The demand of learning for communication is very necessary and vocabulary plays an important role in daily speeches. Lacking of vocabulary can lead to difficulties in communication. Learners cannot master four skills of English if they have a very limited vocabulary. According to a survey of 42 college students, students have problems with learning vocabulary. Another survey of 13 English teachers says that their vocabulary teaching also meets with difficulties. Therefore, this research was designed to find out the difficulties that learners get into when studying vocabulary. From that point, some effective techniques for teaching vocabulary are discussed. Introduction
Rationale for the Research
At the end of an English course in researcher’s language centre, Cao Thang Technical College English Centre, students were asked to take a test of four skills in English. Although they studied grammar very well, they still could not do the test well, especially in speaking and writing sections. I asked some students for the reason. They said that they did not have enough vocabulary to express themselves. The situation still occurred in spite of all my efforts. This problem gives me a desire to investigate the difficulties in studying vocabulary and find out some effective teaching methods. I believe that the study’s results can change the situation of my teaching and my student’s learning. Research Questions
This study seeks answers to the following questions:
What difficulties do students have in studying vocabulary? 2.
How can we teach vocabulary effectively?
Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this research is to gather some problems that students have when they study vocabulary so that I can have a good insight into teaching and learning vocabulary. The research also attempts to give some suitable techniques in the findings. I hope that this research will be useful for teachers who have the same problems. Structure of the Research
There are seven main parts in this research. The first part introduces the rationale of the research, research questions and objectives of the study. The second part shows the context of the research. The third part deals with literature review. The fourth part includes methods and methodology. The fifth part presents data analysis and findings. The sixth part contains reflections. The final part is the conclusion which reviews what the research did, sums up key outcomes and introduces further research.
This research was carried out at Cao Thang Technical College English Centre in district 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Objects of the research are first-year and second-year students who are studying English with pre-intermediate level.
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2006) defines vocabulary all the words that people use to talk about a particular subject (p.1645). How important is vocabulary? Charles Fries (1945) says that no matter if the final desire is only to read the foreign language, the mastery of the fundamentals of the language must be through. That is vocabulary. (p.6). Scott Thornbury (2002) states that English will not improve very much if learners just spend time studying grammar because we can say very little with grammar but can say almost anything with words. Therefore, studying vocabulary is important. (p.13). Swan and Walter (1984) wrote that “vocabulary acquisition is the largest and most important task facing the language learner.” (p.1). What make learning vocabulary difficult? Barry Sesnan (1997) indicates that the differences between pronunciation and spelling in English cause many difficulties in learning the written language. How can we teach vocabulary? Edward Antony (1963) claims that the teacher who concentrates on vocabulary has three important duties. First, he must choose items useful to his student. Second, he must adequately present and explain these items. Third, he must practice these items until their use...
References: Allen, V., F. (1983). Techniques in teaching vocabulary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Antony, E. (1963). Selected Articles from Language Learning . Michigan: The Research Club In Language Learning.
Fries, C. (1945). Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
Swan & Walter (1984). Cambridge English Course . England: Cambridge University Press.
Thornbury, S. (2002). How to Teach Vocabulary. England: Pearson Longman.
Yule, G. (1985). The Study of Language. England: Cambridge University Press.
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