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Experimental Study On The Effect Of Word Association Strategies Training On English Vocabulary Retention

Posted on:2014-11-15Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:F E XiangFull Text:PDF
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Vocabulary plays a crucial role in the second language teaching and learning.The importance of vocabulary in a language system strongly suggests that in teachinga foreign language it is necessary to put vocabulary in a focal place. However, thepresent situation of vocabulary teaching and learning in the English classroom insenior high school is far from satisfaction. Most students complained that memorizingvocabulary is not only time-consuming but also boring. They always memorize newwords by rote repetition and then forget them soon. In order to improve word learningeffects, help students learn words better and acquire word learning strategies, theauthor conducted an experimental study based on theories from the perspective ofpsycholinguistics, cognitive psychology, lexical semantics.This paper employed both quantitative and qualitative analysis of the datacollected with a questionnaire and vocabulary tests, exploring the effects of wordassociation strategies on English vocabulary retention. In this study, two questions hadbeen put forward:(1) Does word association help students convert short term memory of English wordsinto long term memory effectively?(2) Will word association strategies training lead to the changes of the subjects’vocabulary learning strategies?100students of Senior One in two classes in Longchuan County ExperimentalHigh School were chosen as the subjects in this study. The Vocabulary Levels Testdeveloped by Schmitt et al.(2001) was employed to measure the learners’ receptivevocabulary size in the pre-test.10words were selected for the training of wordassociation strategies. In the vocabulary learning class, students in the ExperimentalClass were trained to use the method of word association to memorize new words,while in the Control Class students were required to recite the target words afterinforming them of the spelling, meaning, synonyms, antonyms or collocations ofthose words. During the experiment, all the students were asked to take the immediate-test soon after they finished memorizing the target words. And they alsotook the delayed-tests two weeks after they finished learning each unit. Meanwhile, inorder to find out whether word association strategies will lead to the change ofstudents’ vocabulary learning strategies, the participants in both CC and EC took aquestionnaire survey before and after the experiment. After19weeks training, all thedata were processed using the Statistical Package for the Social Science l3.0. Thedata of the pre-tests, immediate-tests and delayed-tests were all analyzed withindependent samples t-test. The data of the questionnaire were analyzed withpercentage method.The results showed that there was significant difference between the ControlClass and the Experimental Class in the10delayed-tests. The students’ scores inExperimental Class were much higher than those in Control Class. What’s more, afterthe training, students in Experimental Class preferred to use other methods rather thanthe traditional ways to memorize words. From the findings, we can draw theconclusion that (1) Word association help students convert short term memory ofEnglish words into long term memory effectively.(2) Word association strategiestraining leads to the changes of the subjects’ vocabulary learning strategies. Thisresearch indicates that word association strategies are useful in vocabulary learning. Itwill not only improve the learner’s vocabulary retention but also help the studentsrealize the importance of vocabulary learning strategies. In light of the research resultsand the training process, we have the following pedagogical implications: First, it is ofgreat importance to cultivate the students’ awareness of using vocabulary learningstrategies. Second, it is necessary for the teachers to give some instructions to thestudents on vocabulary learning methods. Third, teachers should be patient whiletraining the students to learn to use proper vocabulary learning strategies. Finally,vocabulary learning should follow the rules of forgetting.
Keywords/Search Tags:word association strategies, rote retention, word association strategiestraining, the rules of forgetting
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