Tài liệu Strategies for learning english vocabulary a case study at hou

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HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF ENGLISH GRADUATION THESIS B.A DEGREE IN ENGLISH STUDY STRATEGIES FOR LEARNING ENGLISH VOCABULARY – A CASE STUDY AT HOU Supervisor : Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoang Tuyet Minh Name of student : Nguyen Phuong Hong Date of birth : 12/02/1993 Class : 1271A04 (2012-2016) Hanoi - 2016 Graduation Paper DECLARATION TITLE: STRATEGIES FOR LEARNING ENGLISH VOCABULARY – A CASE STUDY AT HOU (Graduation Paper submitted in Partial Fulfillment for B.A Degree in English) I certify that no part of the above report has been copied and reproduced me from any other person’s work without acknowledgement and that the report is originally written by me under strict and enthusiastic guidance of my supervisor. Hanoi, 15th April 2016 Student Supervisor Nguyen Phuong Hong Hoang Tuyet Minh Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04-(2012- 2016) Graduation Paper ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to convey my sincere appreciation to many people who wholeheartedly helped me to accomplish this paper. Without their guidance and advice, this paper might not have been completed. Firstly, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my supervisor Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoang Tuyet Minh for her enthusiatic guidance, thoughtful and constructive comments on almost every aspect on this study. Without invaluable supervision and words of encouragement, my study would not have been completed. Secondly, I would like to express my special thanks to all the teachers at English Faculty of HOU for their precious lectures and instructions which have helped me much in completing the final task. Thirdly, I also wish to send my thanks to HOU 2nd year English major students for their animated cooperation in completing my survey questionnaires. Finally, I would like to give my great thanks to my beloved friends and family members who supported me throughout my research paper. Hopefully, this paper will be useful for learners of English in generals and the 2nd year English major students at Hanoi Open University. Hanoi, 15th April, 2016 Student Nguyen Phuong Hong Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04-(2012- 2016) Graduation Paper LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS COG cognitive strategies DET determination strategies FOE Faculty of English HOU Hanoi Open University L1 the first language/ mother tongue L2 the second language/ foreign language LLSs language learning strategies MEM memory strategies MET metacognitive strategies SOC social strategies STM short-term memory LTM long-term memory VLS vocabulary learning strategy VLSs vocabulary learning strategies Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04-(2012- 2016) Graduation Paper TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION .................................................................. 1 1. Rationale ................................................................................................ 1 2. Aims and objectives of the study .......................................................... 2 3. Scope of the study .................................................................................. 2 4. Research questions ................................................................................ 3 5. Methods of the study ............................................................................. 3 6. Design of the study ................................................................................ 3 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ....................................................... 5 2.1. Previous studies ................................................................................... 5 2.2. Theoretical background....................................................................... 6 2.2.1. Knowing a word ............................................................................. 6 2.2.2. Vocabulary learning ....................................................................... 8 2.3 Theoretical framework ......................................................................... 9 2.3.1. Definitions of vocabulary learning strategies .................................. 9 2.3.2. Classifications of vocabulary learning strategies .......................... 11 2.3.3. Importance of vocabulary learning strategies ................................ 20 2.3.4. Memory-based strategic framework for vocabulary learning strategies ................................................................................................ 21 2.4. Summary............................................................................................ 23 CHAPTER 3: THE STUDY ....................................................................... 24 3.1. Methodology ...................................................................................... 24 3.1.1. Survey .......................................................................................... 24 Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04-(2012- 2016) Graduation Paper 3.1.1.1. Questionnaire ......................................................................... 24 3.1.1.2. The subjects............................................................................ 25 3.1.2. Procedure ..................................................................................... 25 3.2. Results ............................................................................................... 26 3.3. Conclusion ......................................................................................... 29 CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION ......................................... 31 4.1. Data Analysis ..................................................................................... 31 4.2. Some suggestions in learning vocabulary ........................................... 31 4.3. Summary ............................................................................................ 39 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION .................................................................... 40 REFERENCES ........................................................................................... 41 APPENDIX Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04-(2012- 2016) Graduation Paper LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES Table 1: What Is Involved in Knowing a Word (Nation, 2001: 27) .............. 7 Table 2: Oxford's Strategy Classification System (Oxford and Ehrman, 1990:313-314).............................................................................................. 