Level of language used

“A luxurious hotel is a hotel that has a lot of luxury.”  “If something is too heavy then it exceeds the criteria required to lift it.”  “There are a bunch of different things you can do in a living room.”  If you are trying to teach the words in italics, what is the problem with the explanations?  All of them use language that is too high or too similar to the words/ grammar being explained. 


If students don’t know luxurious, they probably don’t know luxury.  If they don’t know too, they probably don’t know exceeds or criteria.  If they don’t know living room, they probably don’t know bunch of.   This is a common difficulty that teachers – especially newer teachers – have. 

In a similar vein, it is essential when presenting new grammar and/or vocabulary to use words the students already know to teach/explain it. This way they can focus on the new vocabulary or grammar rather than wondering about the other unfamiliar language used.  If grammar explanations are given using words they students already know, then the meaning can be more clearly conveyed.  An easy way to achieve this is have the students give examples because they’ll use words they know.  Encourage peer teaching of vocabulary too – students often have very level-appropriate ways to capture the essence of a word.


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