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The Use of Realia to Teach Vocabulary for Young Learners

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The Use of Realia to Teach Vocabulary for Young Learners

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  • March 2013
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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. 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...