top-rated free essay

Difficulties in Teaching Vocabulary

By omarhassan Dec 17, 2010 671 Words
Every language has its trouble spots, so does English. Learning the words of a foreign language is not an easy business since every word has its form, meaning, and usage and each of these aspects of the word may have its difficulties. Indeed, some English words are difficult in form (daughter, busy, bury ,woman , women ) and easy in usage; other words are easy in form (enter, get, happen) and difficult in usage.

Consequently, words may be classified according to the difficulties students find in assimilation(إستيعاب). The analysis of the words within the foreign language allows us to distinguish the following groups of words: concrete, abstract, and structural.

Ch. Fries in his book "The structure of English" distinguished four types of words according to the function in the sentences and their combinability with other words: 1. Function words, ex. "do" signaling(مشيرا إلى) question 2. Substitute words, he, she, they etc.

3. Grammatically distributed words "some", "any"...
4. Content words

The number of words in the first three groups is rather small, say 200 in round numbers in English. The forth group, content words, constitutes the bulk of the language vocabulary.

Two further distinctions in vocabulary are required to complete our model. We need to distinguish between a common core vocabulary known to all the members of a language community and specialized vocabularies, known only to special groups. We are of course primarily interested in the common core vocabulary. The other distinction according to C. Friese is that between vocabulary for production and vocabulary for recognition. As a rule, our reception of vocabulary is much larger than our production of vocabulary.

Words denoting concrete things (book, street, sky), actions (walk, dance, read), and qualities (long, big, good) are easier to learn than words denoting abstract notions (world, home, believe, promise, honest). Structural words are the most difficult for Russian speaking pupils. In teaching pupils a foreign language the teacher should bear this in mind when preparing for the vocabulary work during the lesson.

Difficulties in teaching vocabulary are determined not only by linguistic factors, but also by psychological and methodological ones. An experimental study was made to test the retention of two types of words. (a) Words that have to be inferred.

(b) Words glossed in a text in TEXTFUN, an interactive program on the Internet for the practice of reading skills for academic purposes.

The results show that remembrance of the inferred words was much higher than that of the glossed words. Experiments on vocabulary showed that students remember best when they have actually done something with the words they are learning. Students must not just repeat words, they must be involved into some kind of activity, discovery technique and so on.

-- Methods and approaches of teaching vocabulary at university Methodology of vocabulary teaching /learning has undergone a lot of many changes in the course of FLT development.

In the period when the grammar translation method was used, vocabulary was taught by means of translation when students were given lists of words with their translation to be learned (crammed): in audio- lingual method teaching vocabulary was also tuned up to grammar and words were presented and learned in structures.

Nowadays in the communicative cognitive approach vocabulary competence is very important for communication in a FL. It is impossible to read, write, speak or listen without knowledge of vocabulary.

Practice and theory of FL shows that the importance of teaching/learning vocabulary can hardly be overvalued. When the students are faced with an unfamiliar text in the foreign language, the first challenge to the teacher seems to be its vocabulary. When the text has many new words, students are in despair and seem to be discouraged. The connection between vocabulary knowledge and success in reading comprehension tests has been shown in many studies.

When the vocabulary of the text is more familiar, students are more likely to continue with the reading task. There are many methods teachers use to teach vocabulary or to encourage vocabulary self-learning by their students.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Teaching Vocabulary

    ...There are a number of factors that affect the success of English Language Teaching (ELT). One of the factors is teacher. Teacher can determine whether or not other factors can work well. English language learners who have low motivation to learn English can be made more interested in English classrooms because of the way good English teachers in...

    Read More
  • Teaching Vocabulary

    ...TEACHING VOCABULARY ON THE TOPIC ENVIRONMENT Contents Introduction p. 3-4 Part 1. General Principles in Teaching Vocabulary p. 5 1.1. What need to be taught p. 5 1.2. Criteria for selecting and vocabulary exercises p. 1.3. Receptive and productive p. 1.4. Grouping of items of vocabulary p. 1.5. The amount of items to ...

    Read More
  • Vocabulary Teaching

    ...College of Education Teaching Vocabulary / Prof. Penny Ur Final Assignment: Vocabulary activities analysis Merav Malinker ID: 031764236 First Activity the below activity was taken from HTTP://STRAUSSPUBLISHING.COM/SAMPLELESSON.HTML [pic] Although it is suggested on-line, I ref...

    Read More
  • teaching vocabulary via SMS

    ...have changed the way teaching and learning processes are being conducted. Among the ICT tools mobile phones are the mostly owned and used among the people. Learning through mobile phones is termed as mobile learning or M- learning. Mobile phones have a potential of improving the teaching and learning processes, as the tools are cheap compared to...

    Read More
  • teaching vocabulary

    ...Marzano’s Six Step Process Teaching Academic Vocabulary 1. Provide a description, explanation, or example of the new term. (Include a non-linguistic representation of the term for ESL kids.) 2. Ask students to restate the description, explanation, or example in their own words. (Allow students whose primary existing knowledge base is st...

    Read More
  • On Assessing Vocabulary Learning and Teaching

    ...ON Assessing Vocabulary Learning and Teaching Ahmed Qadoury Abed Assistant Lecturer University of Wassit College of Education, Department of English Abstract Vocabulary knowledge is fundamental; students cannot understand a text without knowing what most of the words means. Lack of adequate vocabulary knowledge is already an obvious and ser...

    Read More
  • Teaching Problems

    ...as any other teachers, encounter various professional problems concerning lesson planning, class management, student motivation, coping with unpredicted issues, and numerous other problems. There are many specific problems that usually only foreign language teachers meet, e.g. the usage of the mother tongue during the lessons etc. Student motiv...

    Read More
  • Teaching Vocabulary to Young English Learners

    ...Teaching English vocabulary to young learners A crucial component of learning a foreign language is the acquisition of vocabulary. For young learners, the very first words that they acquire could lay the profound basis for a better later learning of the children. This study is intended to investigate the specific application of techniq...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.