This is James from Japan.
Thank you very much for your response to my e-mail and now I am
sending you a belated reply.
I teach an English class at a nursing school where some of my
students are fairly good English speakers while others cannot read,
write or speak the language. I decided to introduce vocabulary
notebooks to encourage students to develop word learning strategies.
As I wrote in my previous e-mail, the notebooks are a hybrid of your
wordsurfing method and the format sugguested in the Schmitt and
Schmitt 1995 article on vocabulary notebooks in the ELT Journal.
Here are some obstacles I have had with having students keep
I have found that it is difficult for students to write a sentence
for each word that they learn. The reasons for this are that
1) They have so many words that they need to learn that the task of
writing a word for each sentence is enormous.
2) Writing sentences and connecting words for target vocabulary can
be redundant. For example, in the class students learn various words
to describe pain such dull, burning, acute, constant, smarting,
sharp, throbbing etc.
In addition to the above, in many higher institutions of learning in
Japan, students take 10 - 15 classes a semester which meet about
once a week. Because students take so many classes, it is difficult
for the teacher to assign the students a lot of work out of class.
It is also difficult for the teacher to take the time to help the
students learn to use their vocabulary notebooks and cover the
material that big brother wants him to.
Enjoy the remainder of your weekend,