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Enhancing Second Language Vocabulary

Teaching and Learning

Eva Yu-Ti Huang


Capstone Project
M.A. Teaching and Learning - TESL
McGill University
Instructor: Constance Buki

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Running head: VOCABULARY TEACHING AND LEARNING

Table of Contents
Introduction................................................................................................................ 2
Overview of vocabulary teaching and learning strategies through reading...............4
The key steps in vocabulary teaching and learning through reading.........................5
1) Reading material selection...................................................................................6
2) Conscious and explicit form and meaning learning of new vocabulary................6
3) Word knowledge and use enhancing through task and interactions with others..6
4) Vocabulary accumulation and learning evaluation...............................................7
Pedagogical implications for better vocabulary acquisition........................................7
Factors affecting vocabulary learning.........................................................................9
General Teaching ESL approaches to go along with QEP............................................9
Useful Toolkit for teachers in Quebec.......................................................................10
a)

Promote self-teaching:.................................................................................10

b)

Educational Adaptation and Differentiation.................................................11

c)

Dyslexia and reading strategies...................................................................12

d)

Reading training........................................................................................... 12

e)

Vocabulary differentiation exercises............................................................12

f)

Reading material selection..........................................................................13

g) Exploring the bilingual instructions on the packages of products sold in


Canada............................................................................................................... 13
h)

Offer both lexical and imagery explanation for vocabulary.........................14

i)

Digital and audio books...............................................................................15

j)

Strategies /process teaching........................................................................15

k)

Proper websites selection............................................................................15

l)

Assessment.................................................................................................. 15

m)

A sense of community..............................................................................16

Further Research needed due to the overall change in the 21 st century learning
environment............................................................................................................. 16
Conclusion................................................................................................................ 17
References................................................................................................................ 19
Appendix: A table of studies in vocabulary acquisition..........................................22

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Introduction
Vocabulary is the building blocks of sentences and is essential for second language (L2)
learning. However, to be able to understand texts and conduct basic conversations with others,
many thousands of word families are required and learning them is a heavy burden and a
considerable challenge to learners. My English learning started at the age of 12. After three years
of cramming many grammar rules and lots of vocabulary in my head, I still couldnt speak a
word of English. I am currently working on my fourth language, French. I deeply understand
learning an L2 is not easy and sometimes can be stressful. My own learning journey makes me
wonder what the crucial factors are that contribute to better L2 vocabulary learning. Not only
me, as a learner, but also researchers, teachers, and book publishers are all eager and diligent in
finding the best methods for L2 lexicon expansion. Also, knowing words themselves (forms and
meaning of words), and knowing how to use them are two different levels of learning. The
question arises, What are the most effective ways to teach vocabulary in terms of L2
acquisition? We know vocabulary learning is incremental, not only does it need to be learned,
but it also needs to be consolidated and enhanced (Schmitt, 2008) through contextualized word
use. As a teacher and a learner myself, I would like to focus mainly on the following elements in
this paper,
1) The strategies for teachers better pedagogical planning on vocabulary teaching within the
Quebec education environment.
2) The tasks and strategies for the learners greater vocabulary acquisition development
particularly through reading material or authentic context (contextualized aspect). I

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strongly believe that We acquire vocabulary and spelling by reading (p440, Krashen,
1989).
3) How teachers and learners can cooperate in class and at home to promote vocabulary
teaching and learning through technology.
The vocabulary acquisition in this paper also includes pronunciation enhancement, and
collocations, the conventional combination of word use.
In my internship, I saw students misspell, misread and misuse many English words due to
the lack of vocabulary recycling and systematic vocabulary learning. If the teacher can
incorporate some vocabulary teaching methods in class and students/learners can apply some
vocabulary learning strategies while fulfilling tasks assigned by their teachers, they can not only
learn the vocabulary better but also use them better in their sentences. My cooperating teacher in
my first internship mentioned that vocabulary teaching was one of my strong points and she saw
me recycle and reuse the same vocabulary intensively in different activities to consolidate
students understanding of the vocabulary. I believe this project can practically benefit both
teachers and students pedagogically.
In this paper, I will first explore the most essential steps for vocabulary teaching and
acquisition and how they can be applied pedagogically and practically in learners daily lives.
Secondly, it will be followed by the TESL approaches suitable in the Quebec education
environment according to the requirements for and expectations to teachers and learners in the
QEP. Thirdly, it continues with a useful toolkit to enable teachers to incorporate the strategies for
vocabulary teaching and learning with suitable TESL approaches in Quebec. Finally, I will
propose some further research suggestions.

