Learning theories in practice/Vocabulary Learning

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Vocabulary Learning Strategies in Foreign Language[edit | edit source]

One of the language learning is vocabulary learning. The vocabulary learning is the most basic and fundamental unit of language learning. Specifically, it is more important for second/foreign language learners. They can understand word meanings well and maintain the new words longer, having their own effective vocabulary learning strategies.

This chapter reviews various vocabulary learning strategies in foreign language learning.

  • Thematic organization of vocabulary
  • Wholes to parts.( body-arms/legs-fingers/toes)
  • General to specific(food-vegetables-cabbages)
  • Degree of difference(hot-warm-cold, always-usually-sometimes-never)
  • Guessing from context
  • Using dictionary/E-dictionary
  • Note-taking
  • Rote-rehearsal
  • Repeating aloud: the ear does assist the eye in the long-term retention of lexis.(Kelly)
  • Using the word in several sentences.[1]
  • Mnemonics; focusing on memory
  • Word formation; focusing on form
  • Semantic networks; focusing on meaning
  • Think of memories, emotions that might associate with this word.[2]

In conclusion, myriad strategies have been used in language learning process. However, there is not a single best strategy in vocabulary learning. Different people have different strategies. Thus the choice, use, and effectiveness of vocabulary learning strategies depend on the task, the learner, and the context. Furthermore, as a teacher, he or she is responsible for providing students with opportunities to choose their individual strategy by themselves.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Guide to Expanding Your Vocabulary
  2. How To Learn Words Quickly And Effectively In Any Language