Reading a story and asking for vocab

I just talk to the students about the story. Today I read a story out loud and asked one student to stop every time she didn’t know a word. She stopped me often but I accomplished three things:
she is a middle-of-the-road person so it gave me an idea of what the others don’t know
it showed students not knowing something is not a crime
it showed that she knew a lot of words.

I seldom do that but it is useful once in a while. I seldom give old-fashioned vocab quizzes but once in a while, it’s fun for them to show what they know out of context.
You have to ask yourself just why you yourself would want to take a vocab quiz; what would it show?

In my school, students study a vocab book for English and take massive tests. The students indicate it doesn’t seem to do them much good, although the Latin helps them figure out word meanings; but I wonder if the teachers can point to any studies that show that sort of testing accomplishes anything. Maybe I.S.P. Nation’s work.

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