Tuesday, May 15, 2007

choosing your most important words

There's an interesting exercise in the book Keep Talking by Friederike Klippel (Cambridge) called 'word wizard'. Each student is to choose the four words they consider to be the most important if no other words could be used. Which four words would you choose? The aim of the exercise is to try have a conversation with other students, thereby learning their four words a building a vocabulary of up to sixty-four words, assuming that there are sixteen students and no-one chooses the same words.

In reality, people have very similar ideas about which words they would choose. Verbs are very popular. So time and again we get choices like be, have, go, want. If had to choose four verbs, maybe eat, drink, sleep, do would be the best for basic survival.

Are these really the most useful words? Which ones would you choose?

In my next post, I'll tell you why I don't think choosing verbs as your most important words is a good idea.

10 comments:

Cutetwirler said...

Just thought I'd let you know, I used this as a warm-up in my lesson today. The words that my students voted on as their most used words were;
Mc Donalds
Want
I
Boring

Hmm... I think it says a lot about my students!

Jonathan Lewis said...

Thanks for your comments, sorry I haven't been able to continue this theme of important words, I'll try when I've got more time.
It's worth getting the book 'keep talking' for communication activities, it's a bit old now, but they can easily be adapted for whoever you teach

july said...

I enjoy very much the website. I find it very interesting.
I hope It will help me improving my English.

july said...

oups!! I made a mistake :( I hope it will help me improve my english. Is that right???

july said...

I don't really know what are the most interesting used words :( how to find them??? But,as far as I am concerned, Smile, drink, eat and sleep. As they constitute very important elements for us to survive. (I hope I am not fussing :))

Anabel said...

Hi, I have always enjoyed this topic about favourite or essential words. I don't really know which ones I would choose, but I would probably go for nouns, rather than verbs. Most essential verbs -I mean in terms of survival- could be described with action; I'd choose "thanks","amazing", "bad" or "pleased"...

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I have some important words, so my most important words are my favorites words for example the Verbs , so I like choose some mean verbs.

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