The Representation of the Effective Method to Acquire English Vocabulary in EFL
- The aim of this study is to explore which kind of ways are effective to easily acquire English vocabulary for EFL leaners. In Japan, many teachers teach their students new English words with a traditional way, which uses flash cards and textbooks based on paper material, especially at many junior high schools. On the other hand, students in high school learn new English words by using a vocabulary book. They no longer study English vocabulary with teacher’s help. Recent years however, the internet system has greatly improved and there are many self-learning app which use through electronic devices. In actual, many high school students come to have their own smartphone in general and always bring it even they go somewhere. That’s why they can learn English words easily and efficient if they learn English vocabulary with their mobile device. I consider that it leads to their motivation to keep learning vocabulary.
- This study is significant because it might help many English learners who have a difficulty of remembering English words. High school students especially tend to face such a situation due to passing the entrance examination. They need to remember as many English words as possible in the limited time. If they use some effective strategies than general methods – for example, remembering English words by writing them many times or simply use of a vocabulary book by just speaking aloud and looking at, they can remember more and more English words. It also helps them to easily understand English contexts in daily conversation, reading, and listening as English contexts are basically consisted of grammar and English words. Consequently, I consider that English learners will improve through leaning English vocabulary with some effective strategies.
- The way of leaning English vocabulary in Japanese EFL contexts
High school students are learning English words by using vocabulary textbook such as TARGET1900, Sokudoku-eitango, System-eitango, Duo series and so on. And the school English teachers usually get their students buy school’s determined English vocabulary textbooks. The teachers teach vocabulary thorough the books in classes with the CDs or get them practice pronunciation of the words. Otherwise teachers say to the students that you should study some English words because you have a short vocabulary exam, and students learn English words for themselves. In addition, teachers confirm new English words appearing a textbook every classes. Before the class, students need to check the words with their dictionaries.
When the learners study vocabulary, they choice their own strategies for each. Some students learn it by writing the English words in their notebook and writing the words or Japanese meaning in color pen. After that they put the red plastic seat on the words and see them repeatedly. Others study vocabulary by writing the English words many times. When I was in high school, I learn English words by an English vocabulary textbook which was classified noun, verb, adjective and adverb part for each mixed in one section for one hundred words. I only saw the words of one section repeatedly and remembered them.
There are many strategies however, it depends on the learners’ choice. Then how can EFL leaners remember English words efficiently?
・What is the effective way of self-learning to acquire English vocabulary for high school students?
- Effective way to acquire English vocabulary
4-1 mental lexicon in learners
The first approach is how to learn English vocabulary. All learners have mental lexicon. “The mental lexicon is defined as a mental representation of words stored in memory, including a word’s meaning, pronunciation, syntactic characters, and so on” (Carrol, 1999). And it is said that there are hierarchical network model and spreading activation model in our brain. When learners study English vocabulary, it is better to recognize some related words on the same field once. Leaners are more likely to keep remembering the words and easily use in communication situations.
4-2 motivation to learn vocabulary
The second approach is to inspire intrinsic motivation. According to paper, “Intrinsic motivation refers to doing something because satisfaction is inherent in the process (Zhang, Lin, Zhang & Choi, 2017, p.59). In addition, intrinsic motivation has a relationship between to keep learning vocabulary continuously and to build up the amount of new words. That is why leaners should have an opportunity to talk English with foreign people in daily life. When they face to be in such a situation, they would try to speak English with their knowledge that they have ever learned. They would think hardly but they would not talk well as they expect. It leads to intrinsic motivation because their objection on that situation is in order not to pass the exam but to communicate with people in English.
4-3 learning vocabulary by using mobile and paper-based materials
The third approach is the way of self-learning English vocabulary. When leaners use online or mobile system on learning words, they feel more fun than a traditional way of using a textbook. The modern way to study vocabulary includes competition with other learners online and visual image which words they can remember and cannot. However, is seems that it is more difficult to keep remembering the words permanently through learning online. That is why, online leaning should be parallel to paper-based leaning.
5-1 All leaners have a mental lexicon and it is used in the situation which they speak English. Then, intrinsic motivation is involved in the motivation to continue to learn vocabulary. The best way to inspire individual intrinsic motivation is to experience a real situation in English and talk with the people in English. However, it is few chances to encounter such a real English conversation in Japan. In recent years, mobile system is extremely improved and even high school students have their smartphone per person. It is essential for them to have their own smartphone and they bring it every time and everywhere. Using mobile system to learn vocabulary is useful and it can relieve students’ hatred less than using paper-based material. If they look at the English words repeatedly, they can remember and continue to keep learning English vocabulary.
5-2 further research
I want to search more effective and efficient way to learn English vocabulary for EFL learners on the perspective of teaching. I want to be an English teacher and I will teach students English, of course including instruction of vocabulary. Therefore, I want to consider what the effective teaching way is.
・Zhang.Y., Lin.C., Zhang.D. & Choi Y. (2017). Motivation, strategy, and English as a foreign language vocabulary learning: A structural equation modelling study. British Journal of Education Psychology, 87, 57-74
・Stroud, R. (2014). Student engagement in leaning vocabulary with CALL. Dublin: Research-publishing.net. doi: 10.14705/rpnet.2014.000242.
・Zhang.Y. (2017). The Representation of Bilingual Mental Lexicon and English Vocabulary Acquisition. English Language Teaching; Vol. 10, No.12; 2017. ISSN 1916-4742. E-ISSN 1916-4750.・Nakaike.H. Gakusyuuhouhou no chigai ni yoru goisyutokuritu no hikakukenkyu. file:///C:/Advanced%20Writing/Paper%20ressources%20PDF