||The Effects of Vocabulary Learning Strategy Instruction on Vocational Senior High School EFL Students’ Vocabulary Acquisition and Retention
||Department of Foreign Languages & Literature (on the job class)
vocabulary learning strategies
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) instruction on vocational senior high school EFL students’ vocabulary acquisition and retention. The performance of students with different English proficiency levels on vocabulary acquisition and retention were also examined. In addition, this study explored the frequencies and types of students’ vocabulary strategy use along with their preference for strategy use.
The present study included 110 participants who were the first graders at a vocational high school located in Tainan County. They took three months of strategy instruction, written assessments, and two questionnaires. The experimental instruction was comprised of two sessions: explicit VLS instruction and successive VLS reviewing. Data collected from written assessments—a pretest, four quizzes, a posttest, and a delayed posttest administered before, during, right after, and three weeks after the instruction—and two questionnaire surveys conducted before and after the instruction were analyzed by using SPSS 17.0, including descriptive statistics, paired samples t-tests, and One-way ANOVA.
The major findings of this study are summarized as follows.
1. VLS instruction enhanced students’ vocabulary acquisition and retention; furthermore, the words that the students considered difficult were consolidated after the strategy instruction.
2. Students with different English proficiency levels differed in performance and retention.
3. In terms of the frequencies and types of students’ vocabulary strategy use, the most frequently used strategies revealed from the questionnaires were “repeating,” “syllabification,” “prefix and suffix analysis,” and “compound word analysis,” and the least frequently used strategies were “placing new words into a context,” “associating/elaborating,” “semantic mapping,” and “using imagery.”
4. The relationship between vocabulary strategy use and vocabulary acquisition was positively correlated.
5. With regard to students’ preference for strategy use, the most preferred and useful strategies received from students’ self reports after the instruction were “syllabification,” “structured review,” and “prefix and suffix analysis” while the least preferred and useless strategies were “using physical response or sensation,” “semantic mapping,” and “using imagery.”
To sum up, the proposed VLS instruction helped EFL learners acquire, consolidate and retain vocabulary with which they used to have difficulties. Also, many of the vocabulary learning strategies were accepted and applied by students in their vocabulary learning. Finally, pedagogical implications and suggestions for future research were provided.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Abstract (Chinese) i
Abstract (English) iii
Table of Contents v
List of Tables x
List of Figures xii
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1
Background of the Study 1
Purpose of the Study 7
Research Questions 8
Significance of the Study 9
Definition of Terms 12
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 17
Language Learning Strategies (LLS) 18
Definitions of LLS 18
Classifications of LLS 22
Vocabulary Learning Strategies (VLS) 25
Definitions of VLS 25
Classifications and Taxonomies of VLS 26
Approaches to L2 Vocabulary Teaching and Learning 29
Individual VLS 32
Previous Studies on VLS 46
Studies on the Use of VLS 47
Studies on the Instruction of VLS 54
CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY 63
Research Setting 63
Instruction Procedures 73
Pretest, Posttest, and Delayed Posttest 78
Quizzes for VLS 81
Data Analysis 85
CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 87
1. The Effectiveness of the VLS Instruction on Students’ Vocabulary Acquisition and Retention
RQ 1-A 91
RQ 1-B 93
RQ 1-C 93
2. The Performance on Vocabulary Acquisition and Retention among Students with Different English Proficiency Levels
RQ 2-A 98
RQ 2-B 101
3. The Frequency and Types of Students’ Vocabulary Strategy Use before and after the VLS Instruction
RQ 3-A 105
RQ 3-B 107
RQ 3-C 109
4. The Relationship between Vocabulary Strategy Use and Vocabulary Acquisition and Retention
RQ 4-A 113
RQ 4-B 115
5. Students’ Self Reports on Strategy Preference and Effectiveness of the Strategies
RQ 5-A 120
RQ 5-B 120
CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS 125
Summary of the Major Findings 125
Discussion of the Findings 128
Limitation of the Study 131
Pedagogical Implications 133
Suggestions for Future Research 135
APPENDIX A: The Consent for the Subjects 157
APPENDIX B: Class Schedule 158
APPENDIX C: Pre-questionnaire 160
APPENDIX D: Post-questionnaire 164
APPENDIX E: Pretest, Posttest, and Delayed Posttest 168
APPENDIX F: Quizzes for VLS 171
F-1: Strategy B Quiz (Quiz 1) 172
F-2: Strategy C Quiz (Quiz 2) 174
F-3: Strategy D Quiz (Quiz 3) 176
F-4: Word List Quiz (Quiz 4) 178
LIST OF TABLES
2.1 Definitions for LLS 19
2.2 Features of Language Learning Strategies 21
2.3 Classification of Vocabulary Learning Strategies 28
2.4 Mnemonic Strategies in Oxford’s and Schmitt’s Taxonomies 40
3.1 A Description for Quizzes and Tests on VLS 69
3.2 An Overview of the Proposed Vocabulary Learning Strategies 73
3.3 The Question Types Designed in the Quizzes 82
4.1 Summary of Respondents’ Demographic Data 90
4.2 Descriptive Statistics on Test Outcome 92
4.3 Comparisons of Students’ Performance on Quizzes and Tests 92
4.4 Descriptive Statistics on Test Outcome within Two Sections in Three Tests
4.5 Comparisons of Test Outcome of Two Sections within Three Tests 96
4.6 Descriptive Statistics on Test Outcome for Three EPL Groups 99
4.7 Comparisons of Three EPL Groups’ Performance on Three Tests 100
4.8 One-Way ANOVA for F Values of Quizzes and Tests among Three
4.9 The Frequencies of Students’ Vocabulary Strategy Use before and after the Instruction for the Top Ten Question Items
4.10 The Frequencies of Students’ Vocabulary Strategy Use before and after the Instruction for the Bottom Six Question Items
4.11 The Most- and Least-used Strategy Categories of Students’ Vocabulary Strategy Use before and after the Instruction for the Top Ten and Bottom Six Question Items
4.12 The Correlations between the Use of Strategy Categories and the Performance on the Three Tests
4.13 The Correlations between the Use of Sub-strategy and the Performance on the Three Tests
4.14 The Preferences for Strategy Use Based on Students’ Self Reports 121
4.15 The Efficacy of Strategy Use Based on Students’ Self Reports 122
LIST OF FIGURES
2.1 Semantic Map 42
3.1 An Overview of the Procedures of Conducting the Study 71
3.2 Instruction Procedures 74
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