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Overview of vocabulary teaching and learning strategies


through reading
Reading can be a useful way for vocabulary acquisition. However, reading should be
combined with different strategies and activities (Schmitt, 2008) in order to achieve the
vocabulary uptake (p230, Milton, 2008,), which means there is no gap between what has been
taught and what has been learned. Purely incidental learning, unplanned learning, through
reading seems not to work well unless sufficient exposure is met (Brown et al, 2008; Webb et al,
2013; Laufer et al, 2011). Also, careful reading material selection is very important (Gardner,
2004, 2008; Webb et al, 2013) for maximizing the chance of vocabulary recycling, similar
vocabulary repetitively showing in different contexts, and thus increasing learners word gain.
Free, self-selective, and wide, widely covered, reading is too broad for the factor control
(p24, Gardner, 2004). Therefore, teachers should assign carefully selected reading material for
students to read to cooperate with the appropriate tasks in class or at home. For more efficient
word gain, intentional intervention, goal directed intervention, is required (Schmitt, 2008; Gu,
2003; Butler et al, 2010), which might include explicit introduction of word form and meaning or
cross-linguistic analysis, analysis between the first language (L1) and L2 (p188, Lyster et al,
2013), with verbal only or both verbal and visual cues (Yoshii, 2006). After the words are learnt,
word consolidation is required through extensive exposure (Schmitt, 2008), intensive exercises
(Laufer et al, 2011; Brown et al, 2008), sequential activities (Roberts, 2008), or scaffolding
questions (Butler et al, 2010). To maximize lexical engagement, learners will need to fulfill
different tasks (Schmitt, 2008). Laufer et al (2011) found that the task including reading + forms
focus with intensive word focus exercises can increase the word gain considerably in reading.
Moreover, different task types will bring different learning results. For example, conscious
attentive tasks are for word knowledge learning in depth and breadth, and contextualized word

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implicit exposure is for the skill of word use (Gu, 2003). Dictionary use, note-taking, rote
rehearsal, and encoding (deeper processing) are some examples to fulfill and correspond to
different sub-tasks. In order to fulfill different tasks, proper strategies should also be selected,
for example, two meta-cognitive strategies, self-initiation and selective attention, showed to be
the positive indicators of learning results (Gu & Johnson, 1996; Gu, 2003), which means learners
needs to initiate their own interests and focus on certain vocabulary and selectively pay attention
to these words during their reading. On top of all these methods and strategies, the support of the
surrounding environment and people is important too (Gu, 2003; Robert, 2008). As our lexical
range is large, both our oral and written communicative competence will increase (Mewald,
2015).

The key steps in vocabulary teaching and learning


through reading
Different approaches have been used for L2 vocabulary pedagogy and acquisition. They
have their effects on different learners in different situations on different word types (single or
phrasal, content or function) (Gu, 2003). With the limited time in the classroom, efficient and
extended methods of intervention is the greatest concern of teachers and learners. Although
reading can happen anywhere and anytime and is widely used as a method of vocabulary
learning, the incongruity of the comprehensibility of the text (Krashen, 1989), vocabulary
recycling rate (Gardner, 2004), and the real word use afterwards keep people from going any
further. As mentioned earlier, vocabulary learning is incremental, although L2 learning is an
endless work, and there is always more to learn, we can always use our existing knowledge as a
foundation and keep building upon it to save time and energy. To answer the question, What
are the most effective ways to teach vocabulary in terms of L2 acquisition? we come to our
steps of vocabulary learning through reading.