17 Table 3 : A taxonomy of vocabulary learning strategies ............................. 18 Table 4: Subjects in use ............................................................................... 25 Table 5: The number of strategies that HOU sophomore uses in learning vocabulary ................................................................................................... 28 Table 6: The number of students use/ do not use process for vocabulary learning strategies ....................................................................................... 29 Table 7: Step 1- Sensory memory and vocabulary learning strategies........ 32 Table 8: Step 2- Short-term memory and vocabulary learning strategies ... 37 Table 9: Step 3- Long-term memory and vocabulary learning strategies ... 37 Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04-(2012- 2016) CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1. Rationale A language is a systematic means of communication that we all use to express ourselves and communicate to others. A language is the written and spoken methods of combining words to create meaning used by a particular group of people. Over the years, English has become the international language. This seems to be an appropriate edge to argue that English, in international settings, plays an increasingly important role. Since English is regarded as the universal language, lexical competence is seen as the heart of language learning and the ultimate goal to improve the language competence of learners. Additionally, vocabulary has been recognized as an important factor for language learning because inadequate vocabulary knowledge leads the learners encounter difficulties in language learning. Learners can significantly improve their language competence by developing their ability to use vocabulary learning strategies. What is more? Mastering vocabulary is one of the most challenging tasks that any learner faces while acquiring another language . Thus, language learning students need to be trained with the strategies which can help the learners attaining the meaning of words. The particular strategies which are used by learners for the acquisition of new words in the second language are called vocabulary learning strategies. To deal with vocabulary learning problems, vocabulary learning strategies should have been brought to the language classroom to boost the learners’ effectiveness in language learning. In Faculty of English of Hanoi Open University, although strategies for learning vocabulary is not considered as a major subject, a few researches on vocabulary learning strategies have been completed by the students of the Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 1 University. Wherein, the recent study indicates that due to studies for the own students of HOU, the researchers concluded that it should have some specific strategies in learning vocabulary, as well as a number of approaches may be applied for short and long term memory. However, there are still certain restrictions of these studies such as limitation of setting out a map for strategies and specific ways to apply them. Therefore, in this study, the researcher will seek to complement and dig deeper to this interesting topic. 2. Aims and objectives of the study This study aims at crutinizing the strategies of the second year students at HOU when using vocabulary learning strategies to learn new words. With this aim, this study is: - Identifying vocabulary learning strategy in English. Making a brief preview of previous studies, classifications and memory-based strategic framework of vocabulary learning strategies. - Investigate to find out what kind of strategies most frequently used and rarely used in the vocabulary acquisition of the second year students. Indicating the shortcomings in vocabulary learning process of students to suggest an effective vocabulary learning process. - Giving some suggestions for vocabulary learning strategies to help learners acquire vocabulary efficiently. 3. Scope of the study This study was conducted to examine 46 sophomore students who were studying at English Faculty of Hanoi Open University. The study mainly focuses on finding out the most used and the least used strategies, which frequently employed by students. In addition, the study also gives an emphasis on the deficiency in vocabulary learning process of learners. Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 2 4. Research questions With the aim of this study is locating the shortcomings in vocabulary learning process to help students to overcome, there are 3 questions need to be answered: - What is the most and the least vocabulary learning strategies used by students? - What is the vocabulary learning process of students at English Faculty of Hanoi Open University? - What is the best vocabulary learning process for students? 5. Methods of the study The study is conducted by several methods as qualitative, quantitative, descriptive and analysis. Qualitative is used to collect related information from previous researches. Quantitative is used to collect data from questionnaires and students’ answers. Descriptive is used to describe theoretical background and the figure and answers from questionnaire result. Analysis is used to analyses data from the result of survey and investigating problems form the gathered data. 6. Design of the study For achieving the aims stated, this study is divided into 5 chapters, references and appendix. Chapter 1 is entitled Introduction, giving the background and aim of the study. Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 3 Chapter 2, Literature review, firstly enumerates some previous studies about vocabulary learning strategies. Then, theoretical background and theoretical framework are presented as the foundation for the study. Chapter 3, The study, submits the survey questionnaire with the help of the 46 students at HOU and the preliminary results were given. Chapter 4, Findings and discussion, begins with analyzing the strategies that HOU students use when learning vocabulary. Next, describes a common model used by learners when it comes to learn a new word. Finally, a vocabulary learning process to overcome the shortcoming in vocabulary acquisition is submitted. Chapter 5 is the Conclusion, which presents a summary of the study and suggestions for further research. REFERENCES APPENDIX Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 4 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. Previous studies Through out the years, voluminous studies have done on the subject of vocabulary acquisiton strategies for learners in expanding their amount of vocabulary. Concerning direct and indirect