How to Implement the Vocabulary Self-Collection Teaching Strategy in Your Classroom

Learners read the content selection, and each student is responsible for bringing two words to the attention of the group. Learners are encouraged to select words they have heard or seen in the previous reading, but may not be able to define.

Learning Outcomes

  • Introduce word meanings
  • Review word meanings


  1. After reading and discussing a content selection, the instructor asks teams of learners to select one word they would like to learn more about. The instructor also chooses a word.
  2. Divide learners into groups of two to five. Every team decides on a word to emphasize their content selection.
  3. A representative from each team presents the word they have selected to the rest of the class and answers the following questions:
    • “Where is the word found in the content?”
    • “What do the group members think the definition of the word is?”
    • “Why did the team think the class needs to learn the word?”
  4. Learners record all nominated words in their learning logs or vocabulary notebooks. The instructor can then utilize these student-generated vocabulary words in other activities.
  5. After the list is made, the instructor leads a discussion about the words to refine, clarify, and extend the definitions. This discussion is critical to the process. Learners enter the terms and their definitions into their vocabulary logs/notebooks (Click here to access all of our graphic organizer forms) and practice the words in various activities during the week.


  1. This strategy is especially useful for learners learning English as a second language. In the discussions, learners can explore word histories, synonyms, antonyms, and personal experiences.
  2. Because the instructor also selects words, they model good vocabulary learning strategies.
Choose your Reaction!