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1) Reading material selection


Graded readers (Brown et al, 2008; Webb et al, 2013) are the best choice for expanding
vocabulary size. After most high-frequency words are learnt, thematic reading material or
authorship-oriented (e.g. Harry Potter series or Percy Jackson series) (Gardner, 2004, 2008) is
the next choice, with one focus at a time. Reading the same stories in different versions, ex. both
in L1 and L2, can also help the L2 vocabulary learning through their existing L1 concept of the
stories (Roberts, 2008; Schmitt, 2008), and increase the efficiency of word gain. Due to the
phonological complication, ex. phonological shift (Lyster et al, 2013), audio help from CD,
teachers, or care-givers is also helpful for learning through reading.

2) Conscious and explicit form and meaning learning of new


vocabulary
Noticing the new vocabulary (e.g. single or phrasal, word or collocation), paying attention to
its forms (e.g. spelling and pronunciation) (Schmitt, 2008) and making connection between form
and meaning (through L1 or L2, verbal or visual glosses) are the next step. Although meaning
guessing without intentional learning might work, misinterpretation of word forms happens.
Thus verification is necessary. After learning the vocabulary, meta-linguistic analysis/ crosslinguistic analysis will be helpful for further understanding the word families and expanding the
word knowledge. Familiarizing the word use through contextualized context (Schmitt, 2008),
which means keeping reading, while enjoying the context is essential for learning through
reading.

3) Word knowledge and use enhancing through task and


interactions with others
Immediate encounters of newly learnt words is very important for long-term retention
(Gardner, 2004; Schmitt, 2008). We can increase the encounters by fulfilling different tasks.
Scaffolding questions, or comprehensive exercises with a focus on vocabulary can increase the

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interaction between the words and the learners (Butler and al, 2010). Contextualized exercises,
word use in text, and decontextualized activities, word forms focusing, can be both used as tasks
to have learners fulfill and increase the familiarity both in receptive and productive knowledge
(Schmitt, 2008).

4) Vocabulary accumulation and learning evaluation


Widely using and familiarizing the newly learnt vocabulary through different tasks in 3) is
for long-term retention. The more words we know, the easier it is for us to acquire new words.
Learning strategies can be altered and applied according our proficiency levels. Also, more
reading or more challenging tasks can be used to challenge and evaluate the communicative
competence of learners (Mewald, 2015). When learners search for words to fulfill the tasks or
activities, better retention and accumulation occur (Schmitt, 2008). This process positively
renders large vocabulary accumulation.
The steps above can be used by self-learners and also the teachers or care-givers. As you
can see in the four steps, explicit and implicit interventions are not mutually exclusive. Both of
them can be applied alternatively depending on the learners proficiency levels and the learning
context.

Pedagogical implications for better vocabulary acquisition


There are different activities that teachers can do to increase students vocabulary
learning within the limited time in the classroom. As I mentioned before, reading can occur
anywhere and anytime, teachers can give students a reading assignment with carefully selected
reading materials, which can be bilingual or one version following the other. According Kroll &
Stewart (1994), the bilingual memory representations are asymmetrical. The memory in L1 is
categorized and conducted by concepts, whereas the memory in L2 is mediated by lexical

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presentation. Therefore, the role of L1 in L2 learning can be crucial. After the reading, sequential
intervention, including scaffolding questions, and intensive word-focused exercises, can be
followed. Teachers can deliberately increase the use of similar sets of vocabulary in the speech
or texts. Frequent follow-up tests, such as multiple-choice tests, writing assignment, such as
reviews of books, and oral tasks, such as presentations of books, can increase students
productive levels of word use. Occasionally, vocabulary recycling from previous themes in the
present topic is positive for word learning evaluation and accumulation.
Here are some tips for teachers to pass on to learners. Learners can apply different
strategies through reading for their vocabulary learning, such as contextual guessing, dictionary
using, note-taking, word formation focusing, contextual encoding, newly-learned word activation
(Gu & Johnson, 1996). Reading familiar information in L2 could decrease the burden of
understanding the materials (Butler and al, 2010). Chatting or discussing the issues related to
recently read materials with others in L2, actively writing reviews of the reading, and looking up
similar information in the reading online or through other books can all help enhance and retain
the newly learnt vocabulary. Constantly evaluating the learning results through different
activities in books, online or with others is helpful as well.
Proper expectation from teachers and from the learners themselves can keep the learning
process going (Gu, 2003)). Teachers and learners should both know learning vocabulary is an
endless journey, and improvement can be seen gradually, not instantly. Long-term retention can
also diminish if there is no follow-up practice and exposure to the vocabulary items. Refreshing
them constantly while learning new items can render better vocabulary accumulation and
increase communicative competence.

