1.Which techniques do you tend to use? Give reasons for your answer.

      I like teaching adjectives by presenting sets of opposites (good-bad, etc.) pictures when it’s possible because they can learn more words with little effort, the learn positive and negative connotations, it gives them more options to express themselves. Whenever it’s possible I work with pictures as they give students the “visual aid” to translate the words from their L1 to L2 allowing little confusion in the process (as long as the picture truly reflect the meaning of the new word).

      At higher levels I like focusing on “forming opposites” through affixation (possible- impossible) or transforming words, e.g. from adjective to noun = (im)possible – possibility. Again, I believe it’s an effective way of enlarging learning vocabulary by focusing on the language without overloading students with the meaning of the new words. In other words, the challenging part is to work on affixes and recognise the word class of the words as the meaning of the “new formed words” is easily deducible.

      I also love word maps as they allow students to organise their thoughts in a visual way. I tend to use this technique at any level.

      2.Are there techniques that are particularly appropriate for the presentation of certain types of words?

      Matching words with pictures (or suing realia) when the vocabulary is tangible (e.g., colours, animals, food, etc.) or it expresses simple concept (simple adjectives for feelings, happy, etc.; simple verbs: write, listen, etc.). A picture may be enough to teach the meaning. Arguably, you could present this type of vocabulary “on its own” without for example using a simple text (written or recorded) to contextualise it. A good lead-in may suffice (“How are you feeling today?”) to establish the context of the lesson (and of the vocab); then present and teach the lexis using pictures. after that, practise/ use / play with the new vocabulary through other activities (role plays, writing poems, mime and guess the word, jumble up the words and then re-write them, Simon says, etc.).

      Perhaps, more abstracts vocabulary needs a different way of presenting it in context (a text or a dialogue, either video or audio). However, you could still use matching exercises to teach meaning even if you may not use pictures here, but full definitions – even if I found pictures quite useful when teaching the meaning of some phrasal verbs or idioms).

      3.Are there techniques which are likely to be more or less appropriate for particular learners (e.g. young learners/adults, beginner/advanced, etc.)?

      Chants are more appropriate for young learners – probably at any level of English they may be studying at.

      Generally speaking, games work well with all age groups. For example, I teach adults and we sometimes play BINGO to revise vocabulary (either with pictures or words on the bingo card) and they all seem to like it.

      Other activities like word maps and describe and draw seem to work well at all age. However, if word maps work well at all levels as well, I wonder what the value of “describe and draw” may be at higher levels. For example, I use “describe and draw” with both beginner and elementary students to practise vocabulary related to objects and prepositions of place and /or describe people’s physical appearance. With pre-int, I use this activity to teach how to give instructions using imperatives and vocab associated with lines/shapes and again preposition of place (Student A has a grid with some numbered boxes. In each box there are some shapes or lines. The student tells the partner what and where to draw those forms. Student B listen and draw. Student B can ask questions but cannot see the original grid). Again, “describe and draw” works well. But I have never used it with students from B2 above as it seems to me that the language that may use to describe something is too advanced in relation to their drawing skills and/or “describe and draw” is too basic in relation to the vocabulary you teach the students at those high levels.