A Comparison of the Effects of two Vocabulary Teaching Techniques

| June 26, 2008
A Comparison of the Effects of two Vocabulary Teaching Techniques

Keywords: Contextualizing, decontextualizing, rote memorization, sentence-making

Saeed Mehrpour
Shiraz University, Iran

Bio Data
Saeed Mehrpour is an assistant professor of TEFL at the Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics of Shiraz University, Iran. He teaches specialized courses such as language teaching methodology, linguistics, language testing, research methods, phonology, and sociolinguistics to both BA and MA students of English as a Foreign Language. He is interested in and conducts research in areas such as reading comprehension, vocabulary learning, sociolinguistics, and discourse analysis.

The present study was conducted to compare the impacts of two vocabulary teaching techniques (a contextualizing technique and a decontextualizing technique) on vocabulary learning of a low proficiency group of Iranian learners of English as a foreign language (N=50), who were divided into an experimental group and a control group. In the experimental group, the students were taught to learn new English words by memorizing word lists associated with their Persian meanings (a decontextualizing technique) and having a lot of inside-and-outside-of-the-class practice. In the control group, the students were taught to learn the new English words by just making either spoken or written sentences using them (a contextualizing technique). The data were collected using two types of tests: a rote memorization test and a sentence-making test, which were administered to both groups. The results of the study revealed that the students receiving treatment in the experimental group outperformed those in the control group quite significantly on a vocabulary memorization test. The experimental group also had a better performance on a sentence-making test than the control group though the difference was not statistically significant. Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that rote memorization of word-lists can work better than sentence-making practice, especially for Iranian learners of English at low levels of proficiency.

See page 192-209

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 10 Issue 2