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Study On The Reflection Paper

2211 words (9 pages) Essay in English Language

02/05/17 English Language Reference this

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Chapter – I. What’s in a word?

All languages have words. All words have different meanings, different function and they belong to different groups and classes as well, some carry grammatical function other words carry more information. One thing is for sure, even today we learn new meaning of existing words or we learn new words even in our first language. Understanding meaning of new words in second language is much more difficult, there are many words that are used in novel ways and that confuse learners of second language. In this concept it is crucial for Second Language Learner to understand both meaning and the use of specific word, and to be able to produce it when necessary, and to develop their own strategy of learning new words. It is very important for learners to know and make distinction between different forms of same word, this helps S.L.L (Second Language Learners) to identify the word class and to produce and use proper meaning. From my personal experience I would like to share some of the problems that usually occur. E.g I will take like as verb and as a preposition.

What is London like? (Prep); What do you like? (Verb). To understand differences in meaning and in concept of target word students have to take in consideration and word class. It is not only issue of grammar difference, change of word classes and switch from one to another, but also new vocabulary word with new meaning and form. Another very important issue is word families. Different languages have already the same structure that gathers words, form new words, or new meanings to existing words. I will try very briefly without getting in details to share my opinion based on readings class discussions and my own experience. Both suffixes and prefixes appear in English and Albanian. Being a native learner of Albanian language is very easy for me to identify and use words in different forms and meanings in Albanian Lang, but for E.F.L learners it is quite difficult even they are familiar with the models of inflexional or derivative words. What I have noticed the most is the difficulty of ESL learners to master the process of Word Formation in English, it differs a lot and it is far more complex than, in this case Albanian. Compounding, conversion, blending and clipping express very firmly the complexity of this process. Another important point that it is worth to be mentioned in Vocab Teaching is grouping of words that form units as if they were single word units. These are called multi word units, their meaning is usually subject of change upon the parts that word unit contains, these can phrasal verbs with either literal or non-literal meaning, as sentence frames and multi part verbs. The occurrence of words mentioned above is another important , words happens very often to co- occur next to each other and to give new meaning to the sentence as a whole.

It is very important to be able to notice the difference in meaning, of words that share the same form. At this point we can come to conclusion that it is very difficult for foreign learners because many word have different but overlapping meanings, in this line homonyms, homophones, homographs can really confuse learners, and in the other hand polysemy is a real challenge for compilers as they are real headache for learners. E.g the word fair that has different meaning in every our example: long fair hair; Skripton fair; fair cook. Other meanings of words we have the words that occur in line with other words ang give new meanings. To sum up and not to go further in detail and to give conclusion of what we have learnt about words is that language first emerges as words and going farther into structures and forms we use them to produce language that we have learnt.

Chapter-II. How words are learned.

How important is vocabulary- “without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed” (David Vilkins). The importance of vocabulary is very high, you can master the grammar very well but without proper knowledge of vocabulary spoken language will be of lowest levels. Also it is very important when you visit a foreign country, you don’t bring a grammar book but a vocabulary and people usually try to learn more common expressions in their very first days. There were many various problems with vocabulary teaching because it wasn’t on the fore in the Direct Method or Audio Lingual Method- which gave greater priority to grammar learning and grammar structures. Number of words taught on these courses were very low and the words learnt were chosen because were easy to demonstrate. But nowadays teaching a vocabulary is given a special importance, and courses and course books are giving much more space to teaching new words and communication. In order to have a better communication L2 learners need to have a critical mass of vocabulary to get the over threshold of second language. In this context they should develop their own and unique style about remembering the words. These styles can be developed with teachers help; their role in this case is to guide students toward their learning styles and strategies.

Looking back in the early period in the era of Direct Method and A.L.M, students had to learn, repeat the words that they have learnt. Of course nowadays these models are old fashioned and things have changed. From my experience when I was in primary school- teachers translated for us the key words, but without much effort to make us understand more. Of course these words were placed in short term memory, and after a while couldn’t be recalled and used properly when needed. In comparison with this I as E. L teacher am using different models to explain the meaning of new words, avoiding as much as possible translation to L1, and old fashioned methods like “learn words by heart”. I found for my students very helpful eliciting meaning of new words, or new meaning of existing words, also using flashcards, pictures, word games not only that make students feel more relaxed. Another fact that we should take in consideration is the first language, having a good command of first language is helpful but sometimes can be a potential block to the development of second language vocabulary, it can come to this because the patterns of every language are different and when learners try to make links, sometimes they may succeed but sometimes not. In second language learning vocabulary is important and spelling, pronunciation and length. All this can cause errors because words with difficult pronunciation, with spelling mismatches, long and complex words, appear to more difficult to be learnt and remembered.

