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Vocabulary Acquisition Made Interesting with the Frayer Model

by Aasha Rani Bendi | 08 Sep 2021
Resource Description:

This resource includes a vocabulary learning tool that enables learners of all levels to acquire words.

Audience: Adult, Secondary, Teacher Training, University
Audience Language Proficiency: Advanced, Beginner, Intermediate
Teaching Tip:

Students of a second language always take time to express themselves orally. The fear of being wrong hinders them from the flow in the expression. This happens mainly as they run short of words. Lack of awareness of the contextual usage of the words, their synonyms, antonyms, and various forms of the words make them lose confidence in communicating in the second language. It is believed that students with an extensive knowledge of target language vocabulary become more successful in learning a second language.

Memorizing the spellings, practicing the pronunciation, and using the words in sentences are some of the strategies that we have been adopting for ages. The present-day learners need some strategies that make them explore, use their creativity, and share their experiences in the process of learning. To meet this need of the students, the Frayer Model proved to be the best. By adopting this strategy, one can get more engaged in vocabulary development.

The Frayer Model is a graphic organizer for building vocabulary. This has a four-square structure that demonstrates the word, its meaning, example, non-example, definition of some words, diagrammatic representation of some words etc.

Structure: The square-like structure is split into four squares each for an item. In the middle, the oval-like shape is meant for the word to be placed.

Creating a Model:

a)      Definition: In this box, the student defines the word that has been written in the oval shape. For concepts, the student would define or summarize. This requires the student to refer a dictionary to find out the exact definition.

b)     Characteristics: This portion is a way to expand upon the definition. The students can write and show various characteristics of the word based on the definition. It helps in presenting the further information about the word.

c)      Examples: This section is a great way for the students to demonstrate their understanding of the word or concept. Here they can use words or pictures. Beginners might need some guidance while doing this part.

d)     Non-examples: Sometimes, it is helpful to learners not only to know what something is, but also to know what it is not. Non-examples can make the definition more concrete. Like the example section, it also needs some guidance.  

Variance: The elements of the structure can be changed based on the level of the learners and the type of the word. Teachers can use their creativity in making the task apt for the level of the learner. In the lower grades, it may be fruitful in completing it as a class with the teacher leading the discussion. At the elementary level, the students can work on their own for the words of any subject in the process of learning the concept.

This model is useful to the learners not only to build on vocabulary, but also to expand their knowledge of various concepts in other subjects.

The Frayer Model structure is an effective strategy to acquire vocabulary and concepts of any language or subject.      

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