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Teaching English Vocabulary and Grammar through Question of the Day Routine

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Hello wordsmiths and language enthusiasts!

Are you an English teacher seeking innovative ways to spice up your vocabulary lessons? Or perhaps you're a student looking for an interesting way to build your English vocabulary? Well, you're in for a treat! Our blog post today is dedicated to something both fun and educative—the concept of using a 'Question of the Day' to teach English vocabulary. Let's embark on a journey of linguistic exploration and peek into one of the most creative and efficient ways to learn and teach new English words. Welcome aboard!

In today's blog post, we are exploring the captivating concept of a 'Question of the Day' as an innovative method for enhancing English vocabulary teaching. This concept presents itself as an exciting tool providing countless opportunities for both educators and learners to explore new words and deepen their understanding of the English language. Imagine the possibilities - a new question every day, each jam packed with the potential for introducing fresh vocabulary and fostering an enduring love for learning English. So, let's delve deeper into how this concept can revolutionise English language teaching processes.

As I embarked on my career as a kindergarten teacher in a thriving international school in Thailand, my classroom painted the picture of a vibrant, diverse mosaic. Each of my students contributed their own unique cultural and linguistic background. The true task at hand, however, was to bring these distinct threads together in a unified, seamless fabric of learning, especially given the wide range of languages. With this in mind, I cultivated an approach aimed at enhancing language skills whilst still introducing other crucial concepts. The result was the creation of the 'Questions of the Day' tool. Today, I am excited to explore in more depth its two-fold advantages and how it can transform your teaching experience.

In this fascinating teaching strategy, a question is posed daily to stimulate learners' thought processes and encompass learning new words in English. Engaging in daily interaction, learners can effortlessly acquire vocabulary, all while nurturing their curiosity and cognitive abilities. This impactful practice not only supports the absorption of new words but also ignites meaningful discussions among learners, allowing them to get to know each other and their customs better. Stay tuned to discover how 'Question of the Day' can positively impact your English language teaching journey.

Each of our days starts with a yes/no or two-choice question.

While at first glance, the questions might seem simple, their real power lies in their dual-purpose nature:

Facilitating Language Learning

Local Context and Vocabulary

Inclusivity is key. Understanding the diverse cultural background of your students is important when teaching English vocabulary. To make learning more engaging and relatable, Question of the Day provides all the flexibility to incorporate your local context into the lessons. This not only makes the teaching process more interactive but also ensures that every student feels represented. Furthermore, this tactic can enable learners to grasp new vocabulary easier due to the familiar context. Embracing inclusivity in English language learning through this program helps students, regardless of their backgrounds, to confidently participate and excel.

Vocabulary Icons

Visual aids are a boon, especially for English Language Learners. Each question is enhanced with icons, simplifying comprehension and vocabulary building. 'Question of the Day' strategy in English vocabulary teaching is particularly effective because it promotes interaction and active learning. It not only encourages students, especially ELLs, to engage with diverse vocabulary, but it also fosters a lively educational environment. Icons and pictures, used in tandem with these questions, serve as visual cues to assist students in grasping the meaning of words more efficiently. This method effectively supports learners' linguistic growth while making the learning process more enjoyable and less intimidating. The combination of visual aids and engaging queries can make vocabulary building a fun and interactive part of every English lesson.

Grammar Within Context

Grammar doesn't always have to be rigid. Our 'Questions of the Day' weave grammatical concepts within daily scenarios, making them relatable and easily understood. Following this engaging method, incorporating the Question of the Day strategy can significantly improve English grammar learning outcomes. By posing daily questions that subtly introduce new words and phrases, teachers can lay the foundation for intuitive learning. Such an approach fosters an interactive classroom environment where students can apply these fresh grammatical constructs directly within everyday conversations. Seamlessly blending vocabulary reinforcement within the context of regular discourse not only boosts comprehension but also enhances memory retention. Consequently, this teaching technique fuels effective language acquisition and promotes linguistic fluency, making it an indispensable tool in every English educator's repertoire.

