An Undergraduate Thesis Presented to the
Department of English
Institute of Arts and Sciences
Far Eastern University
1.1 Background of the Study
Aside from a perfect grammar, English majors are expected to have a wider range of vocabulary as compared with other students in the university since it is their field of study. This is manifested when a student, a non-English Major, would seek help from an English Major about meanings of words or an alternative for a certain word or expression.
However, it is with uncertainty that English Majors could meet with these expectations especially with the matter of a broad vocabulary. As English Majors themselves, the researchers have noticed deficiency of vocabulary instruction in the English Program. Often times would they notice English Majors having difficulty in expressing themselves, in both speaking and writing, properly because of a deficient productive vocabulary.
Neglect in vocabulary instruction is not only present in the university; it is rather an existing problem in ESL/EFL instruction worldwide. The apparent neglect of vocabulary reflects the effects of trends in linguistics theory, since within linguistics the word has only recently become a candidate for serious theorizing and model building (Anthony, 1975 and Leech, 1974).
This neglect in vocabulary expansion is manifested at the beginning stages of second language instruction. The audio-lingual view and grammar-translation method, both methods which are practiced widely throughout the nation, place much more emphasis on the structural signals and grammatical patterns of the language rather than on vocabulary. According to Judd (1978, p. 75), vocabulary instruction should not be delayed and that ESL teachers should begin vocabulary instruction as soon as possible and consider word use a vital skill...