Taking a Word for a Walk: strategies for teaching academic vocabulary in both depth and breadth 

Date: 27 April 2022

Time: 12.30 – 13.30

Platform: Zoom

Cost: BAISIS member £40  / BSA member £60 / Member additional attendee £15  / Non-member £120

Audience: any subject (content) teacher looking for strategies to teach academic vocabulary

Course Outline:

In all stages of education, vocabulary is central to learning content.  Yet knowing which words to teach and how to teach them can feel overwhelming and time-consuming for many subject teachers.  This session will begin by helping those teachers to identify words that require explicit instruction.  It will then explore strategies to develop vocabulary teaching in both depth and breadth.  It will conclude with activities focused on developing students as autonomous learners of vocabulary.

Training topics will include: 

  • Pre-teaching vocabulary prior to tasks
  • The role of concept checking
  • What it means to know a word
  • The importance of spaced repetition
  • Reading and the role of vocabulary notebooks
  • The teacher as a creative source: modelling a love of words

Learning Outcomes:

  • By the end of the session subject teachers will be able to make more informed decisions about which words to teach.
  • Subject teachers will acquire initial strategies to help them to clarify the meaning of words with their students.
  • By recognising what it means to know a word teachers will be able to create a weekly/termly/yearly vocabulary strategy.
  • Understanding the importance of vocabulary notebooks will enable teachers develop students as autonomous learners of vocabulary.

Trainer: Joanna Norton, EAP tutor, Applied Creativity tutor, Teacher-Educator 

Joanna teaches English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and Applied Creativity at the University of the Arts. From a language perspective, she is interested in vocabulary acquisition and how words work across subject areas. She has designed two vocabulary apps Keywords Geography and Keywords Biology to support trainee and experienced Geography and Science teachers (Year 6+) with a template for teaching academic vocabulary.  Within the area of Applied Creativity, she is interested in the imaginative mind and the importance of making connections across subject areas and across cultures to create inclusive ways of seeing the world.