Islamic Azad University
A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of M.A in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
The Effect of Reading Comprehension on Three Dimensions of Vocabulary Knowledge
Ehsan Rasaei (PhD)
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یادگیری و آموزش لغات زبان خارجی از دیدگاه اکثر زبان آموزان و معلمان ایرانی مهمترین جنبه یادگیری زبان است. نحوه آموختن و آموزش لغات به طور موثر و کارآمد هنوز یک موضوع بحث برانگیز است. گرچه مطالعات بسیاری در زمینه یادگیری لغات انجام شده است اما مطالعات کمی بر روی یادگیری جنبه های مختلف دانش لغات از طریق خواندن صورت گرفته است. هدف این تحقیق بررسی تأثیر خواندن و درک مفاهیم بر روی یادگیری سه جنبه از دانش لغات از جمله تشخیص فرم لغت، تشخیص معنای لغت و تولید لغت در بین زبان آموزان خارجی می باشد. همچنین این تحقیق به بررسی این موضوع می پردازد که خواندن روی کدام جنبه از دانش لغات بیشترین تأثیر را دارد. جهت انجام تحقیق، دو متن شامل 20 لغت جدید به همراه معانی فارسی آنها بعنوان ابزار جمع آوری اطلاعات مورد استفاده قرار گرفت تا دانش لغات زبان آموزان سنجیده شود. شرکت کنندگان در تحقیق حاضر شامل 40 زبان آموز مذکر ایرانی سطح متوسط در آموزشگاهی در شهر شیراز بودند. از شرکت کنندگان خواسته شد متن ها را خوانده و به چند سوال درک مطلب پاسخ داده و بلافاصله پس از خواندن متن و پس از گذشت دو هفته، دانش لغات آنها توسط سه تست تشخیص فرم لغت، تشخیص معنای لغت و تولید لغت مورد بررسی قرار گرفت.
نتایج بدست آمده توسط آزمون آماری تحلیل واریانس بیانگر این است که خواندن و درک مفاهیم بر روی هر سه جنبه از دانش لغات هم در کوتاه مدت وهم در بلند مدت مؤثر بوده است. همچنین نتایج حاکی از آن است که در کوتاه مدت تأثیر خواندن و درک مفاهیم بر روی تشخیص معنای لغت بیشتر از تشخیص فرم و تولید لغت می باشد و در بلند مدت تأثیر خواندن و درک مفاهیم بر روی تشخیص فرم لغت بیشتر از دو جنبه دیگر است.
واژگان کلیدی: فراگیران زبان انگلیسی بعنوان زبان خارجه، خواندن و درک مفاهیم، دانش لغات، تشخیص فرم لغت، تشخیص معنای لغت، تولید لغت
Foreign language vocabulary learning and teaching is considered as a major aspect of L2 acquisition by both learners and teachers. It is still a contentious issue how learners acquire vocabulary effectively and efficiently or how it can best be taught. Although much research has been done to examine how vocabulary is learned by English as Foreign Language learners (EFL), few studies have examined how different dimensions of vocabulary knowledge are learned through reading a text. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of reading comprehension on three dimensions of vocabulary knowledge, namely form recognition, meaning recognition and production among EFL learners. Furthermore, it investigates which dimension of vocabulary knowledge benefits most from reading comprehension. To conduct the study, two reading texts included 20 target words with their Persian translation were employed as data collection instruments to measure the participants’ vocabulary knowledge. The participants were 40 Iranian male intermediate EFL learners at a language institute in Shiraz. They were asked to read the texts and answer a number of comprehension questions. Their vocabulary knowledge was examined immediately after reading the texts and two weeks later by three tests of form recognition, meaning recognition and production.
One-way repeated measure ANOVA was employed to examine the differential effects of reading a text on different dimensions of vocabulary knowledge. The results indicated that reading comprehension has statistical effects on the acquisition of three dimensions of vocabulary knowledge in both short and long term retention. It also indicated that in short term retention, reading comprehension promoted the acquisition of meaning recognition knowledge more than the form recognition and production in the post-test. However, with regard to long term retention, the findings revealed that reading comprehension promoted the acquisition of form recognition knowledge more than the other two dimensions of vocabulary knowledge.
