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Memory and Vocabulary
Successful language learning places a huge load on learners' memories, requiring the storage and instant recall of thousands of items. Despite this, the role of memorization in ELT has not always had the overt focus that it deserves. The notion of memorization may have become associated with"'rote learning," which has acquired negative connotations in certain educational settings, while the "creative" aspects of language use have been the traditional focus within communicative language teaching methodologies. However, attitudes towards memorization are changing, partly as a result of recent corpus-driven understanding of the benefits of swift acquisition of sufficient high-frequency lexis. Memorization is now sometimes referred to as "the fifth skill" and is key to the empowerment of learners, most obviously in relation to language systems such as lexis, grammar and spelling.
Many materials that the presenter has developed in recent years have a common thread: an overt focus on memorization within their design. In this session, a justification for putting memorization at the center of language classes will be given, and innovative activities and materials demonstrated. It is intended that the session will stimulate participants to consider the "fifth skill" while teaching and developing their own materials.
About the Presenter
Gary Pathare (MEd TESOL, Newcastle) has taught English since 1990 and at Dubai Men's College since 2001. He is co-author of the Headway Plus Beginner Writing Support CD-Rom and New Headway Academic Skills Speaking, Listening and Study Skills and author of the HCT publication Target IELTS General Training Writing Task 1 as well as many in-house materials. A UAE IT Challenge winner, senior CEPA item writer and CELTA trainer, he enjoys developing and sharing innovative, practical teaching materials and ideas. He has made many presentations nationally and internationally, including five at TESOL Arabia. Pathare has also published on several of his areas of professional interest, including spelling, independent learning and teaching vocabulary.
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