOVATION IMPLEMENTATION Education and Student Life, the theme chosen for the material, is included in the textbook for Grade 12. Since the theme is of such important and necessary in day-to-day life, it is vital that students should acquire a working knowledge of the vocabulary involved in it. Education and Student Life was taught to students after they had finished Unit 5 – Higher Education – in their textbook. The lesson was due to finish within 3 periods. The key vocabulary for the topic has been carefully selected and clear definitions given. To make sure that the students are able to use the relevant vocabulary items for the topic as well as understand them, the students are asked to make sentences with them. Some notes will be added to some of the definitions by the teacher, to extend the linguistic knowledge and word power of the students. The topic contains a passage showing how some of the key vocabulary is actually used. The passage not only provides useful linguistic information, but it also provides interesting reading material and could perhaps be used as the basis for model essays. A variety of exercises included in the lesson aims to provide the students with words, phrases of the theme, collocation, and some confusing words. After completing the exercises, a discussion is to be held so that the students can have opportunities to use the words correctly. An essay also takes effect. The teacher takes advantage of the essay to evaluate the progress of the students as well as the innovation. 3 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building IMPROVEMENTS Firstly, Theme-based Vocabulary Building assists students in distinguishing similar words. As some words can only be used in certain circumstances, good understanding of words makes essays or choices more precise. Such understanding also helps students with English multiple-choice test, in which words of similar meanings cause confusion and mistakes. Secondly, a theme-based list of words is much easier to learn than one of no similarity. That is to say, when words are divided in the same category, students can easily set a good mind frame, expect what to come and comfortably absorb the words, having created links among them. Thirdly, far from a short cut to learn new words, theme-based vocabulary studying provides an incredible tool for comparing and contrasting words. Many times during a Cambridge C.A.E test or the SAT, students are asked to pick the most suitable word from a theme. Normal test-takers will face this task as a burden while students with theme-based vocabulary studying have an upper hand in those questions. Already familiarizing themselves with the theme, they can differentiate one word’s usage from another, which enables them to fulfill the task in no time. Another advantage of grouping words together is organization. By sorting words into lists, students are able to control their study more efficiently. Revising vocabulary through themes unloads the burden of exam on students somehow and learning new themes, one or two a week, sounds less discouraging than a schedule to swallow 50-60 words. That’s we called psychology. Theme-based Vocabulary Building represents a vast resource of vocabulary items including collocations and idiomatic expressions not easily retrievable 4 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building from a standard dictionary. Research has shown that learners need to meet a word at least 7 times before they know it properly. Doing exercises, practicing words and expressions that learners have already encountered, is a useful way of helping themselves to fix the vocabulary they are working on in their longterm memory. The thematic approach in the expansion of vocabulary and knowledge also benefits students in their preparation for the English examination. It helps them better understand comprehension passages and enables them to tackle composition writing more effectively. Oral presentation skills will also be enhanced by the expanded range of topics of interest. CONCLUSION and RECOMMENDATIONS In conclusion, Theme-based Vocabulary Building is a good method for increasing and should be adopted for the above-mentioned advantages. However, as this methodology only shows its greatest usefulness when it comes to gaining specialized knowledge, its adoption should be made only by learners of a particular level of proficiency. Theme-based vocabulary teaching as an approach will not automatically make learners become more interested in learning English, unless teachers are able to select a suitable theme, use interesting activities and proper materials. The theme must be interesting, relevant to learners’ daily lives and close to the topics included in textbooks as well as in the syllabus. The content and tasks in the theme should suit the proficiency level, wants and needs of the learners and must be challenging enough. 5 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building APPENDIX Key vocabulary  Academic (a) - connected with education and studying; involving a great deal of reading and studying, rather than practical skills  - of a student, interested in and good at studying Academic (n) :a person who teaches or carries out research at a   university or college Aptitude (n) : a natural ability or skill at something Aspiration (n) (used in formal contexts) : a strong desire or ambition to    achieve something Bent (n): a natural ability, skill or interest in something Boarding school: a school where students live as well as study Career (n): a job or series of jobs in a particular area of work, especially when regarded as a long-term or lifelong occupation, during which you usually gradually get promoted, take on more responsibility and receive  more pay Coeducation (n): a system of education in which students of both sexes  are educated together Coeducational (a) = co-ed (a school which is not a co-ed school is often  referred to a single-sex school) Correspondence course (n): an educational course in which students receive work and tests by post or email from their teachers, and send  completed work and tests back to the teachers in the same way. Curriculum (n) : the different courses that are taught in a school or  college Curriculum vitae (= CV) : a statement of a person’s educational qualifications, training and previous employment history 6 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh  Theme-based Vocabulary Building Day-release scheme (n) : a system that allows employees to take certain days off work without loss of pay in order to continue their education or  training. Distance learning (n) : a method that involves students working at home,  and sending completed work back to teachers by post or email E-learning (n) : the use of electronic technology, such as computers and  the Internet, in education Entrepreneur (n) : a person who sets up a new business , especially when this involves financial risk, in the hope of making a profit and  getting a lot of money Evening class : a class usually held once a week during a school or college term, in a wide range of subjects which adults can study in the  evenings Extramural course : a course of lectures given at a university or college, intended for people who are not full-time students, and so not included in  the usual courses of study available to students Further education: education for people who are over the school leaving age, usually not at a university and leading to wide range of  qualifications Higher education (n): education provided by universities or colleges,  involving studying for a degree or a diploma Home schooling (n) : the teaching of children at home rather than in  school Learning difficulties (plu. N): some kind of mental condition that affects their ability to learn information and skills at the rate that other people of  their own age do Nursery education (n) = pre-school education : education for children  of pre-school age, in the UK often between the ages of 3 and 5 Open University: a university which offers degree courses to adult students studying part-time, using correspondence courses and television and radio material; local tutoring sessions and summer schools are also available 7 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building  Postgraduate (a): connected with academic study after graduation from a  university or college Private school (= public school) : a school where education must be paid   for by the student’s parents, not being run or paid for the government State school: a school provides free education for all local students Qualification (n): a skill, type of training, etc which you need for a particular job or activity; an exam or course of study which you have  taken successfully Remedial education (n): education especially intended to help people who have difficulty in learning something or in reaching an acceptable  standard of literacy Student exchange scheme (n): an arrangement by which students from two different countries visit each other’s country in order to study at a   school or university Tertiary education : education at university or college level Undergraduate (n) a student who is taking courses at university in order  to get a first degree Unstructured play (n): play that is not organized in any complete or detailed way and so allows for children to do what they want and use  their imagination in their play Vocational training (n) : training aimed at giving you the skills you require for a particular job EXERCISES I. Answer these questions. State your own reasons for your choice. 1. Do you prefer to study a. at school b. in a library c. at home? 2. Do you study best a. early in the morning b. during the day c. at night? 3. Do you prefer to work a. with friends b. with background music c. in silence? 8 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh II. III. IV. Theme-based Vocabulary Building Complete the text with the correct form of the verbs in the list. There may be more than one possible answer so try to use each verb once only. concentrate – do – learn – overcome – organize – study – take – teach – review – revise Even the most studious among you will probably have difficulty studying at some stage in your academic career. If or when this happens, the only way to (1) --------- this problem is to go back to basics. First, make sure you have a comfortable environment to (2) --------- in. some students need to have a quiet space to themselves and can’t (3) ---------- if there are too many distractions. Others need some sort of background noise, such as music or the company of friends. Whatever your personal preference is, you need to (4) ----------- this first of all. Next, make sure you have all of the equipment or tools that you need. For example, if you are (5) ---------- a geography course and you have to (6) ------------ about countries and their capital cities then you will need to have your atlas to hand. If you’re (7) ------------ your math homework then be sure to find your calculator, ruler, protractor and compass before you start. Perhaps you’re not preparing a homework assignment or project, but are trying to (8) ------------ for an exam. If so, you need to know exactly what is on your curriculum. You should also (9) ----------- your notes and make sure that you have a clear understanding of what your lecturers have (10) -------- you. Of course, people with a learning disorder such as dyslexia may need to work harder than others at their studies as they often struggle to read even relatively simple texts. Read the text again and find a word or phrase to match these definitions. 1. describes someone who studies a lot ----------------2. things that stop you from working -------------------3. a sound you can hear, but do not actively listen to --------------4. two different types of homework or school task ------------ and --------------5. to study for an exam -------------6. another word for syllabus --------------------7. to check your work -----------------------8. to do something with great difficulty ------------------Underline the correct words in each sentence. 9 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building 1. I would really like to learn about / study about the ancient Egyptians. 2. We need to find out / know where to buy the tickets for the concert. 