Chapter III- How to Teach Vocabulary

In this chapter the main issue is teaching vocabulary, sources and methods and techniques that best fit and explain these sources. Here are mentioned at least five possible sources that provide vocabulary input for learners.

-Lists

-Course books

-Vocabulary books

-The teacher

– Other students.

Based on class discussions and readings about lists and shared experiences vocabulary learning requires a close attention at being done activities in order to acquire new words or new meanings to existing words. One of vocabulary sources as it is mentioned above are lists, they provide students with new words, some of these words will be learnt actively and some occidental. One of the main tasks should be, these lists should consist of words that are selected for active study. Criteria of usefulness, frequency or lexical don’t seem to be applied. One reason that students would like to learn from lists is the economical way of organizing vocabulary for learning and it doesn’t matter if they aren’t put in random way. In order to be successful with lists it is necessary that learning activities be integrated into lesson plan activities in classroom. Another source of teaching vocabulary are course books, usually in course books are some criteria of choosing vocabulary. Usefulness- it means that can be put to immediate use, e.g. classroom objects in elementary level. Frequency- words that appear most frequently express the most frequent meanings in the language, and importance of these words. Learnability- includes careful choice of words in syllabus, especially for beginners.

Teach ability is very important because we make words for students very easy to understand through different activities by demonstrating or illustrating them. Vocabulary work in course books is organized in segregated activities that present practice of lexical sets, word formation rules, test of words indicated before, guessing activities; integration of vocabulary into skill works, usually a pre-task or post-task activities.

Another source are Vocabulary Books, due to priority given to learning new words in a foreign language (English) there is a wide selection of supplementary books available. Usually these books are targeted as books needed for specific purposes, such as business or technology. The aim is to test vocabulary knowledge rather than to teach it. Activities used in this kind of books such as brainstorming of ideas or meanings to new words and eliciting students with new meaning of words appears to be very useful for students.

Teacher is also considered as a useful source of acquiring new words, phrases or expressions that teachers use most commonly in classroom. Teacher’s own stories also can be very valuable to students. They can ask students to make similar stories or new stories with given words in order to practice both use and meaning of words.

It is in human nature that all develop their own lexicon. Sharing of their knowledge either in brainstorming activities, pair working or spoken activities in classroom is very useful. This leads to student- student lexicon combination and ability to recall and express when necessary.

Chapter IV- Texts, Dictionaries and Corpora

From what we discussed in last chapter about offering vocabulary teaching through lists. In our days texts are being more explicit and the vocabulary teaching has been incorporated into text books. Comparing to lists short texts have great advantages in vocabulary teaching and building purposes. The fact that words are in context increases the chances of learners to appreciate not only the meaning, but and their structural and word order in sentences. Texts usually display connected sets of words. Short texts are very useful for classroom use since they can be subjected to intensive grammatical and lexical study. Advantage of short texts to long texts is that students do not usually get bored and their attention is not overtaxed. Authentic texts are usually rich in vocabulary especially literary texts.

Extensive reading provides the opportunity for students to meet words in their context of use, and also supplies repeated encounters with many of these words. Words are usually repeated up to six times, and as more as they repeat it is easily for learners to acquire the meaning or to get it from context of the sentence. In this context words that are introduced once should at least be reminded once more or if possible more. This has to do with linking between the lessons. It is very important the learners need to enjoy and to get as much as possible, and this type of reading shouldn’t be regarded as hard work.

Dictionaries are regarded as tools and as vocabulary resource because they contain rich information of the words. For a long time use of dictionaries has been discouraged in class. It was argued that use of these may encourage learners to focus only in native words if it is mono-lingual, and might inhibit the development of more useful skills such as guessing from context. Kinds of dictionaries available: monolingual and bilingual dictionaries.

It is very important to make the difference between these two kinds. From my experience I prefer monolingual dictionary of target language, because not only we understand the word we want but also and words related to the meaning or context.

The benefit for teachers and learners of corpus data is that it provides both with easily accessible information about real language use, frequency and collocation. Before the advent of corpora, teachers had to rely largely on intuitions about the way words are actually used. Before the advent of corpora, frequency information was also largely guesswork- or involved a great deal of pen-paper counting. Corpus information is typically presented in the forem of concordances; they display the results of a word search as individual lines of text, with targeted word or words aligned to the centre. Corpora are the latest addition to the resources available for vocabulary input. Concordancing and keyword programs are two of the tools that make corpus data available for classroom use.

For the end I would like to say these words ” Vocabulary teaching and learning is like exploring universe”.

Burim Sopa i.d- 119325

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