Teaching Vocabulary

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Vocabulary may refer to a range of different words including academic vocabulary (content-specific words), general vocabulary, passive vocabulary (words that are not frequently used), etc. Knowledge of vocabulary plays important role in students’ academic success. It is believed that knowing large number of vocabulary can help students understand new material and concepts to which they are being exposed and consequently learn more quickly. Schmitt (2000) claims that “Lexical knowledge is central to communicative competence and to the acquisition of a second language” (p. 55). Teaching and learning vocabulary have significantly received the attention of EFL teachers and researchers in the last decades (McKeown, Beck, & Sandora, 2012; Schmitt,…show more content…
Some are more complex and have multiple meanings, some have different syntactic roles, and highly frequent in use. Hence, some others have limited number of meanings and grammatical roles in the context of use. One hears or reads words in different contexts over time, gradually develops his/her understanding of the word, and begins to use those words in real life encounters. In the acquisition of words both syntactic information and the semantics of lexical items should be taken into account. Vocabulary learning and consequently vocabulary teaching particularly in an EFL context have always been a great concern and a constant challenge for both EFL teachers and learners, and so appropriate teaching and learning vocabulary strategies need to be employed for the English vocabulary development of the English language learners especially EFL language learners who have little chance to practice language use out of classroom. Nation (2001: 217) states that one cannot easily define what a strategy is. It can be referred to as actions to be taken in order to fulfill a task; however, there are several strategies to choose from (it involves choices), and there are several steps to learn. Nation believes that it is not enough for the learners to learn about these strategies, but they need to master…show more content…
Literature review “Research on vocabulary teaching and learning has increased so much that it is now difficult for one person to keep on top of this field” Paul Nation (2008, p. xi). According to Brown (1994) the learner‘s knowledge of a certain word varies from partial to exact knowledge based on the communication scope they are involved in (Brown, 1994). Knowing a word means more than knowing the word’s meaning or definition. It also means knowing the word’s role(s) in different contexts, its spelling, how it sounds, its other meanings, it’s part of speech, and so on (Juel & Deffes, 2004). Stahl (2003) makes the distinction between the dictionary definition of a word (definitional knowledge), and the way a word’s meaning adapts to different contexts. In the acquisition of word meaning, it is important to know how verbs, adjectives and nouns are related and function in relation to each other (Miller and Fellbaum, 1991). According to Scott, Nagy, and Flinspach (2008) “Literacy is a social practice, so students learn academic vocabulary through social interactions as members of the learning community” (p: 197). Cummins (2003), also Snow, Lawrence, and White (2009) asserted that students need to learn a large number of vocabularies including both general and academic English. Some researchers believe that the growth of word knowledge is a slow process that requires frequent exposures to words (Hirsch, 2003; Stahl, 2004). Although, seeing and using a word in the context

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