3. I got into trouble at school because I didn’t know / find out my multiplication tables. 4. I did well in the test because I had known / learned how to spell all of the words on the list. 5. Excuse me, do you find out / know where the nearest post office is? 6. It was difficult for me to learn / study at home, because we didn’t have a lot of space. 7. I want to learn how / study how to drive a car. 8. I think you can only really learn from / learn with experience. V. What do you call a person who is a specialist in these subjects? Complete the list. Then mark the stress. 1. Physics 2. Philosophy 3. Psychology 4. Sociology 5. Architecture 6. History 7. Mathematics 8. Chemistry 9. Astronomy 10.Engineering VI. Cross out the verbs which do not collocate with ‘exam’. do – make – take – sit – get – pass – set – fail – revise – re-sit Complete the dialogue with the correct form of the verbs from the list above. A: Hi, Jane, I’m so happy. I (1) --------- all my exams. I even got grade A in English! B: I didn’t do too badly, but I (2) ---------- biology. That means I’ll have to (3) ------- it next term. A: Oh, no, I’m so sorry. You spent ages on biology, didn’t you? What happened? B: Well, I guess I just didn’t (4) ------------ hard enough. Perhaps I’ll get it next time. VII. A. Use these verbs to complete the text below. stay on – apply – get in – do – leave When I got to 16, some of my friends (1) ---------- school to get jobs, but most (2) ---------- I wanted to (3) ------------ sociology, but 10 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building it wasn’t possible at my school, so I (4) ----------- to the local technical college. There were over fifty applicants for only twenty places, so I was really pleased when I (5) ---------- I really enjoyed the course. B. Results – college – entry – course – degree – prospectus – diploma – high I had wanted to be a doctor but the (1) -------- requirements to study medicine at university are very (2) ---------- and my exam (3) --------- weren’t good enough, so I got the (4) ----------- from my local (5) ---------- to see what alternatives there were. In the end, I got onto a (6) ---------- in business administration. I got a (7) -- , but I still sometimes wish I’d been able to go to university and get a (8) ---------C. Reading – presentation – seminar – tutor – lists – lectures – term – notes – handout – options 1. I’ve got two ------------- this morning and then I need to go to the library to do some background ----------- before tomorrow. 2. On Wednesday I’ve got to give a short ----------- at my English -----------3. I can’t go to my history lecture on Thursday morning. I’ll ask Jeff to pick up an extra copy of the ------------ and I can borrow his lecture ----------4. Professor Barnes is the only lecturer who gives handouts and his reading ----- really save me a lot of time. 5. Later in the week, I’ve got to see my ---------- to decide what ----------- I’m going to do next --------------------D. Finals – paper – deadline – dissertation – results – revising – graduation – graduate – coursework – term 1. It’s your last --------- at university, isn’t it? Yes, I’ve already done my oral, so now I’ve got to submit four pieces of ------. The ---------- is next Friday. Then I’ve got to do a 10,000- word ------------ and hand it in by the end of May. Then I can relax. 2. Hi Susie, I haven’t seen you around much recently. No, I’ve been at home ------------- most nights. I’ve got my ---------- next month. I can’t wait until it’s all over. Can you believe it, we don’t get our ----- until the end of July? 11 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building 3. Overall, the exams weren’t too bad but the American history ----------- was really difficult. 4. It’s my ---------- ceremony next week. I think my parents are looking forward to it more than I am. I don’t think they realize being a ------------- doesn’t guarantee you a job like it used to. VIII. Complete this text about paying for higher education. Going to university is expensive. First, there’s the tuition (1) --------. Then there are all the books you need. Then, if you live away from home, you have to pay for your (2) ---------. The university halls of residence are not cheap. Then you have all your other living (3) ----------. A few students get a (4) -----------, but most have to take out a student (5) ---------- from the bank, which can take years to pay off! Most students have to do a (6) ---------- job in order to survive IX. Complete each sentence with a word or phrase from the list. brush up – cheat – enroll for – fees – diploma – relevant to – revise for – specialize in – boarding school – co-educational – sandwich course – school uniform – course work – maintain discipline – secondary school – under great pressure 1. I went to the local college to ------- a course in economics. 2. Some parents who can afford the ---------- send their children to private schools. 3. In my last years at school we had to ------------ three subjects and I chose physics, chemistry and mathematics. 4. At the moment I’m studying for my secretarial --------------. 5. In my country ----------- is only worn at private schools. 6. He watched us closely during exams so that we didn’t --------7. You have to be really strict to ---------- with some of the pupils you get nowadays. 8. I went to ----------- so I only saw my parents during the holidays. 9. I wish I had gone to a -------- rather than a single-sex school as I’m sure I wouldn’t be so shy when I meet people. 10.We grade pupils on the basis of ----------- and end-of-term tests. 11.In some countries children are put ------ by their parents to get good exam results. 12.The first year I worked at the factory I attended a ---------- at the local college. 13.The change from primary to -------- was quite traumatic for him. 14.Can I borrow your lecture notes? I’ve got to --------- tomorrow’s test. 12 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh X. Theme-based Vocabulary Building 15.I went on a four-week course to ----------- my English. 