The Use of Realia to Teach Vocabulary for Young Learners Essay

The Use of Realia The word ‘realia’, sounds a little bit too scientific for the English classroom,which across the word in textbooks, and are pondering what it means, the word realia means using real items found in the world around us to help teach English. Using realia, helps to make English lessons memorable, creating a link between the objects, and the word or phrase they show. The use of realia is only limited by your imagination and possibly practicality too.

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Using realia stimulates the mind, and makes the vocabulary more memorable than a picture would. Students can, touch, smell, and with a food item, taste it. Realia saves time, as recognition of an object is often immediate; elicitation of vocabulary becomes much easier as simply holding up the object with a raised eyebrow, will usually result in the desired word spoken. Realia breathes life into new vocabulary, and the chances of your students remembering the new words you have taught them, increases.

Take the word, biscuit: the probability of remembering the word becomes much higher after experiencing the taste, touch and smell of the object. Realia does not have to be limited to food or drink. Timetables, tickets, newspapers, and clothes may all be used to help breathe life into lessons, and help provide interest. Realia helps to make English language input as comprehensible as possible and to build “an associative bridge between the classroom and the world” (Heaton, 1979 in Smith, 1997). Learners can directly connect the language to the objects mentioned in the material.

By having realia in the classroom, young learners can develop their multi-sensor function by experiencing the learning “through seeing, hearing, touching, and manipulating” items (Rivers (1983, in Smith, 1997). The teaching learning process will be effective and enjoyable, and most of all they will not forget the activities in the classroom. Using Realia to Teach Vocabulary Do not stop at using realia to learn vocabulary or grammar. Realia is suited to role-plays and immediately bring realism into the roleplay. Students are much more likely to warm to those waiter role plays if they can give you cup.

It is surprising how much difference realia makes. A research done by Chiarantano (2005) proved that Using realia in the classroom serves to foster a more creative and active teaching-learning environment and promotes cultural understanding. The realia used in the teaching learning should be appropriate with the material and the learners’ condition. Chiarantiano (2005) suggested some realia used for teaching English to young learners as mention below. to teach vocabulary for animals, clothing, fruit, use actual objects or facsimiles thereof (pieces of clothing, toy animals, plastic fruit).

For young learners, it’s a very useful tool in making the abstract concrete. Kindergarten like nothing better than playing with plastic toys, use this to advantage. Teaching animal vocabulary for example, take along some soft toyswhich look like animal. It probably isnot going to be possible to bring along a giraffe, but plastic toys work beautifully. Get kindergarten students moving animal about, create a mini farmyard, and move those animals into the field, the barn, or the farmyard. If this sounds like too much work, then make it a class project.

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