Infanta-Impact of Using Worldlists in the Language Classroom on Students’ Vocabulary Acquisition

Coşgun, G. (2016). The impact of using worldlists in the language classroom on students’ vocabulary acquisition. International Journal of English Language Teaching, 4(3), 49-66. Retrieved from http://www.eajournals.org/journals/international-journal-of-english-language-teaching-ijelt/the-improvement-of-students-writing-skill-achievement-through-error-analysis-method/the-impact-of-using-wordlists-in-the-language-classroom-on-students-vocabulary-acquisition/.

This research deals with vocabulary learning whose pedagogical implications will contribute to the field of second language learning. This research paper aims at proposing a framework for vocabulary teaching strategy in English as a foreign language context. The researcher in the introduction to his paper clearly establishes a strong correlation between vocabulary and academic achievement by quoting Abrudan, words “represent the building block upon which knowledge of the second language can be built” and without them people cannot convey the intended meaning. The researcher realized that the students experienced a great difficulty in learning and using target vocabulary. He states that the “underlying reasons is that students and dents are exposed to a myriad number of words every day and do not know which words provide them with a working vocabulary.”

The researcher explores the effectiveness of making use of a word list in classroom and students’ view on the process. The significance of the research is that, the findings might attract the interest of both foreign language teachers and students, and encourage them in the way of adopting the mentioned strategy in their studies.

The aim of the research is to explore whether the use of wordlists on a word wall helps students improve students’ vocabulary acquisition. To be able to find an answer to this question, the questions focused on throughout the research are:

  1. Does the use of word lists on a word wall in the language classroom improve students’ vocabulary acquisition?
  2. What are students’ views on using word lists on a word wall in the language classroom?

The researcher very clearly structures the research paper. In the methodology section of the paper, the research is situated in a particular context. The paper is narrowed down from the wider context by explaining the ways in which vocabulary is being taught in the institution which is studied in the research. The researcher gives the number of the participants in his research and a few required details such as their age and their prior knowledge in the English language.

The researcher employs a traditional approach and blends with many other research methods. “The research was classroom research which was conducted by the teacher “for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of her educational environment and improving the effectiveness of her teaching” (Dörnyei). Furthermore, mixed methods research was adopted in the research process. As a method, mixed methods research “focuses on collecting, analyzing, and mixing both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study or series of studies and its central premise is that the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches in combination provides a better understanding of research problems than either approach alone” (Creswell, & Plano).”

The researcher explains the procedure of data collection and lists down the methods and activities conducted for teaching the vocabulary in the context of the research. The Vocabprofile was used as a source for the words that were to be taught. A receptive test modeled on Nation’s (1990) Vocabulary Levels Test and a controlled productive test modeled on Laufer and Nation’s(1999 ) Productive Vocabulary Levels Test were the pre- test and post- test. Apart from this, the researcher also conducts interviews and maintains Field notes/ Reflective Writing. The data derived from all these methods are analyzed. The quality of the research is ensured by employing triangulation method, which is defined as “the mixing of data or methods so that diverse viewpoints or standpoints cast light upon atopic” was adopted (Olsen).

“The test was spot-checked before it was used by two experienced colleagues and level specialists since “the quality of questions asked will directly affect the type and the quality of responses” (Campbell, McNamara & Gilyn). In addition, to maximize objectivity and validity and to avoid “inaccuracy or incompleteness of the data” I supported all my conclusions by evidence, recorded and transcribed the interviews (Maxwell).”

The researcher then tables the data of the tests and gives samples of both the interviews and research findings. The interview was conducted to study the attitude of the students towards the research.

The research confirms that using a wordlist on a word wall can be regarded as a working factor in fostering leaners’ vocabulary acquisition.

The limitations of this research are that the conclusions cannot be generalized because the research was conducted only with two classes and that it was conducted in a limited time. The study of the long term effects of the newly acquired knowledge of target vocabulary can be studied in further researches.

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Infanta- I am a Writer

Assignment I

My first memory of writing something was a paragraph on “Myself” for my English Composition class in my first standard. I gradually learnt how to write through various writing exercises like hints development, paragraph writing, essay writing, letter writing and telegraph writing, which were graded in different difficulty levels in accordance with my standard at secondary school. After my higher secondary, I chose to pursue Bachelor of Arts in English. I had to write a lot in my under graduation. Initially I summarized poems and essays which then turned into appreciating or criticizing a work of art. In my third year I started writing analysis of essays and books. Later I enrolled for MA in English with Communication Studies in the year 2015. In the first semester of my post graduation course I was introduced to research. I started writing annotated bibliography for newspaper, magazine and journal articles. I was asked to submit a working research paper by the end of the first semester. This is my biggest writing experience till date. I learnt many aspects of academic writing through this course. In the month of April, I joined “The Hindu”, an English- language Indian daily newspaper for a 30- day internship. During that internship period I wrote around twenty articles for the city edition newspaper. My first article was edited a lot before publishing because I lacked the formal way of writing news which is quintessential in hard news writing. After three articles, I learnt from my mistakes and I gradually started to get the formal writing style. I was really happy with my last few articles which got into very little editing before publishing.  Apart from the journalistic aspects of learning, I realized my way of writing and improved on it during the internship period.

Infanta- Teaching Vocabulary Explicity

Hanson, S., & Padua, Jennifer F. M. (2011). Teaching Vocabulary Explicitly. Honolulu: Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL).