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Factors affecting vocabulary learning


Other than the materials and task types themselves, there are different factors affecting
learning. Learners come from different ages, genders, and L1 backgrounds and thus have
different learning styles, attitudes, goals and motivations. Different learners may want to focus
on different types of vocabulary. According to Nation (2001), there are high-frequency,
academic, technical, and low frequency words. Learners can be motivated by the necessity of the
words in their daily lives. In addition, the learning context, environment, societies, teachers,
peers etc., also play a key role in affecting learning. Keeping this in mind, we should not have
the same expectations towards all the learning while applying the learning process and strategies.
A wide range of variation in vocabulary acquisition among people is expected.

General Teaching ESL approaches to go along with QEP


According to the three ESL and EESL competencies in the QEP, students are expected to
fulfill the following three competencies. 1) Interact orally in English: Students are expected to
initiate and react to oral interactions with others in different communicative settings related to
their interests while applying communicative and learning strategies with some acceptable errors.
2) Reinvests understanding of texts: Students will be able to understand various types of texts
corresponding to their age, interests and language levels while participating in response process,
working with peers and teachers and fulfilling various reinvestment tasks. 3) Writes and
produces texts: Students can write or produce various types of texts in their personal styles
corresponding to the requirements of the task or their own intentions with acceptable errors.
Based on the expectation to the secondary students as well as to the teachers in QEP, here
are the main teaching approaches suitable for QEP: 1) Communicative Language Teaching
(CLT): authentic meaningful communication in L2 (Brown, 2014), 2) Task-based Language

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Teaching (TBLT), 3) Community Language Learning (CLL): students initiation and autonomy in
L2, 4) Strategy-based Learning, 5) Cooperative Language Learning, 6) Contrastive Analysis: the
identification of the differences between two languages for the construction and categorization of
L2, 7) Technologies, 8) Affection factors: the creation of a non-threatening environment.

Useful Toolkit for teachers in Quebec


According to the pedagogical implications for vocabulary learning, factors affecting
vocabulary learning, and general teaching ESL approaches to go along with QEP listed above,
here is a useful toolkit for teachers in Quebec to help students to be successful in their English
learning.
a) Promote self-teaching: Collect some more useful sources related to vocabulary
learning and plan to incorporate them into lesson plans and students homework to
promote self-teaching and self-learning among students. Learners need to self-initiate their
own interests so that they can learn a great deal during their own exploration (Mitra,
2010). In the first week of the school year, a lab time is definitely necessary for learners to
get familiar with some useful online tools for vocabulary learning. To help them initiate
their own self-teaching motivation, and keep them self-teaching, a goal is necessary.
Teachers need to arrange an online language exchange with a class of students/ learners in
another place, such as Ontario, who are learning French as a second language with the
same level as your students English levels. This lab time language exchange will take
place in the end of the first semester. With this goal in their minds, they know what they
do in class or at home will lead them towards this goal. On top of this, learners also need
something to help their own self-teaching by using the available online tools presented in
class, e.g. dialogue journal weekly, biweekly or monthly, depending on students