16.Is what we’re learning really ------------ the life we’re going to lead when we leave school? Reading Non-academic Students Many parents want their children to get a good education and get the appropriate qualifications for such a job. Their aspirations for their children often start before the children go to school. They want their children to go to a nursery school where the children begin a formal learning process, leading on to reading, writing and simple arithmetic. They do not approve of nursery schools which go in for unstructured play. Many of the most ambitious parents in some countries consider very carefully the possibility of sending their children to private schools. They do so because they feel, rightly or wrongly, that the children will get a better education there than they will in state schools. Many parents decide to pay for their children’s education, although they cannot really afford it. Some parents are against state schools because, in many countries, these are mainly co-ed schools. They feel that their children are likely to perform better educationally in a single-sex school without the distraction of students of the opposite sex. In order to find an appropriate single-sex school some parents decide to send their children to boarding school because, often, a greater proportion of these are single-sex schools. Many parents, understandably, wish their children to attend a school with high academic standards so that they might pass the relevant exams and go on to tertiary education, graduate and move on to become a member of one of the main professions such as medicine or law. The problem with this is that not all students are capable of realizing such parental ambitions, because they are not at all academic. This does not, of course, mean that these students are completely without talent. It simply means that they have aptitudes for jobs not usually associated with university. For examples, they may have a natural bent for repairing car engines. It is difficult for some parents to appreciate that just because a student is not academic it does not necessarily mean the end of a successful 13 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building career. Many children will go on to benefit hugely from vocational training and day-release schemes. Many of them will do very well. Do not forget that many entrepreneurs did badly at school. Some people are late developers. They may not enjoy academic studies when they are at school. However, later in life they might feel a need to continue with their academic studies. For such people help is at hand. Lifelong learning is part of the educational strategies of many countries. The schemes related to this include adult learning, evening classes, extramural courses, elearning and the Open University. It’s never too late to learn! TEST I. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. In the sentences below choose the most appropriate answer to fill each blank: Jim’s parents think that girls and boys should be educated together and are sending him to a ------------ school. a. unisex b. bilateral c. comprehensive d. co-ed Anne has an ----------------- to be a professional dancer, but she is not good enough. a. aptitude b. aptness c. ambition d. ability My daughter is going to stay and study with a French family and we are having a French student in return, but not all schools operate a student ------------------ scheme. a. return b. exchange c. swapping d. interchange Bill applied for the job and has received a request for a copy of his -----------a. CD b. CV c. DVD d. CA Jill does not think that children should be formally educated at nursery school and is sending her to a place that specializes in ------------------ play. a. uncreative b. unstructured c. uneducational d. didactic 14 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building 6. Students who are not academic often prefer to take a ----------training and become tradesmen. a. vacational b. vocational c. professional d. business 7. Some children with learning difficulties get a --------- education in school. a. rectifying b. corrective c. remedial d. curative 8. We’ve spent a long time trying to decide whether to book the holiday or not, but the situation is now ----------- because the holiday is no longer available. a. incidental b. accidental c. impractical d. academic 9. Jane’s doctor father wants her to study medicine, but she does not want to follow in her father’s -------------a. footprints b. footsteps c. tracks d. trail 10.When I retire I am going to do an ------------ course in local history at the city university. a. intramural b. extramural c. extraneous d. extraordinary II. In the passage below choose the most appropriate answer to fill each blank. Academics - talent – qualification – tuition – graduate – boarding – stress – profession – drama – tertiary education Sally wants to be an actor, but her parents, who are both (1) ------------, say that acting is an uncertain (2) ---------. They want her to go into (3) --------- when she leaves school and would prefer her to (4) --------from university before going into acting. As a compromise, they have agreed to pay for her (5) --------- at (6) --------- school. Sally, however, wants to join a theatre group. Her parents insist on her getting some sort of (7) ---------- so that she will be able to make enough money to live on if she doesn’t get enough acting jobs. Sally says that her drama teacher at her co-ed (8) ---------- school says that she has a great deal of acting (9) ---------- that should not be allowed to go to waste. Her parents remind her of the (10) ---------- that is involved in not getting any work and the financial problems associated with this. Sally says that she would be prepared to take any kind of part-time work if it means that she can be an actor. 15 Trường THPT Chuyên Lương Thế Vinh Giáo viên: Trương Mỹ Linh Theme-based Vocabulary Building REFERENCES     Agnes Ng, Jemmies Siew (2012) Power Vocabulary. Casco Publications Betty Kirkpatrick (2004) Vocabulary Building. Learners publishing Chris Gough (2002) English Vocabulary Organizer Pauline Cullen (2008) Cambridge Vocabulary for IELTS. Cambridge university Press 16
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