Vocabulary represents one of most of import accomplishments necessary for learning and larning a foreign linguistic communication. It is the footing for the development of all the other accomplishments: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, speech production, composing, spelling and pronunciation. Vocabulary is the chief tool for the pupils in their effort to utilize English efficaciously. When confronted with a native English talker, when watching a film without caption or when listening to a favourite English vocal, when reading a text or when composing a missive to a friend, pupils will ever necessitate to run with words. In what follows, the focal point of this introductory chapter will be on why vocabulary is of import, on what makes words hard, on the chief grounds for which pupils frequently forget the words they learn and on some techniques which help them retrieve the vocabulary.
Why is Vocabulary Important?
Talking about the importance of vocabulary, the linguist David Wilkins argued that: “ without grammar small can be conveyed, without vocabulary nil can be conveyed. ” Indeed, people need to utilize words in order to show themselves in any linguistic communication. Most scholars, excessively, acknowledge the importance of vocabulary acquisition. In my experience as a instructor, I noticed the fact that pupils normally find it hard to talk English fluently. They normally consider talking and composing activities wash uping because they keep on utilizing the same looks and words and really shortly their conversation is suddenly interrupted due to losing words. And the chief ground for such communicating jobs is the deficiency of vocabulary. Other pupils are confronted with the job of burying the words instantly after the instructor has elicited their significance or after they have looked them in the lexicon, and this besides a cause of the deficiency of vocabulary. The more words pupils learn, the easier they memorize them.
The instructor has an indispensable function in assisting pupils to better their vocabulary. Unfortunately, vocabulary instruction has non been plenty antiphonal to such jobs, and instructors have non recognized the enormous importance of assisting their pupils to develop an extended vocabulary. If we look back in the past, we discover that for a long clip, English used learning attacks such as Direct Method and Audiolingualism which emphasized the primary importance of learning grammatical constructions. Since the speech pattern was on grammar, few words were introduced in such classs and most frequently, they were limited and related to the grammar structures taught.
By the beginning of 1970s, there was a major alteration in learning English. The focal point turned from the Direct Method and Audiolingualism to the Communicative Approach which emphasized the importance of learning vocabulary. Students were exposed to diverse vocabulary and speaking activities. Many words began being introduced during such classs and pupils were encouraged to show themselves every bit much as possible.
Nowadays, there is more freedom in taking the methods to be used during English categories. The English course of study is organized around both vocabulary and grammar constructions. Since there is a certain figure of categories allotted for each point in the course of study, instructors normally have the necessary clip to take a firm stand on instruction and rehearsing vocabulary. Vocabulary is no longer treated as an add-on and teachers become more cognizant of the importance of vocabulary and attending is paid to the grammar of words, to collocations and to word frequence. Nevertheless, pupils still have troubles in showing themselves fluently and still see talking undertakings wash uping.
What Makes English Vocabulary Difficult
In English, like in any other foreign linguistic communication, some words are easier to larn than others. Easiest of all are the words more or less indistinguishable to the pupils ‘ native linguistic communication, like, for case, the word “ vocabulary. ” However, pupils might be trapped in their assurance with which they memorize such indistinguishable words, since English has a list of some debatable words, called “ false friends ” . These false friends are words indistinguishable in signifier to certain Rumanian words, but wholly different in significance. An illustration of this would be “ reasonable. ” While many pupils might confidently interpret this word merely “ sensibil, ” they will be astonished to happen out that, the Rumanian equivalent for “ reasonable ” is in fact “ rational, ” while the English equivalent for “ sensibil ” is “ sensitive. ” This demonstrates the important importance of assigning a particular lesson for these false friends and of encouraging pupils to rehearse them every bit frequently as possible.
Another facet that makes English vocabulary hard is the pronunciation of certain words. Research shows that words that are hard to articulate are more hard to larn. Many scholars find that words with bunchs of consonants such as “ wellness ” or “ chip ” are debatable. Length or complexness of the words is another feature of the trouble of English vocabulary. A long word will be more hard to memorise than a short 1. Besides, variable emphasis of words such as “ necessary ” and “ necessity ” can add to their trouble. The significance of the words is another controversial characteristic of the English vocabulary. When two words overlap in significance, pupils are likely to confound them. An illustration in this instance would be the difference between “ do ” and “ do. ” These words have the same significance, but are used in different looks. You “ do a determination ” , but you “ do prep. ” Students might happen the usage of these two words confounding.
Main Reasons Why Students Forget the Vocabulary Acquired
It is of import that instructors insist on the pattern of vocabulary because with all their best will, pupils forget the words they learn. Jeremy Harmer identifies two chief grounds that cause forgetting: intervention from subsequent acquisition and deficient recycling. Most instructors are cognizant of the fact that presenting a new vocabulary may connote burying the old 1. This happens most often when words are taught that are really similar to the 1s late acquired because, harmonizing to Harmer, the new words have the consequence of “ overwriting ” the antecedently learnt stuff. This is the ground why instructors should avoid learning lexical sets incorporating words that have similar significances to the antecedently 1s.