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language levels. Students will do this regularly throughout the semester. Students can
complete their journals by texts, audios, videos, animations etc. Their work can be short or
long, again depending on their language levels.
b) Educational Adaptation and Differentiation: after my internships, I realized that
it would be very difficult for a teacher to get by the whole school year without any
differentiation in class. It is also useful to apply RtI, a multi-tiered intervention
strategy, including layers of instruction that increase in intensity, such as decreasing in
group size and increasing in amount of instruction (p58, Vaugn & Bos, 2012, Ch3). To
make it happen, a pre-assessment before the instruction or lesson needs to be conducted.
Proper anchor activities and various types of inputs, such as visual and kinesthetic inputs
are also necessary. After differentiating students according to their readiness and interests,
teachers should then assign them to different activities and proper instructional inputs in
order to ensure their better learning. With the inclusive education in most classes in
Quebec, the in class instructional strategies for students needs would be modified
accordingly, known as educational adaptations. For example, a syllabus/ outline/ checklist/
written direction would be offered to students to clarify requirements for assignments, and
their workload could be broken down into smaller more manageable parts due to some
students lack of organization, which echoes Vygotskys proximal zone of development.
Extra visual cues, extended time for work completion and constant reminders should be
offered as well. According to Piagets constructivism, students construct the information
they acquire with schemes; therefore, students need to be part of the learning process. If
every teacher could offer these similar strategies to every single student for their learning,
we would have fewer students who would need extra intervention. For example, eyecontact, clarification of directions, visual cues for comprehension and completion of tasks,

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pre-writing or pre-reading strategy offering, the assistance or support for developing


compound sentences or logical progression, consistent review of learnt vocabulary and
clear directions, procedures and expectations to students should all be the norm in any
regular classroom.
c) Dyslexia and reading strategies: since this project is related to vocabulary
teaching through reading, the special needs for students with dyslexia should be separately
addressed. Dyslexia is considered a reading difficulty. Students with dyslexia may have
more difficulty in their L2 learning (Woolley, 2010). They should receive effective
instruction from culturally and linguistically sensitive teachers. Woolley has suggested to
include instruction partially in students L1 during assessment if it is possible. Extra
reading training should also be offered. More details are described below.
d) Reading training: L2 reading should be challenging for not only the students with
dyslexia, but also other regular students. Teachers should therefore incorporate appropriate
and suitable pedagogical procedures for reading training. For example, in order to read
well, students should feel the prosody first, in other words, read fluently (Vaugn & Bos,
2012, Ch8). I am sure it will help ESL learners a lot in their reading skills, therefore we
need to teach students metacognitive strategy, such as reciprocal teaching (Palincsar,
1986) for reading comprehension in the second language teaching environments.
e) Vocabulary differentiation exercises: Since students English levels vary in this
class, the from-the-ground-up teaching approach, teaching vocabulary and then sentence
patterns, may bore many students. Therefore, teachers can offer a variety of information
and questions to prompt students participation with up-to-date relevant videos and photos
as well as animated facial expression and body language. However, in order to encourage
every student to participate, the focus of the activities is relatively simple, so the students
with lower English levels do not feel stressed, and the students with higher English levels

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will not feel bored because of the various information and questions. Teachers can
incorporate technology, such as animated slide shows, students own experience and the
teachers own experience together with the learning objectives. Hands-on activities can
always come in handy. In the Say and touch game, for example, one of the students in
their seats calls out loud a name of a newly learnt vocabulary word, another student goes
and reads a sheet with words and numbers on it and then clicks the right number on the
board to reveal the word. Drawing during explanation can also help students to build the
imagery concept and lexical expression. After students say the words, teachers should also
repeat the words many times, in order to give immediate feedback for students
pronunciation and to increase the repetitive rate of the words. Teacher should also
repeatedly use vocabulary in different forms and situations (listening, speaking and
reading in class, and writing as homework). Sufficient wait time and proper pause are also
crucial for students information digestion. They are also necessary for a big class, so the
information can be delivered appropriately.
f) Reading material selection: In order to make sure vocabulary repetition and
recycling happen, teachers should carefully select appropriate in-class and home reading
material to assure the focused vocabulary repetitively appears in students reading.
g) Exploring the bilingual instructions on the packages of products sold in
Canada: Among Lightbowns ten generalizations (Lightbown & Spada, 1995),
interlanguage interests me the most. When we learn a language, whether an L1 or L2, our
minds or brains tend to categorize the input and build a language process system (a
systematic interlanguage). I was amazed by seeing my own children learning their first
language and undergoing a similar learning process as my own second language learning.
(It is difficult to compare my first language learning with theirs, since it took place a long

