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Frayer Model - A Guide


Vocabulary plays an important role in expressing your ideas in an effective way. When you are speaking in your own native language your vocabulary would be quite good and would help you convey your ideas in the best way possible. However, when it comes to a foreign language, the acquisition of the language can be difficult as we would be learning it in our later stages of life. It can be difficult to understand the grammatical structures and vocabulary of a foreign language. Therefore, in order to improve your proficiency in a foreign language, many linguists have introduced a variety of theories. The Frayer model is one such theory that helps us to improve our vocabulary.

Undoubtedly, these theories have helped all of us to understand how new languages can be mastered. They have introduced several tricks and tips. Moreover, we came to know about different methodologies that can be used to become an expert in a language other than our mother tongue. In this article, you will learn about Frayer Model and how it can be used to boost your vocabulary.

Why Vocabulary is Important in Language Learning?

Vocabulary is fundamental to the language learning process. Without developing our vocabulary skills, we cannot articulate sensible sentences in a language. If our vocabulary is limited, our opportunities to deliver our ideas to others would also shrink. Think about a situation where you are in a foreign land and you are just taking the baby steps to master that country’s language. What if you want to ask about the way to the bus station and you don’t know how to say bus station in that language? You will be stuck, right? So in the language learning process, acquiring vocabulary would be the primary step.

In addition to learning the basic vocabulary, it is also important to boost your vocabulary as it would help you to engage in formal conversations in a work environment or a learning environment. So you must have understood the importance of vocabulary in the process of language learning. Therefore, without much ado, let us dive into the Frayer Method.

What is Frayer Model?

Dorothy Frayer was the master brain behind the Frayer model. Dorothy Frayer hails from the University of Wisconsin and she along with her colleagues wanted to develop the vocabulary skills of their students. This resulted in the formulation of the Frayer Model. It is a method to expand the vocabulary of students with help of an illustration or a graphical organizer. Unlike other methodologies, students may find this method interesting as they are actively participating in finding the words that are unfamiliar to them.  

This graphic organizer is used to learn more about a new word that the students may come across while reading the language or listening to the language. The chart has four sections and each section has a role to play in learning the words. The word under examination is written in the middle of all the sections. When a student encounters a new word, he/she starts by defining the word or finding the meaning of the word.

Following this step, the student would find out the characteristics of the word. After this, the student would find out an example where the word can be used and later, would come up with a non-example of the word. This would help students to understand where the words can be used and where they cannot be used. It provides students with a hands-on learning experience.

Visual Representation of the Frayer Model

Now let us look at the chart to understand the Frayer Model in an elaborate way.

Fig 1 - Frayer Model

As you can see, the chart is divided into four sections. Each section is meant for the following -

  • Definition - In this section, the student would define the word to understand it better. Here the student can write the textbook definition as well as his own definition of it.
  • Characteristics - This section is for mentioning the traits of the word and the factors that give meaning to that word.
  • Examples - Here the student would write some examples of the word under evaluation.
  • Non-examples - This section would stop the student from making any mistakes in the usage of the word and will help the student understand the usage thoroughly.

Benefits of the Frayer Model

  • The Frayer Model would help in the development of students' critical thinking skills.
  • It can promote collaborative learning in the classroom.
  • The Frayer model ensures the active participation of students in the classroom
  • It is an effective method to improve the vocabulary of learners.
  • It can be used to teach any language.
  • It is a perfect method of learning for visual and kinesthetic learners.
  • This method helps students to draw connections between different concepts.


It is important to boost the vocabulary of students or learners to improve their proficiency in that language. This would enable them to express their ideas in the most effective and efficient way. This can enhance their confidence and helps them to convey their innovative ideas to others in the best way possible.

With Teachmint Integrated School Platform, schools can easily automate almost all the strenuous tasks that otherwise were laborious and time-taking. The LMS portal, performance management, attendance management system, and other valuable features make Teachmint one of the best solutions for educational institutions.

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