Language teacher Nadene Wright, aka wrightseducation16, gets the best out of her students with her resources designed to boost their vocabulary.
Tell us about your professional background
After graduating from university with a degree in languages I was left floundering, wondering what to do next. After several false starts, I ended up working as an assistant teacher for the British Council in France. I went on to work for an exam preparation company which is where my lust for creating my own resources began. I knew that I wanted to do more and decided to take my PGCE. Since then I’ve worked in several secondary schools in the UK and have found it both challenging and very rewarding.
Why do students struggle with learning vocabulary?
Vocabulary is key to language acquisition. Language can be assimilated in many ways but the key to success is making sure students revise the language consciously and once they’ve revised it – use it. Students may struggle with vocabulary acquisition when they only see it as a memorising activity for a test rather than seeing the connection with using their targeted vocabulary to boost their own writing and skills. Good ESL and MFL resources will give students opportunities to apply their learnt vocabulary within their own speech and writing.
Which resource are you most proud of?
Teaching French and English has been a wonderful challenge. No day is the same and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I saw big differences in my pupils using my resources and received lots of praise for my work. I published my first book Vocaboost under Wrights Education in 2017, and I use it as a key learning resource within my classroom. Students adore engaging in the text and often relate to the varying characters, all the while using their newly acquired vocabulary in a more natural way. Vocaboost can support exam preparation, specifically 11 plus, as it covers the essential parts of the GL and CEM exams.
What is your top tip for creating high quality resources?
Teaching is flawed when we give one resource out to an entire class of 30 students and expect them all to react to it in the same way. If I had to give one top tip for creating high quality resources, I’d say spend time with your pupils and get to know what works best for them, because as we all know, all children are not the same.