Integrating Mathematical Concepts

Using Ten Frames

Extend the learning by using ten frames, where children can place a dot or a magnet under their chosen answer. This seamlessly introduces them to mathematical notions like subitizing, comparisons (more and fewer), and basic arithmetic operations.

Teaching English vocabulary to children, especially non-native speakers, involves incorporating various engaging strategies to ensure they grasp the lessons effectively. One such creative strategy is the use of 'ten frames' in the 'Question of the Day' activity in class.

Ten frames reflect a set of 10 squares, often arranged in two rows of five. When used symbiotically with vocabulary teaching activities, they can be an incredible tool for promoting various mathematical notions in an entertaining and engaging manner.

A stand-out feature of using ten frames is the option for children to place a dot or a magnet under their chosen answers when they are engaged with the 'Question of the Day' sessions. This way, they not only get to respond to the vocabulary questions, but also develop an understanding of numbers and calculations, essentially killing two birds with one stone.

By implementing this method, children are subtly introduced to the mathematical concept of subitizing, which is the ability to 'see' a small amount of objects and know how many there are without counting. It encourages kids to recognize patterns and understand relationships between numbers, thereby establishing a strong foundation for more complex math concepts.

Ten frames also facilitate the understanding of comparisons. Alongside learning new words, children can very easily grasp the concept of 'more' and 'fewer.' This dual approach helps students strengthen their vocabulary and, at the same time, instill the fundamental notions of numbers in their minds.

In conclusion, the integration of ten frames in the 'Question of the Day' vocabulary routine can enhance learning by making the process exciting and multi-faceted. It not only enriches children's vocabulary reserve but also stimulates their numerical comprehension, proving to be a promising teaching strategy.

System

Place a question on a board at the classroom's entrance, and it doubles up as an innovative sign-in system. Children can indicate their answers and practice their name-writing skills daily.

The question of the day method provides an effective tool to enhance English vocabulary among kids. Relevant questions related to new words can spark their curiosity and get them excited to learn more. Over time, this method can significantly improve students' English speaking abilities, reading comprehension, and writing skills. It's a great way to expand their vocabulary while keeping their learning process fun and interactive. Therefore, incorporating this inventive teaching tactic fosters a better understanding of the English language and propels their language mastery forward.

Question of the Day in My Classroom

On introducing a two-choice question about 'preferred fruits: mangoes or bananas?', not only did I ignite a discussion on individual choices, but I also initiated a math lesson. We counted the dots under each fruit using the ten frame. This led to discussions about which fruit had more. Surprisingly, the simple question about preferred fruits opened up an array of comprehensive learning opportunities for my students. The activity helped in engaging them at multiple levels. Firstly, it sparked an enriching discussion on English vocabulary and the concept of preference, enhancing their understanding of descriptive words. Additionally, it ushered them into a mathematics lesson as they enthusiastically counted and compared the number of votes each fruit received. Using the ten frames also offered a tactile way for them to grasp mathematical ideas, thus solidifying their knowledge. Moreover, it led to several exciting debates about the popularity of mangoes versus bananas, amplifying their negotiation and interpersonal skills. So, the 'Question of the Day' technique became a stepping stone to a cross-curricular multidimensional learning experience. This exemplifies the power of a creative approach in language teaching, wherein students are more actively engaged, leading to an overall accelerated learning process, contributing to the whole with their individual linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

The challenge lay in creating a shared learning experience from all these various elements, something that was particularly tricky given the students' linguistic diversity. This situation led me to create a methodology that would facilitate not just language learning, but the understanding of other foundational concepts as well. This method, in the shape of 'Questions of the Day,' has proven to be a game-changer.

Wrapping Up

My goal as an educator has always been to create a rich, multifaceted learning environment. With the 'Questions of the Day' resource, I hope to share a tool that has added depth to my teaching approach. Whether it's a local school in your hometown, an international school abroad, an online class, or even a small tutoring session, our 'questions of the day' are tailored for diverse settings.

To all passionate educators out there, our 'Question of the Day' is not just a teaching resource; it's a bridge to holistic learning. Let's explore the realms of language and math, making every day a step closer to becoming well-rounded learners.


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