Do you want a set of spelling words, that can challenge and help your fast learners? I’ve got several kids who have blazed their way through the school spelling lists, and are also ready to get into bigger ideas. Here’s an idea you might like to try: words used in academic study.
Victoria University’s Averil Coxhead researched the language used in tertiary study, for an MA Thesis. The resulting Academic Word List (AWL) “was primarily made so that it could be used by teachers as part of a programme preparing learners for tertiary level study or used by students working alone to learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.”
Too challenging for primary and intermediate school kids? I don’t think so …
My learners need to use words such as data, definition, method and role. They need to understand concepts such as distribution, consumer, credit and potential. They need to be able to interpret, deduct, justify and transfer. So for those students who are ready, I think the AWL is a great source of words and discussion.
The most frequently used words are collected in sub-lists on the Victoria University site. A great ESL website has re-shuffled the 10 sub-lists, with links to definitions for each word.
I plan to chunk the sub-lists into ten or 20 words, discuss meaning and usage in a workshop (with technology access), and test for spelling/definition/sentences.
Any ideas or questions for using this lists at school are welcome in the comments.