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time ago.) The categorization helps us understand the world and the language in this case.
Before we accept or internalize a piece of new information, it interacts with our old
knowledge first and then finds a suitable place in our minds or brains. This can therefore
explain both the intralingual errors and interlingual errors that a child or an adult makes
during their L1 or L2 learning. I think a teacher can thus well use students previous
knowledge on L1 and other old existing knowledge to help them acquire their L2. For
example, although the students in Canada speak different languages, the bigger
environment around them is the same. Students can learn to use information in their
community for their own L2 learning by making good use of the bilingual information
offered everywhere in Canada, which also satisfies the broad area of learning in QEP,
citizenship and community life and media literacy; the cross-curricular competences,
use information and use information and communication technologies.
h) Offer both lexical and imagery explanation for vocabulary: According to
Paivios dual coding approach (Paivio, 1990), our memory performance is mediated by
linguistic process as well as an imagery model of thought. Teachers can offer photos, real
objects or videos during vocabulary explanation to help learners build a clear structure of
the vocabulary in their minds.
i) Digital and audio books: Most digital books can be displayed on Kindle Reader. It
comes with an immediate digital dictionary, which can make reading more pleasant. Many
digital books also come with an audio version to allow learners to work on their
pronunciation. Learners can become familiar with the vocabulary both through written and
audio inputs.

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j) Strategies /process teaching: Teachers should also teach appropriate strategies or


learning processes to cooperate with learners different intelligences, attitudes, ages and
motivations.
k) Proper websites selection: For exploding online authentic information, a basic
critical media literacy lesson should be offered. As a second language learner myself, I use
a variety of online tools, such as google translator, Reverso, imTranslator, and YouTube, to
help me learn. For building the connection between students and teachers through
technology, GoFormative, Kahoot, and VideoAnt are some websites for students to work
on at home. The relationship between the students and teachers mostly starts from
learning experience sharing. Also, since children learn by modeling. (p167, Agne,
1999), it is our responsibility to present some make-life-easier learning tools that we have
been using or exploring, and to have our students engaged. The interaction between
students and the teachers will increase. Our positive attitude towards continuing learning
will pass to our students and students can keep learning on their own through the
convenient technology even after they graduate from school. Overall, school is not the
only time and place that learning happens.
l) Assessment: Teachers should design different assessments to meet various student
needs in inclusive education for better educational adaptation. We may need to offer
different evaluations, observational or descriptive, in different situations, formal or
informal, in order to diminish students text anxiety issues and to consider students multiintelligences and learning difficulties. There are also different purposes for our
assessments. 1) Assessments as influence on cognitive processing. Students expectations
about the kinds of tasks they will need to perform and the questions they will need to

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answer will influence whether they memorize isolated facts or strive to learn a
meaningful, integrated body of information. (Shepard, 2000) 2) Assessments as learning
experiences. Assessment can further strengthen students vocabulary acquisition.
Assessments should include different instruments to be more compatible with students
ability levels and needs. For example, multiple choice can be a good choice for testing
students knowledge on a specific word, but may not ideal for testing students skill on
putting the word to use.
m) A sense of community: Students achieve at higher levels in the classroom when they
have a sense of community that is when they have shared goals and are respectful and
supportive of one anothers efforts. (McMillan et al, 2011).

Further Research needed due to the overall change in the


21st century learning environment
We see students encountering the exploding online authentic information in the 21st
century and can easily assume that it should be an easier time for students to acquire a new
language due to the sufficient vocabulary exposure. However, the distraction caused by the
exploding online information can also affect students concentration and make students lose
their focus. As Morgan (1996) has mentioned, the fundamental purpose of education is to make
future social life possible (p295). In order to prepare our students for their future life, different
types of media and technology that involve students second language vocabulary learning
should be introduced to our students and further research is needed in terms of the media use
during the application of the strategies listed above.

