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What every primary school teacher should know about vocabulary

This book is written for teachers of young children aged from 5 to 12 years in primary schools who want to support students’ English vocabulary. Most of these children will be native speakers of English, although the increasing cultural and linguistic diversity of our communities suggests a significant number will be from homes where other languages are used dominantly, or at least interwoven with English.

‘Knowing your learners’ should underpin teachers’ pedagogical decisions and the pathways of learning followed in the classroom. When learners are not native speakers of English—in the strict sense of using English as the only or dominant language in the family—this needs to be taken account of in approaches to develop learners’ vocabulary knowledge.

The book draws strongly on research, but it is written in a non-academic way so that teachers are given clear, direct advice on teaching vocabulary. Each chapter ends with a discussion of relevant and useful research so that teachers can read more deeply on topics that interest them.

This book contains many resources for teachers, such as a Picture Vocabulary Size Test, ready-to-use activities for word consciousness-raising, and information about word parts.

Dr Jannie van Hees is a consultant and researcher at The University of Auckland. She has years of experience as a classroom teacher at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels in New Zealand and internationally. She has designed numerous national educational professional development and training programmes centred around effective pedagogy and language learning.

Prof Paul Nation is Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. His specialist interests are the teaching and learning of vocabulary and language teaching methodology. He  has published widely and has taught in Indonesia, Thailand, the United States, Finland, and Japan.