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The effects of after-instruction vocabulary exercises on Taiwanese young learners' vocabulary acquisition: hierarchy vocabulary exercises vs. copying exercises
Kan, Hsiu Chi
Yeh, Chieh Yue
Kan, Hsiu Chi
hierarchy vocabulary exercises
|Issue Date:||2013-09-04 14:55:25 (UTC+8)|
Vocabulary exercises are regarded as one of the ways English teachers frequently utilize to enhance English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners’ vocabulary learning efficiency. Yet, studies focusing on the comparisons of the effects of different vocabulary exercises on learners’ vocabulary acquisition and retention seem comparatively few. Thus, the present study adopted a quantitative research method to investigate the effects of two types of vocabulary exercises, i.e., hierarchy vocabulary exercises and copying exercises, on learners’ word gains and retention.
Participants of the study were two classes of 55 fourth-grade students in a public elementary school in northern Taiwan. With the homogeneity of English proficiency on Cambridge Young Learners English Test (CYLET), the two classes were randomly assigned to the experimental and control groups. During the instructional experiment, the experimental and control groups received hierarchy vocabulary exercises and copying exercises respectively once a week, with a total of six times, to practice a total of 24 target words selected in this study. After receiving the last vocabulary exercises, both groups received post-test 1, based on a Chinese version of Vocabulary Knowledge Scale (VKS), to measure their word gains of all the target words. One month after receiving the last vocabulary exercises, both groups also received post-test 2, which was the same as post-test 1, to assess their word retention. The major findings are summarized as follows. (1) In terms of word gains, learners receiving hierarchy vocabulary exercises significantly outperformed those receiving copying exercises. (2) In terms of word retention, hierarchy vocabulary exercises possessed greater facilitative effects than copying exercises. (3) Hierarchy vocabulary exercises exerted a significant effect on both high and low English achievers’ word gains and retention. (4) Not only high English achievers but also low English achiever reaped benefits from copying exercises on word gains and retention. (5) Hierarchy vocabulary exercises demonstrated superior effectiveness than copying exercises on high English achievers’ word retention, but not on their word gains. (6) Hierarchy vocabulary exercises led to both more word gains and retention than copying exercises for low English achievers. At the end of the thesis, pedagogical implications and recommendations for further research were provided.
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