Key words: EFL learners, reading comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, form recognition, meaning recognition, production
This chapter is concerned with an introduction of the study, statement of the problem, significance of the study, purpose of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, and definition of the key terms.
Vocabulary is one of the significant aspects of language, which plays a great role in L2 learning. As noted by Swan and Walter (1984) vocabulary acquisition is the largest and the most significant task that language learners face.
Furthermore, vocabulary acquisition is crucial for the acquisition of skills: reading, writing, and listening. Without enough vocabulary, listening, reading comprehension, writing and speaking are inefficient. Besides, as noted by Wilson (1986) without grammar very little can be conveyed; without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed. Thus, vocabulary learning is an essential part of language learning. Learning words can be considered as the most important aspect of second language acquisition (Knight, 1994).
Learners, who recognize the communicative power of vocabulary, might reasonably aim to acquire a working knowledge of a large number of words – the more words they have, the more precisely they can express the exact meanings they want to.
Rubin and Thompson (1994) found that vocabulary learning is the heart of mastering a foreign language, since one cannot speak, understand, read, or write a foreign language without knowing many words. In many countries, there are many EFL students who have never had the opportunity to converse with any native speakers even though they have access to different types of materials written in the English language. Therefore, the need for reading and extracting information from these texts seems to be vital. As noted by Sofiyatun (2009), “The success of learning any subject matter depends on the competence of reading comprehension” (P.2). By reading books, magazines, newspapers, and bulletins, people can gain a lot of information. Therefore, it can be assumed that the success of obtaining information depends on the reading itself.
One common belief among first language (L1) researchers is that most of words acquired by children during the process of first language acquisition are acquired incidentally in that words are learned when the child’s attention is focused on an on-going task (e.g., talking to his/her parents or reading or listening to a story) rather than specific lexical items. Specifically, the most common task through which children expand their vocabulary knowledge is reading comprehension (Anderson et al., 1988; Nagy, 1988). For instance, Anderson et al. (1988) claim that, during primary and secondary school years, when children acquire literacy knowledge, they usually read about one million words per year and therefore it would be probable that reading activities are a more important source of L1 vocabulary acquisition than other language skills, particularly the listening skill.
Up to the 1980s, grammar was the central study area for second language acquisition research. However, in the last three decades, vocabulary has become a major focus of linguistic works or, to quote Meara (1995), “has mushroomed enormously” (p.11), even being at the heart of theories such as the Lexical Learning Hypothesis. According to Malvern et al. (2008), “vocabulary knowledge is indispensable to acquire grammar” (p.270).
The heightened interest in L2 vocabulary over the last two or three decades has brought with it a number of suggestions of how vocabulary knowledge should be modeled. It has long been accepted that vocabulary knowledge is instrumental in reading comprehension (Alderson, 2000; Anderson & Freebody, 1981; Mezynski, 1983; Read, 2000).
Indeed, although sometimes L2 learners need only partial knowledge of a word in comprehension, more lexical knowledge is obviously desirable in many situations. Over the years, lexical researchers have developed various criteria for understanding what is involved in knowing a word. An early definition (Cronbach, 1942) divided vocabulary knowledge in to two main categories: knowledge of word meaning (generalization, breadth of meaning, and precision of meaning) and levels of accessibility to this knowledge (availability and application).The obvious weakness in this definition is the lack of a place for other aspects of lexical knowledge, such as spelling, pronunciation, morpho syntactic properties, and collocation. Later on, Richards (1976) offered the following assumptions concerning what is involved in knowing a word: frequency, register, syntax, derivation, association, semantic features, and polysemy. These assumptions of lexical knowledge are more inclusive than Cronbach’s framework, because Richards not only incorporated morphological and syntactic properties into the concept but also considered such aspects as word frequency and register characteristics. However, pronunciation, spelling, and collocation seem to be some obvious missing aspects in the framework.
1.2. Purpose of the Study
This study focuses on two important aspects of language, namely vocabulary and reading comprehension.
More specifically, the present study aims to investigate the effects of reading comprehension on three dimensions of L2 vocabulary knowledge. The three dimensions of vocabulary knowledge which are investigated in the current study are form recognition, meaning recognition and production.
تعداد صفحه : 100
قیمت : 14700 تومان