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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Just A Summary

Direct Teaching of Vocabulary After Reading: Is It Worth the Effort?

The current research is experimental study which investigated the effectiveness of direct teaching of new vocabulary items in reading passages. The study compared vocabulary learning under a reading only condition (incidental learning) to learning that is aided by direct communication of word meaning (explicit learning). In this study, incidental learning means learning vocabulary as a by product of any language learning activity, such as reading. Meanwhile, explicit learning is learning vocabulary when the focus is on the words to be learnt.
There are many discussions about which one is the most effective approaches for teaching vocabulary. In fact, teachers prefer to combine both, explicit and incidental learning. For instance, in Saudi Arabia, reading courses incorporate a direct teaching component focusing on new vocabulary items in reading passage.

Previous research
There are some previous researches in which investigated the same topic, such as researches done by Paribakht and Wesche (1997) and Zimmerman (1997). Paribakht and Wesche compared vocabulary learning in reading only condition to learning that occurs through reading plus various types of vocabulary exercises. While Zimmerman studied a group which completed interactive vocabulary exercises after reading is more applicable than reading only group. Then, the different of this study among the previous ones is it test vocabulary knowledge of the form-meaning link at three different levels (meaning recognition, meaning call, and form recall) to find out two research questions:
1.      Is incidental learning plus explicit instruction (Read-Plus) more effective than incidental learning alone (Read-Only)?
2.      To what degree do the Read-Only and Read-Plus input conditions facilitate acquisition of the three level of mastery the form meaning link (form recall, meaning recall, and meaning recognition)?

The Study
In this research there are three parts that will be discussed to found out the result of that research, i.e. participant, material, and procedure.
The participant in this study is forty females who study of UMM Al-Qura University, Makkah. These students were all native speakers of Arabic who started learning English as a school subject at the age of 12 (6-8 years of study).
The material was taken from the students’ ESP reading course book. A 700-word extract was chosen and 20 low-frequency on medical words were selected which occurred only once in passage. After being matched, for difficulty (i.e. part of speech and length), the words were divided between Read-Only and Read-Plus conditions.
There are three kinds of test as the research instrument such as completion (fill-in- the-blanks), translation, and multiple choices (MC).
The procedure of the research as follow:
1.      Pretest. The participants took a translation test as the pretest, one week before the teaching session. The test consists of 60 items which 20 low-frequency and 40 high-frequency words.
2.      Treatment. In this step, the teacher gave the material to the students without announcing the vocabulary test. The students were given specific and general questions to measure their comprehension. In the Read-Plus condition the teachers directly explained the words. Meanwhile in the Read-Only condition does not.
3.      Post-tests. The test conducted for to times. One were administered immediately after the teaching session and another were administered unannounced one week later in order to assess retention of the target words over time (delayed post-tests)
See the following diagram to better understand the procedures:

Read-Plus Condition


Read-Only Condition


Next, the scoring criteria as follow:
Type of test
Complete accurately

1 misspelling in vowel/consonant

Completely wrong
Fully correct answer

Partially correct answer

Totally wrong
Correct answer

No answer or “I don’t know”

Results and Discussion
Based on the result of the test, it is shown that the Read-Only and Read-Plus are directly comparable in which the Read-Plus condition gained higher scores than the Read-Only condition. It is proved by the amount of advantage of the Read-Plus instruction over the Read-Only instruction (effect size) was large for meaning recall (r5) and medium for form recall and meaning recognition (.3< r >.5).
The result answered that incidental learning plus explicit instruction (Read-Plus) are more effective than incidental learning alone (Read-Only). Then, it also showed that direct instruction is especially effective in facilitating the deepest level of knowledge, i.e. form recall.

Pedagogical Implications
The implications of the study are:
1.      Students need to get direct instruction in learning vocabulary to make them having deeper level of vocabulary knowledge.
2.      Language teachers should not neglected the development of word form in vocabulary learning as it may be difficult than learning meaning.
3.      There is positive correlation between the effect of reading and L2 vocabulary gains.
4.      Direct teaching of word meanings in a reading passage is more effective than an in uninstructed vocabulary learning approach in building three levels of the form-meaning link: form recall, meaning recall, and meaning recognition.
5.      Direct teaching of vocabulary during reading is definitely worth the effort.

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