Norbert Schmitt

Professor Norbert Schmitt (currently Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics, School of English, University of Nottingham, UK) began his career in 1988 as an EFL teacher in Japan and quickly became interested in how language learners acquire their second languages. During his Masters study at Temple University, Japan, he began researching how students learn vocabulary in particular. He extended this interest in vocabulary through his PhD research at the University of Nottingham in 1994. Upon completion of his PhD in 1997, he joined the University of Nottingham staff, and became colleagues with the two prominent vocabulary specialists already there (Professor Ronald Carter and Professor Michael McCarthy). After their retirement, he continued on with the vocabulary specialty. He has researched second language vocabulary issues for nearly 25 years, and his interests have broadened to all aspects of lexical study, including vocabulary testing, formulaic language, corpus-based research, and the interface between vocabulary knowledge and the ability to read and listen in English. A number of his accomplishments include: Nine books on vocabulary and applied linguistics issues; About 60 international journal articles and around 100 total publications.

Principles of Teaching Vocabulary

Featured Presentation

Both students and teachers recognize the need for vocabulary to use English well. Despite this, many learners do not develop the vocabulary necessary to be confident in English. This presentation looks at how we can develop more systematic approaches to teaching vocabulary. First, it discusses why we should study English in the first place, showing how knowledge of English opens up many communication opportunities. Next, it will explore how much vocabulary is required to read and listen in English. Finally, it will outline a number of principles which underly effective vocabulary teaching opportunities.