Creating a word wall that is a living and breathing part of the classroom can be a challenge for teachers. Unfortunately, if words are simply put on the wall, they don’t do much to promote acquisition. Word learning requires repeated exposure to words in different ways; word walls need to be interactive to be effective. Here is a way that we are trying this year:
This template can be used in a variety of ways to promote repeated exposure and thinking about words on the wall.
- Teacher starts the class with a word on each student’s desk, or a word per group of students.
- Teacher asks students to discuss the word and add the Korean translation, English synonym, or an English example.
- Students pass the cards to another student or table and repeat step 2.
- New groups or a new student reads the card and fills in the missing piece(s) of information.
- Students put the words back on the wall.
- The same thing happens in a later class.
Ideally, the students are thinking about three different ways to interact with the target word. Discussions can happen about pronunciation, nuances, and real world examples. While the words are on the wall, it’s important that teachers are constantly referring to them when they come up in teacher talk.
This is one of the many ways the cards can be used. What is important is that students are:
- Sharing ideas with others about words.
- Considering more than only a definition of the word.
- repeatedly interacting with the words.
Thanks for reading. I’d love to know if this is something you are interested in trying and how it works.