Teaching Vocabulary Explicitly aims to explain the effective ways for teaching vocabulary. Interestingly the authors begin the book by sharing an anecdote with the readers. In the section “A Teacher’s Story”, the book talks about how a secondary school teacher faces difficulty in helping a 4th grade student to overcome the hurdle in comprehending new words. The book then defines what a vocabulary is and explains its kinds. It then introduces two types of vocabulary needed for effective reading.

The next chapter reasons out to why teaching vocabulary is very important. Vocabulary knowledge is essential in comprehending a text. The authors make a distinction between the vocabulary reception when reading a narrative and an expository text. The next chapter deals with analyzing the essential components of vocabulary instruction. It takes Michael Graves’ concept of vocabulary. According to him, there are four essential components of vocabulary instruction listed below.

  1. Providing rich and varied language experiences
  2. Teaching individual words explicitly
  3. Teaching word- learning strategies
  4. Fostering word consciousness

The next chapter focuses to emphasize on the importance to teach individual words explicitly. In addition to the words students learn incidentally through wide reading and other language- rich activities, students learn new words when they are taught these words explicitly. Without the direct, in- depth teaching of key words, most students will face difficulties understanding what they read.

The authors suggest three steps and four strategies for teaching individual words explicitly.

  1. Identify the potential list of words to be taught.
  2. Determine which of these words to teach
  3. Plan how to teach the words using the following strategies:
  1. Provide a student- friendly definition
  2. Use the word in context and give contextual information.
  3. Provide multiple exposures.
  4. Offer opportunities for active involvement.

In the next chapter the authors talk about word- learning strategies: word parts, context clues, and dictionary use. Here they explain what a process approach is and suggest three components for integrating the teaching of words parts into a vocabulary program.

  • Provide students with knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, and root/ base words in focused lessons.
  • Teach meaningful word parts explicitly as the need arises in the reading material.
  • Teach students different strategies for analyzing the word parts.

The authors then place a few suggestions as to how a word can be remembered and comprehended quickly. This is followed by talking about the importance of dictionary reference in acquiring vocabulary and about the various vocabulary activities which will help the reception vocabulary turn in to a productive one. Only in the last chapter the authors talk about how this reception vocabulary knowledge can be connected to productive one. There is very little suggestion or explanation about the process of how a receptive vocabulary is transformed to the productive phase. The author concludes by saying that the above mentioned ways of teaching vocabulary explicitly will help the reading and vocabulary development to a large extent.

Infanta- The Notions of Receptive and Productive Vocabulary

Waring, Rob. (1999). The Notions of Receptive and Productive Vocabulary. In Tasks for Assessing Second Language Receptive and Productive Vocabulary (1). Retrieved from http://www.robwaring.org/papers/phd/ch1.html.

The researcher in Chapter 1, The Notions of Receptive and Productive Vocabulary, from his Ph.D. thesis Tasks for Assessing Second Language Receptive and Productive Vocabulary looks into the defining the terms, ‘Receptive’ and ‘Productive’ and also analyses the standard vocabulary test patterns. The definition, description and categorization of the notions regarding Receptive and Productive Vocabulary (RPV) are blithely accept as a ‘given’. The lack of clarity over definition of the notions of RPV is mirrored to some extent in the way RPV tests are described and labelled.

The four ways of describing Reception and Production are listed down. The researcher traces back the origin of the terms and explains how mental abilities such as ‘recognition’ and ‘recalling’ evolved to be the concepts for ‘passive’ and ‘active’ vocabulary. Myres(1914) was the first to propose a testing format for assessing recognition and recall memory for words. The researcher then puts forward the testing patterns proposed by Dolch and Kelley and Krey. The researcher tries to answer whether these kinds of task will help finding out anything significant about Receptive and Productive vocabulary. In Chapter 1, the researcher concludes that the relationship between test construct and the vocabulary knowledge is unclear. He concludes saying, “If we are to compare RPV using these tests then we must be very clear that these tests actually do measure Receptive and Productive vocabulary. If these tests are seen to be measuring something other than only RPV then we may need to rethink their use.”

 

 

 

 

Infanta-Bridging the Gap between Receptive and Productive Vocabulary Size through Extensive Reading

Yamamoto, Yuka. (2011). Bridging the Gap between Receptive and Productive Vocabulary Size through Extensive Reading. The Reading Matrix, 11 (3), pp. 226- 242. Retrieved from http://www.readingmatrix.com/articles/september_2011/yamamoto.pdf

(APA Style is used for citation)

This research paper investigates the extent to which extensive reading combined with writing tasks promotes productive vocabulary growth of Japanese university students. There is always a general assumption that extensive reading increases one’s vocabulary size. The researcher attempts to find the facts on the influence of extensive reading on the reader’s vocabulary. The researcher uses different tests proposed by applied linguistics theorists such as Waring, Takaki and Laufer in his research. To examine changes in vocabulary size, three tests are conducted: the Vocabulary Level Test, the Productive Vocabulary Test and the VocabProfile.

He presents counter arguments of other theorists and goes on to validate his argument. He very clearly distinguishes the characteristics of incidental learning and intentional learning. This clarity is reflected in the method of his research where he makes sure that his subjects of research read books in such a way that there is incidental learning of the vocabulary.

Contrary to expectations, no significant increase was shown in the amount of productive vocabulary size. However, the data suggested that one of the benefits of doing extensive reading with writing tasks is to retain receptive and productive vocabulary knowledge. The research thus implies that extensive reading practice might help students confirm the meaning and function of the words that are already stored in their memory systems making the connection stronger, which in turn may potentially develop into productive- vocabulary knowledge.