Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 11 : 8 August 2011
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.





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Evolving Strategies for Teaching Basic Vocabulary in L2 through Meaningful Input:
An Ethnographic Study with First Generation Learners

Rajakumar Guduru, M.Phil., Ph.D. Scholar


The thesis entitled, “EVOLVING STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING BASIC VOCABULARY IN L2 THROUGH MEANINGFUL INPUT: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY WITH FIRST GENERATION LEARNERS” is an attempt to teach basic vocabulary to the first generation learners. It proposes to evolve vocabulary teaching strategies that are suitable to the level of the learners and to the context in which they are placed. Meaningful input which is culturally familiar and which is readily available in the learners’ immediate context is used in the process of teaching. The present research argues that vocabulary and language skills (LSRW) share a mutually constitutive relationship. In other words, words should not be taught in isolation and out of context; rather, teaching of vocabulary should be built into the teaching of the language skills and in turn focus on skill development while teaching vocabulary would help gain proficiency in a language. As Nation (1993b) rightly puts, vocabulary knowledge enriches language use and language use enhances vocabulary knowledge.

The study hypothesizes that equipping learners with basic vocabulary through various vocabulary teaching strategies would certainly enhance the low-achievers’ comprehension abilities in processing their L2 academic texts. It is further hypothesized that vocabulary will be learnt effectively if taught through meaningful input.

The study is carried out in three phases. Phase one involves identifying the problems that the first generation learners encounter while coping with the demands of learning the L2 with a special focus on vocabulary. This is done through classroom observation and also through interaction with the learners outside school i.e. at home and in their immediate environment. The Dolch Word List (DWL) is selected as suitable to the learners from among the various vocabulary lists available. The second phase concentrates on teaching the vocabulary from the DWL to the learners over a period of time through meaningful input using classroom tasks and communicative situations. Some of the strategies evolved for the purpose of teaching vocabulary are: a) vocabulary through reading; b) vocabulary through exploiting classroom situations; c) vocabulary through authentic materials and classroom tasks; and d) vocabulary through grammar of words. Phase three consists of assessment of learners’ achievement in terms of the vocabulary knowledge that they have gained over a period of 60 instructional sessions. This is done through an end test which has items that tested their improved proficiency in the aspects of meaning and spelling. Learners’ improvement in pronunciation is gauged through interaction in the classroom. And so the test items did not include pronunciation.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Rajakumar Guduru, M.A., M. Phil., Ph. D. ELT. Scholar
C/o. Ms. Nirmala Y. (Ph.D. ELE)
Room A-22, Mahalaqa Bai Chanda Hostel
EFL University
Hyderabad 500 605
Andhra Pradesh

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