Vocabulary Learning Strategies
There are numerous different classification systems for vocabulary learning strategies. Several common used are listed at the following. Gu and Johnson (1996) developed a classification of vocabulary learning strategies that are beliefs about vocabulary learning, metacognitive regulation, guessing strategies, dictionary strategies, note-taking strategies, memory strategies (rehearsal), memory strategies (encoding) and activation strategies. Schmitt (1997) took advantage of Rebecca Oxford’s (1990, p.14) classification of learning strategies containing memory strategies, cognitive strategies, metacognitive strategies, and social strategies, and the Discover/Consolidation distinctions suggested by Cook and Mayer to propose an extensive taxonomy of vocabulary learning strategies. It can be divided into two classes. Five groups are included in these two classes. I. Strategies are used for the discovery of a new word’s meaning Determination strategies (DET): the strategies are used to discover a new word’s meaning without recourse to another’s expertise when learners don’t know a word. For instance, learners can use a dictionary, analyze any available pictures or gestures or guess meaning from textual context. Social strategies (SOC): the strategies are employed to ask someone who knows. Learners can ask teacher or classmates about information in a variety of ways, such as a synonym, paraphrase, or L1 translation of new word. II. Strategies are used for consolidating a word once it has been encountered Social strategies (SOC): they can also be employed to consolidate learned words by interacting with other people like studying and practicing meaning in a group. Memory strategies (MEM): the strategies (traditionally known as mnemonics) involve connecting the word to be retained with some previously learned knowledge, using some form of imagery, or grouping. A new word can be integrated into many kinds of existing knowledge (i.e. previous experiences or known words) or images can be custom-made for retrieval (i.e. images of the word’s form or meaning attributes). (1) Picture/imagery: Learners study new words with pictures of their meaning instead of definition.
(2) Related words: New words can linked to L2 words that the student already knows. Usually this involves some type of sense relationship, such as coordination (blue – other kinds of color like red, purple or white), synonymy (beautiful-pretty), or antonym (dead-alive). (3) Unrelated words: Learners can also link words together that have no sense relationships. One way of doing this is with “peg” or “hook” words. One first memorizes a rhyme like “one is a bun, two is a shoe, three is a tree etc.” Then an image is created of the word to be remembered is chair, then an image is made of a bun (peg word) resting on a chair. Recitation of the rhyme draws up these images, which in turn prompt the target words. (4) Grouping: It is an important way to aid recall, and people seem to organize words into groups naturally without prompting.
(5) Word’s orthographical or phonological form: It involves focusing on the target word’s orthographical or phonological form to facilitate recall. One can explicitly study the spelling or pronunciation of a word. Other options are to visualize the orthographical form of a word in an attempt to remember it, or to make a mental representation of the sound of a word, perhaps making use of rhyming words. The Keyword Method entails a learner finding a L1 word which sounds like the target L2 word, i.e. the English word cat for the Japanese word katana (sword). Then an image combing the two concepts is created, such as a samurai cat waving a sword. When the L2 word is later heard, the sound similarity invokes the created image which prompts the L2 word’s meaning. (6) Other memory strategies: There are other useful ways of consolidating its meaning, such as analyzing a word’s affixes, root, and word class. One way of...
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