Conclusion
Vocabulary acquisition is very crucial for students L2 proficiency both orally and in
writing. With the limited time in class, it is crucial to plan lessons well to maximize students

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learning. Although learners have different learning abilities, attitudes and motivations and there
is only limited time in class, good vocabulary learning can still be achieved if the basic steps are
followed. Within the basic steps and the QEP regulations, there are still various options or
strategies learners or teachers can choose to go with their interests, needs, preferences, themes,
and schedule. Here are the strategies for vocabulary teaching and learning within the Quebec
education environment.
First of all, before the lesson even starts, a pre-assessment should take place for teachers
to differentiate vocabulary learning activities and reading assignments. Second, teachers can then
select appropriate home and in class reading materials both in the students L1 and L2 with the
target vocabulary in them according to students ability levels, intelligences and needs. Third,
follow-up sequential activities should then take place in class, for example, intensive wordfocused exercises and vocabulary differentiation activities (visual, audio, kinesthetic etc.). The
teacher should also strategically use the target vocabulary in the speech or texts in class. Fourth,
frequent tests/ formative assessments, oral tasks, writing assignment and extra home exploring
reading tasks should take place afterwards. Finally, teachers should also skillfully recycle
vocabulary from previous themes.
In order to make sure students cooperate and are willing to complete the assignments or
tasks, teachers should scaffold the teaching and learning process right at the beginning of the
school year so that teacher and students can cooperate for better teaching and learning through
technology. Teachers should first introduce some useful vocabulary online learning tools or
websites and arrange critical media literacy lessons to students so that students can explore
authentic online materials themselves and promote self-teaching. Second, teachers should set a
goal for students to achieve at the end of each term. For example, an online language exchange

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can be arranged in the end of each term so that students can put their vocabulary to use in real
life. Thirdly, in class reading training, such as reading fluency training and comprehension
strategies, should be taught and practised. Fourthly, teachers should try to find similar reading
materials in different versions in written, audio and even video versions to ease students stress
and challenges. Finally, different purposeful and meaningful assessments should be addressed
and explained to students to promote a sense of community and help students not only to learn in
class but also at home through technology.
Once we decide to learn or teach a new language, it is a commitment. We should respect
the responsibility of being a teacher or a learner, and put proper expectations on ourselves as well
as students. We should also know that vocabulary learning is not easy and occasional frustration
is normal, so we should not be too hard on ourselves or students. Keep this in mind and
vocabulary teaching and learning should be productive and rewarding.

References
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Running head: VOCABULARY TEACHING AND LEARNING

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Appendix: A table of studies in vocabulary acquisition


Paper Type

Perspective/ Key issue

Researchers/

Review/ Synthesis

Vocabulary enhancement through

scaffolding

Review/ Synthesis
Review/ Synthesis
Review/ Synthesis
Review/ Synthesis
Review/ Synthesis

questions
Vocabulary uptake from informal learning tasks
Maximizing sustained vocabulary engagement
A tetrahedral model on vocabulary acquisition
Learning vocabulary in another language.
We acquire vocabulary and spelling by

authors
Butler et al, 2010
Milton, 2008
Schmitt, 2008
Gu, 2003
Nation, 2001
Krashen, 1989

reading: Additional evidence for the input


Corpus-based
Corpus-based
corpus-based &

hypothesis.
Word Recycling in reading materials
Word Recycling in reading materials
Lexical range and communicative competence

Gardener, 2008
Gardner, 2004
Mewald, 2015

observational
Observational
Quasi-experimental

Vocabulary learning strategies and Competence


Counterbalanced approach with biliteracy

Gu & Johnson, 1996


Lyster et al, 2013

Quasi-experimental

instruction on morphology awareness


The effect of tasks and word occurrence on

Laufer et al, 2011

Quasi-experimental

vocabulary incidental learning


Home L1 & L2 storybook reading and

Roberts, 2008

Experimental

vocabulary acquisition
Incidental collocation learning through reading

Webb et al, 2013

while listening

23
Running head: VOCABULARY TEACHING AND LEARNING

Experimental

Incidental vocabulary learning through reading

Brown et al, 2008

Experimental

while listening
The effect of glosses of different types on

Yoshii 2006

Experimental

incidental vocabulary learning


Category interference in translation and picture

Kroll & Stewart,

naming: Evidence for asymmetric connections

1994

between bilingual memory representations