An Action Research-Based Report Addressing Lexical Item Listing in the Sixth Grade Korean EFL Curriculum

| July 30, 2012
An Action Research-Based Report Addressing Lexical Item Listing in the Sixth Grade Korean EFL Curriculum

Keywords: Thematic Listing, Action Research, Korean Elementary EFL,Textbook/Curriculum Analysis, Collaborative Material Construction

Joseph P. Vitta
Queens University Belfast

Joseph P. Vitta (MA in TESOL) has been an EFL/ESL instructor since
2004. He has worked in Tokyo, New York City and Seoul in positions
ranging from that of a public school teacher to a university instructor. He is
currently pursuing an Ed.D. from Queens University Belfast. His interests
include testing and assessment, CALL, the lexical approach and student-
centered learning. Mr. Vitta may be contacted at and
encourages interested parties to message him.

This thesis submitted to
The Graduate School of TESOL Sookmyung Women s University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of master.
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Stephen P. van Vlack

This paper is a report which follows an action research paradigmatic approach where I address an issue with lexical item presentation that I perceived in the Korean elementary EFL context having been a native- English speaking teacher or NEST from August 2007 to August 2011. There are three stages to this report. In the first stage, I use a textbook analysis process to examine how words and phrases are listed and identify lexical listing problems within the curriculum and its textbook. After identifying these shortcomings, I design a treatment to address the issue, using the collaborative methods prescribed by action research (Nunan & Bailey, 2002). This treatment design occurs over stages two and three and sees supplementary vocabulary lists created and refined. In undertaking this project, I hope to make a contribution to improving how vocabulary is listed within the Korean elementary school curriculum.
During each of the three stages, results and data are presented, reported and analyzed. The first stage, a qualitative textbook analysis found that semantic listing is mostly employed by the 6th grade curriculum (77.8%) while no thematic listing was observed. Furthermore, it has been discovered that there is only a one function to one form relationship when it comes to speech acts (Austin, 1962), and that the overall presentation was not extensive enough. During stages 2 and 3, focus group research occurred where I worked with other teachers to create thematic lists which relevant theoretical perspectives argue is better at promoting long-term productive retention (Tinkham, 1997; Waring, 1997). These new lists also include variation in terms of presenting different phrases performing the same commutative speech act to promote better communicability (Riggenbach, 1999) and were extensive in terms of presentation of the appropriate amount of lexical items to support basic communicability (Nation, 1997).

Category: Thesis