Vocabulary Recollection through Games

Topics: Language, Second language acquisition, Teaching English as a foreign language Pages: 23 (5952 words) Published: December 1, 2013
ISSN 1799-2591
Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 257-264, February 2012 © 2012 ACADEMY PUBLISHER Manufactured in Finland.

Vocabulary Recollection through Games
Luu Trong Tuan
National University of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Email: luutrongtuan@vnn.vn
Abstract—This research sought to examine whether games influence young learners’ vocabulary recollection in Way Ahead classes at Ngoi Nha Thong Thai Elementary School (The House of Wisdom Elementary School), Vietnam. Two classes were randomly selected as experimental group and control group. The experimental group was exposed to games in recollecting vocabularywhereas the control group involved in exercises without games. The independent samples t-test was implemented to compare the mean scores of the pretest and two posttests. The results of the pretest and two posttests indicate that the experimental group surpassed the control one in recollecting vocabulary during the immediate retention stage and the delayed retention stage. Index Terms—vocabulary recollection, vocabulary teaching, games, EFL

“If language structure makes up the skeleton of language, then it is vocabulary that provides the vital organs and flesh,” (Hammer, 1991, p. 153). Thus, the magnitude of vocabulary teaching and learning is never too far to be highlighted. For young learners, perhaps it is less difficult to learn vocabulary items for the first time than to consolidate and remember them. We often hear young learners complain that they keep learning and forgetting. When English language young learners are acquiring new vocabulary, they need concrete methods to collect, store, and retrieve words for retention and future use. Therefore, it is necessary to find out effective methods to help young learners retain new words in long-term memory. The aim of this research is to examine if implementation of games can be an effective method to reinforce vocabulary recollection. The research question guiding this research is: Is there a difference between the game group (i.e. the experimental group) and the the control group in the recollection of vocabulary during (a) the immediate retention stage and (b) the delayed retention stage? II. LITERATURE REVIEW

A. Vocabulary Teaching
A focus on vocabulary recollection
Memory is crucial in vocabulary learning and the benefits of revision and repetition have been clearly demonstrated in studies of vocabulary learning (O’Dell, 1997, p. 276). According to Rubin (1987, p. 29), learning is the process by which information is obtained, stored, retrieved, and used”. The word “use” can mean “interactional communication” and “vocabulary practice” (Schmitt, 1997, p. 203). Therefore, the teacher needs to provide initial encoding of new words and then “subsequent retrieved experiences” (Rubin, 1987, p. 29). Similarly, research suggests that if learners see or use a word in a way different from the way they first met it, then better learning is achieved. Schmitt (2000, p. 116) also states that the amount of exposure can affect second language vocabulary acquisition. In fact, research in vocabulary acquisition by Nation (1990) reveals that students require at least five to sixteen exposures to a new word before learning it. Also, Bunch (2009, para.1) points out that English language learners will benefit from a variety of activities aimed at increasing exposure to key vocabulary.

Besides, vocabulary acquisition is related to the effect of repetition on learning (Laufer, 1997, pp. 140-142). It can be said that repetition is one of the most effective ways to learn new words. Similarly, according to Carter and McCarthy (1988, p. 67), new words are forgotten if they are not recycled in some way and make it into our long-term memory. In order to learn vocabulary, words have to be recycled numerous times. In fact, providing incidental encounters with words is one method to facilitate vocabulary...

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