The 2nd cause that triggers burying is deficient recycling of the vocabulary acquired. Research shows that frequent reappraisal of learnt stuff can dramatically cut down the rate of burying. However, it is non plenty to merely reiterate words and to reencounter them in their original context. What truly helps is to recycle the words in different ways and at equal degrees of deepness. Research argues that if scholars use or encounter the words in a different manner from that in which they foremost met them, so better acquisition is likely to be achieved. Another of import facet when recycling certain words is for pupils to do certain that they truly understand the significance and the usage of those words. Students might besides seek to use the new words to their existent life events or activities.
Techniques for Memorizing Vocabulary
In order to be able to hold a rich vocabulary, non merely do pupils necessitate to larn as many words as possible, but they besides need to retrieve them because, in fact, acquisition is retrieving. Unlike grammar acquisition which is based on a system of regulations, vocabulary cognition implies roll uping single points. It is a learning procedure that relies chiefly on memory.
Learners are different in footings of how easy they memorize vocabulary. Harmonizing to Jeremy Harmer, research workers into the sphere of memory distinguish three types of memory: short-run shop, working memory, and long-run memory. The short-run shop is “ the encephalon ‘s capacity to keep a limited figure of information points for periods of clip up to a few seconds ” ( Harmer 23 ) . Therefore, it is the sort of memory that does non assist pupils excessively much in their effort to larn vocabulary points, because successful vocabulary larning involves something more than merely keeping words in your memory for some seconds. The working memory focal points on keeping words long plenty in your memory so that to be able to run with them. It is the sort of memory that relies on concluding and logic. Therefore, if a pupil comes across a new word such as “ to admit ” which means “ a recunoaste meritul cuiva ” , he will be able to easy memorise it by comparing it with another word from his long-run memory, for illustration, “ cognition ” intending “ cunoastere. ” Using such an association will surely assist pupils maintaining words in their memory for longer periods of clip. Finally, the long-run shop is the most trusty sort of memory. Unlike the working memory which has a limited capacity of keeping words in the encephalon, the long-run memory has a enormous capacity and its contents are lasting over clip. However, the fact that pupils forget vocabulary from one lesson to another, demonstrates the fact that it is non plenty to hold a long-run memory. It implies pupils ‘ attempts and instructors ‘ witty techniques when acquisition and learning vocabulary. The great challenge for linguistic communication scholars and instructors is to transform the stuff from rapidly forgotten to the ne’er forgotten.
It has been designed a figure of techniques meant to assist scholars expeditiously memorize words and to assist instructors make the procedure of larning easier for their pupils. Repetition is an of import technique in larning vocabulary. In order for the words to be kept every bit long as possible in the memory, it is necessary that they be repeated at frequent periods of clip. However, repeat entirely will non be effectual. It must be accompanied by the apprehension of the significance of those peculiar words and by correlativity with other similar already learnt words.
Another of import technique is utilizing the freshly learn words. In this instance, the instructors ‘ function is besides valuable. In the schoolroom, instructors should take a firm stand on pracising the intelligence vocabulary by promoting pupils to talk every bit much as possible and by planing vocabulary-centered activities and games. At place, pupils need to be motivated to separately maintain on utilizing the new words until they are stored in the long-run memory.
Rehearsing vocabulary is strongly connected to using vocabulary to pupils ‘ existent life events. Learners will get vocabulary easy if they practise it by tie ining words with events from their day-to-day life. Sing that pupils are presented a new word list related to the subject entitled “ traveling. ” Learners will successfully memorise the word list by making a existent life event, for case “ traveling to Italy ” and so executing a state of affairs in which all the words can be included. This can be done in schoolroom every bit good as at place and will surely entertain pupils and have positive consequences.
Another witty technique to be taken into consideration when both acquisition and learning vocabulary is imaging. Students will easy larn new words if they are taught to tie in them with their image. If, for illustration, pupils associate “ travel bureau ” with the image of the peculiar edifice where we go to inquire information about traveling, they are likely to maintain that word in their head for longer clip. Therefore, it is highly of import for the pupils to visualise the words they must larn. This will assist the acquisition procedure and will maintain the words in the long-run memory.
In decision, vocabulary is the most needed accomplishment when larning a foreign linguistic communication. It is on vocabulary that all the other accomplishments, reading, composing, speech production, and listening are based and developed. This chapter has shown why it is of import to larn new words and why English vocabulary is hard to memorise. Furthermore, it dealt with two chief grounds for which most of the pupils for good forget the words acquired. And eventually, it has suggested methods and techniques that help to understand the new vocabulary by utilizing the working memory and to reassign it in the long-run memory.