Recycling vocabulary helps learners to understand it; learners cannot usually understand and retain a word when they first come across it. It is important for learners to work with the words which they come across, so that they can make connections with the networks in their long-term memory and store and retrieve these words when they need them. Teachers can help learners to work with words to make sure this happens. Before they can use vocabulary, learners need to come across it several times, for example in a text, a discussion, a video or a task in a course book. After a while, learners will start to use the new words in their own work.
Teachers can help learners to learn vocabulary by providing words grouped into themes so that learners see the connections between them. In addition, teachers can help learners to recycle vocabulary in different ways. For example, besides texts, teachers can use pictures, body language, words written on the board, experiments and models. One learner will remember most effectively through reading, another through seeing a picture, a third through a joke or hearing the word pronounced and a fourth through acting a word out.
In this clip, the teacher helps learners to use appropriate terminology. This clip was filmed at the Herman Wesselink College in Amstelveen. The learners are second year pupils (average age 13-14), The subject is Physics and the teacher is Berta Garcia-Landa.