Gerry's Vocabulary Teacher consists of a vast collection of sentences in context, illustrating over 2,600 words with a minimum of 15 contexts each, for a total of over 50,000 sentences and 750,000 words of data. Teachers choose the words to study, select from among a variety of sentences using the word and/or its various derivations in context, and with a few simple mouse-clicks, are able to create a complete vocabulary gap-fill exercise.
Furthermore, the program allows users to edit or delete sentences contained within the database, and users can even add to their personal database collection with words and sentences of their own. Any changes or additions made are automatically saved to disc.
The program includes a minimum of 15 contexts for over 2,600 keywords. Keywords are the root form of a word. For example, the word reliable appears in sentences in context under the keyword entry for its root form rely.
The keywords contained within this program are illustrated through a variety of contexts, and include the following (where possible):
- the different derivations - noun, verb, adjective & adverb forms
- proverbs from different cultures
- quotations from the famous and not-so-famous
- interesting facts about countries around the world
- interesting trivia
- facts about the world's animals
- general history facts
- facts and quotes from the world's major religions
- thought-provoking discussion questions relating to student opinions, beliefs, culture, & personal experience
- fun and interesting "Find someone who..." questions
Which words are included among the keywords?
Research into language acquisition notes that English has perhaps the largest vocabulary of any language in the world. As a consequence, teachers and students need to concentrate their efforts on the words that are the most useful, either because of their frequency of usage or because they are essential to a specific purpose, such as academic study.
Most of the words in Gerry's Vocabulary Teacher are those which have a frequency designation of two or three diamonds in the Collins Cobuild Learner's Dictionary. However, it does not include words which are so common that most lower intermediate ESL students generally already know them. The frequency of the vocabulary provided for study in Gerry's Vocabulary Teacher means the students can expect to encounter or use this vocabulary in all walks of life – through the various forms of media, through general conversation, etc.
In addition, the keywords in Gerry's Vocabulary Teacher also include the 570 words contained within the Academic Word List, or AWL, as compiled by noted linguist Averil Coxhead.