EAL in tutor time: building word knowledge

Last term, I was asked to do a quick EAL ‘assembly’ during tutor time (15 mins max). The aims were up to me. I just went for something simple: point out patterns in language, remind learners to help each other to build word knowledge.

I did a quick session on prefixes. It was at the tail-end of the pandemic/school closures here in Thailand, hence using that as the main example:

…then drawing attention to the patterns in the language:

Briefly explaining prefixes, then giving examples and meanings, for prefixes like pre-, un-, dis-, re-…

From the real world where possible…

This was for secondary learners. After reminding them that they may well have studied this in the primary school, I highlighted that some of their peers may be new (ish) to English and may be less familiar with these patterns…

Random comma in there.

And I mentioned how knowing these patterns can help with understanding subject-related vocab, things like…

(Feel free to call me up on that Korean, mine’s rusty) and words that had come up in class…

This was online, so learners were typing examples throughout. We had this follow up where they added their ideas more freely:

Then these take-home points (I’ve just added a couple of recent examples):

Anyway, nothing special. You know how it is when you’ve gotta put something together quickly! I don’t really do ‘good visuals’! Still, it might save you some time or give you an idea!

Download here, image attributions included at the end of slides:

Categories: Lesson Ideas, vocabulary

Tags: , , , ,

1 reply


  1. Working with words - essentials for EAL learners - EAL Diaries

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