strategies, Oxford (1990) brought out a completed classification of effective learning strategies for vocabulary learners. From the strategies, which used by the learners alone to strategies, which required to interact with learners’ peers to achieve the highest efficiency in learning vocabulary. Seven years later, a large-scale study conducted by Schmitt (1997) represented sample of 600 students. The Schmitt’s research is very interesting. First, the comparison of the two set of data (the most used strategies versus the most useful strategies) revealed some overlap. There were six strategies in common. Then, patterns of strategy use change over time as a learner either matures or becomes more proficient in the target language. Finally, the results indicate that learners willing to try new strategies if they are introduced and instructed. Since then, Schmitt’s reasearch was great importance for his proposal of a comprehensive taxonomy of vocabulary learning strategies. In 1996, Gu and Johnson administered a questionnaire to 850 second year Chinese University students to figure out how they use different strategies and how this affects their learning outcome in terms of vocabulary size and general English proficiency. The main findings were that: (1) the two metacognitive strategies, selfinitiation and selective attention, tend to be positive and the best predictor of English proficiency; (2) contextual guessing, skilful use of dictionaries, contextual encoding, and activation strategies are correlated with both English proficiency and vocabulary size. Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 5 Vocabulary Learning Strategy is an interesting topic, which attracted many researchers study on this topic. These well-known researches contributed significantly to the field of VLSs and for students who study English as their second language. What is more? Three research papers are shared the same ideas. As a result, it supplements the others. 2.2. Theoretical background 2.2.1. Knowing a word Without a huge amount of words, English learners cannot not only entirely comprehend the meaning of listening and reading, but also communicate or express the meaning undoubtedly in the process of speaking and. However, knowing a word is complicated and there are various definitions for knowing a word. Nation (2001) applies the terms ‘receptive’ and ‘productive’ to vocabulary knowledge description covering all the aspects of what is involved in knowing a word as in the following table. Form Spoken Written Word parts Meaning Form & Receptive What does the word sound like? Productive How is the word pronounced? Receptive What does the word look like? Productive How is the word written and spelled? Receptive What parts are recognizable in this word? Productive What word parts are needed to express this meaning? Receptive What meaning does this word form Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 6 meaning signal? Productive What word form can be used to express this meaning? Concept & Receptive What is included in the concept? referents Productive What items can the concept refer to? Associations Receptive Productive Use Grammatical Receptive functions Collocations What other words does this make us think of? What other words can we use instead of this one? In what patterns does this word occur? Productive In what patterns must we use this word? Receptive What words or types of words occur with this one? Productive What words or types of words must we use with this one? Constraints Receptive on use (register, frequency… Where, when and how often would we expect to meet this word? Productive Where, when and how often can we use this word? Table 1: What Is Involved in Knowing a Word (Nation, 2001: 27) Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 7 However, Mondria and Wiersma (2004) state that productive and receptive knowledge of a word tend to overlap since certain productive learning leads to certain amount of productive knowledge. They also point out that productive learning is more difficult than receptive learning and it takes more time. Moreover, productive knowledge decays faster than receptive knowledge of a word. According to Richards (1976), knowing a lexical item includes knowledge of word frequency, collocation, register, case relations, underlying forms, word association, and semantic structure. Ling (2005) states that words are interwoven in a complex system in which knowledge of various levels of a lexical item is required in order to achieve adequate understanding in listening and reading or produce ideas successfully in speaking and writing. In this section, we have been acquainted with the concepts of knowing a word through the concepts of receptive and productive of the Nation. The conceptual knowledge of word frequency, collocation, register, case relations, underlying forms, word association, and semantic structure of Richards or the level of word understanding based on the ability to apply it in four skill such as reading, writing, listening and speaking. From here, the concept of a lexical item is putted in for further studies of the strategies’ definitions. 2.2.2. Vocabulary learning Learning vocabulary is an arduous task. The task of vocabulary learning is to see the distinction between knowing a word and using it. Learning vocabulary should focus on remembering words and using them easily in the right contexts. Evidence suggests that the knowledge aspect requires employment of conscious mechanisms of learning while the skill Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 8 aspect involves implicit learning (Ellis, 1994). This is essential in selecting strategies for both using words as well as knowing them. Nation (1990:33-50) remarks three factors which have influence on making a word difficult to learn. The first is the learners’ previous experiences of English and their mother tongue since one’s first language affects the second language vocabulary acquisition and usually borrowing and interference between first and second language vocabulary occurs. The second factor is the way a word is learned or taught. The third aspect is the intrinsic difficulty of the word which basically means that some words are harder than others. Laufer (1997:154) also mentioned the several factors which can make learning a word difficult. For example, phonological factors, length, semantic features, abstractness and multiple meaning may have an impact on how easily the word can be learned. In terms of learning vocabulary definitions, while (Ellis, 1994) refers to the concept of “Conscious mechanisms of learning”, the Nation (1990) and Laufer (1997) point out the factors that make us realize that learning English vocabulary is not an easy task. From these points, a question is brought out to see whether there are strategies that can help learners to accumulate vocabulary more efficient and easier? 