Teachers can encourage learners to use other methods, using topics and categories to organize a notebook, binder or index cards. Meaning should be stored using English as much as possible, and also giving indication for pronunciation. Diagrams and word trees can also be used within this topic/categories organization. The class as a whole can keep a vocabulary box with cards, which can be used for revision/recycling regularly.
Organizing this kind of storage system is time-consuming and might not appeal to every learner. Therefore adapting their chronological lists to include headings for topics and a more complete definition of meaning would already be a step forward.
Be aware of eye accessing cues. When a student is struggling with a test question, he or she will often be looking down, which accesses emotions — perhaps the emotion of feeling “dumb.” To access information, such as definitions or visual memories of words, eyes must be looking up. When you observe this, stand over the student and ask a question that forces him or her to look up, possibly triggering the information.
During the school year, have students practice critical words in several different ways that will help store them in different parts of the brain. Later, this will help learners retrieve the words and definitions when the right context emerges. Research has clearly established that students will achieve higher scores on standardized tests if they know the vocabulary of the standards.
Considering the number of new words students have to learn per course, this means teachers have our work cut out for students. We all know that although it is important for students to use correct grammar and structures, words are the main carriers of meaning. This means that the more words students are able to handle accurately, the better their chances of understanding English and making themselves understood.
The implication of the aspects just mentioned in teaching is that the goals of vocabulary teaching must be more than simply covering a certain number of words on a word list. We must use teaching techniques that can help realize this global concept of what it means to know a lexical item. And we must also go beyond that, giving learner opportunities to use the items learnt and also helping them to use effective written storage systems.