Luciana Podschun's Vocabulary Tree

The Tree of HypatiaSince I joined twitter a couple of months ago and started building up my PLN, I became incredibly addicted to it.  I discovered awesome educators and wonderful people who are sharing their experiences, fantastic tools for web 2.0, thoughtful  blogs and interesting discussions all in one place - on “twitter”.

I must confess that besides twitter, I am now also hooked on reading blogs. Little by little I started submitting comments and participating in some of the discussions on twitter such as #eltchat #ntchat# and #edchat. I still don’t feel comfortable enough to start my own blog, but I do love sharing my experiences and writing on other educators’ blogs. So, here I am, I’m writing for the first time as a guest on Kalinago English Blog.

Today, I am sharing an activity which is suitable for all levels and is pretty useful to widen student's vocabulary through its practice, it's called Vocabulary Tree. Once when I was searching on the web for different ways to memorize words I came across to this technique. After reading some other blogs about it, I decided to adopt it for my private students.  I started with my beginner group last month and they really enjoyed it because it’s was a good way to memorize the words.

The overall experience for my students and their initial reaction was great.  The students were thrilled as they realized the interrelation of the different words.  It was good fun for everyone and the students learned in the process. The classes went by very fast!

All we need is to put the subject in the center of the paper.  We can also write a short introduction using as many words related to the subject as we can. Using the introduction we can arrange the main ideas related to the subject in a Vocabulary Tree.

In order to enrich students’ vocabulary we start asking about the ones they know and gradually introduce the new words by asking questions. It’s also a great way to get the students accustomed to the usage of a monolingual dictionary.   We can also add some pictures related to the words for those students who learn better in a visual way.

In the illustration below,  I wrote jobs and occupations in the center of the sheet of paper; with a arrow I put the words which are related and its workplace, so they could learn also the workplace related to the jobs.

I hope you try out this activity, the students get motivated once they learn the interrelation between words. 

Luciana Podschun

By the way, I would love to hear from you if you've done something like this too or have any suggestions for me on how to adapt it.

4 Responses to “Luciana Podschun's Vocabulary Tree”

  • Emma Herrod says:
    December 28, 2010

    Hi Luciana

    Lovely post and I so share your views on the benefits of recording vocabulary in this visual form.

    Would you be happy for me to add a link to the post on my blog under the Two Week Vocabulary Challenge?

    Many thanks


  • Luciana Podschun says:
    January 02, 2011

    Hi Emma,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the vocabulary tree.

    Sometimes for the students to learn vocabulary can be quite difficult for them to memorize the words. I think this can be very useful as a way to remember how to make connections with the other words.

    Please feel free to add this link to your blog.


    Luciana Podschun

  • Daniel says:
    January 03, 2011

    Mind Maps are great for more visual people! I make them for everything!

  • Luciana Podschun says:
    January 06, 2011

    Hi Daniel,

    I completely agree with you! For those who are visual, vocabulary tree as well as mind maps are good for them to figure out the words. I'd like to see one of your mind maps if possible.



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