2.3 Theoretical framework 2.3.1. Definitions of vocabulary learning strategies Throughout numerous studies, the definitions of “Languague learning strategies (LLSs)” were dissected by the scholars all around the world to contribute to a comprehensive definition of LLS. Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 9 O’Malley and Chamot (1990, p. 1) define language learning strategies as “the special thoughts or behaviours that individuals use to help them comprehend, learn, or retain new information.” Oxford (1990, p. 8) states that language learning strategies are “specific actions taken by the learner to make learning easier, faster, more enjoyable, more self-directed, and more transferable to new situations.” Nunan (1991, p. 168) sees language learning strategies as “the mental processes which learners employed to learn and use the target language.” Though VLLs is a branch of LLSs, there are few definitions are given for VLSs. The working definition of vocabulary learning strategies in this research is adapted from Rubin. Rubin (1987, p. 29) defines lexical strategies as “the process by which information is obtained, stored, retrieved, and used” and “therefore vocabulary learning strategies could be any which affect this broadly-defined process”. Follow this statement closely, Ellis (1999) defines VLSs are “Specific strategies for learning vocabulary”. But it seems that these definitions are still vague for the students and researchers in the field of VLSs. So that, Nation (2001) sorted out that there are 3 categories of strategies: planning, sources, and processes, each covering a subset of strategies. ‘Planning’ involves choosing what and when to focus attention on the vocabulary items. This category contains strategies for choosing words, choosing the aspects of word knowledge, choosing strategies, and planning repetition. ‘Sources’ refers to finding information about words from analyzing the words; context, dictionary. ‘Process’ means establishing lexical knowledge through powerful processes as noticing, retrieving and generating. Two years later, Further, Catalán (2003, p. 56) sees VLSs as “knowledge about the mechanisms (process, strategies) used in order Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 10 to learn vocabulary as well as steps or actions taken by students (a) to find out the meaning of unknown words, (b) to retain them in long-term memory, (c) to recall them at will, and (d) to use them in oral or written mode.” Eventually, in the year of 2011, Asgari and Mustapha gave a definition is considered to be compendious, concise and newest definition of VLSs. Asgari and Mustapha (2011, p.85) defined VLSs as ‘steps taken by the language learners to acquire new English words.” Therefore, it can be said that VLSs are commonly used not only to discover the meanings of unknown words but also to retain them in long-term memory and to recall them at will. In short, in this part, definitions of VLSs were extracted based on the definitions of LLSs and a few brief definitions of some of the recent research. These definitions will provide the foundation for the classifications of the VLS types, and help the researcher to take a futher step in finding out the effective strategies for vocabulary acquisition. 2.3.2. Classifications of vocabulary learning strategies In the world, there are many large and small researches on vocabulary learning strategie. All these strategies spread over various aspects of vocabulary, such as strategies of grammar, semantic meanings, forms, prefix and suffix strategies,…there are also strategies related to human memory process or psychology. Within the limitation of this study, three famous studies about VLSs are brought out to be the framework for the study. Firstly, study of Oxford (1990) refers to VLSs in a fairly comprehensive way, followed by the study based on the Oxford platform of scholar Schmitt (1997). One of the things that made his research famous is that he has added to the Oxford research: strategies of encountering a new word. In 1996, Gu Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 11 and Johnson also were well known for not only having the same ideas about the vocabulary learning strategies two studies but also the outstanding strategies related to human memory processes. Overall, these three studies added to the others to contribute to VLSs of learners. Oxford (1990) proposed “perhaps the most comprehensive classification of language learning strategies to date” (Ellis, 1994:539). Oxford’ taxonomy of language learning strategies is direct strategies and indirect strategies. Direct strategies involve directly and deal with the target language Memory strategies Techniques specially adapted to help learners to store new information and restore it later, such as, grouping, associating or elaborating, placing new words into a context, using imagery, semantic mapping, keywords, representing sounds in memory, reviewing structurely, using physical response or sensation, or using mechanical techniques . And cognitive strategies skills involve manipulation or transformation of the language material in direct ways, for example, repeating, practicing with sounds, recognizing and using formulas and patterns, recombining, practising naturalistically. Compensation strategies Behaviors used to compensate for missing knowledge of some kind like: guessing meaning from context and using synonyms and gestures to convey meaning. Indirect strategies support and manage language learning Metacognitive Strategies Behaviors used for centering, arranging, planning, and evaluating ones’ learning social strategies actions involving other people in the language learning process like: questioning and cooperating with peers. Affective strategies techniques which help learners to gain better control over Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) 12 their emotions, motivation, and attitudes related to language learning, for example, reducing anxiety, self-encouragement and self-reward. Direct Strategies : Memory, Cognitive, and Compensation Strategies Memory Creating strategies Linkages Mental Grouping Associating/elaborating Placing new words into a context Applying images and Using imagery sounds Semantic mapping Using keywords Representing sounds in memory Reviewing well Structured reviewing Employing action Using physical response or sensation Using mechanical techniques Cognitive Practicing strategies Repeating Formally practicing with sounds and writing systems Recognizing Nguyen Phuong Hong-1271A04- (2012- 2016) and using 13
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