VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI

UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION

NGUYỄN VŨ XUÂN LAN

THE TECHNIQUES BY TEACHERS IN PRESENTING THE MEANING OF NEW VOCABULARY AND THEIR EFFECTIVENESS AS PERCEIVED BY STUDENTS OF THE STRATEGIC MISSION PROGRAM IN VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY.

SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL)

Hanoi, May 2011

VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, HANOI
UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION

NGUYỄN VŨ XUÂN LAN

THE TECHNIQUES BY TEACHERS IN PRESENTING THE MEANING OF NEW VOCABULARY AND THEIR EFFECTIVENESS AS PERCEIVED BY STUDENTS OF THE STRATEGIC MISSION PROGRAM IN VIETNAM NATION UNIVERSITY.

SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF ARTS (TEFL)

SUPERVISOR: Mr. KHOA ANH VIỆT, M.A.

Hanoi, May 2011

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Firstly, I would like to express our deep gratitude to my supervisor - Mr. Khoa Anh Viet for his valuable guidance, helpful and supportive pieces of advice. I am also thankful to Ms Nguyen Nhue Giang – my class mate, who has helped me a lot in gathering the information about Strategic Mission Program and collecting data. I greatly appreciate the willingness to take part in our research of Strategic Mission Program’s students and teachers, especially three teachers and ten students their meticulous and truthful sharing in the interview. Without them, this research cannot be carried out.

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ABSTRACT
Strategic Mission is a short name for the project of building and developing 16 branches, 23 specialties of basic science, high technology, economy-society with international standard at Vietnam National University. Students who have not been qualified enough in English to take courses of their major will take a supplement course on language for one year. Due to its young age, it is unavoidable for the project as well as the English course which is applied to encounter numbers of problem and difficulties that need to be studied and adjusted. This study was carried out in order to investigate the techniques of presenting the meaning of new vocabularies by teachers and their effectiveness as perceived by students of the Strategic Mission Project in VNU. Quantitative methods with questionnaire and individual interview were applied to find out the usage of techniques as perceived by both teachers and students, and measure their effectiveness according to the opinion of students from three classes. It was revealed from the study that there is not much difference between the frequency of using each technique for presenting vocabulary from the perception of teacher and of students. Both two sides agreed on the highest frequency of “showing words in context” and “combining several techniques” and the lowest one of “showing the meaning of words visually”. Regarding the effectiveness of techniques for presenting the meaning of vocabulary, most students confirmed that combining different techniques is the most efficient method, and the least useful one is the visual technique of using realia. In terms of suggestions to improve the effectiveness of presenting vocabulary, teachers and students agreed with each other to enhance the five techniques by Penny Ur, and raise some of their own ideas such as using games, dictionaries or peer-explanations.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgements Abstract Table of contents List of figures and tables i ii iv vii

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.1. 1.2. 1.3. 1.4. 1.5. Rationale of the study Aims of the study and research questions Scope of the study Significance of the study Organization of the study 1 2 2 3 3

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. An overview of vocabulary 2.1.1. Definition of vocabulary 2.1.2. Roles of vocabulary 2.1.3. Aspects of vocabulary to be taught 2.1.4. Classification of vocabulary 2.2. Presenting vocabulary 2.3. Techniques for presenting new vocabulary 2.3.1. Showing the meaning of words visually 2.3.2. Showing words in context 2.3.3. Using synonyms or/and antonyms
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5 5 6 7 13 17 18 18 19 20

2.3.4. Translation 2.3.5. Combining different techniques 2.4. Vocabulary acquisition 2.5. Related study 2.5.1. In Vietnam 2.5.2. In the world CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY 3.1.Settings 3.2. Participants 3.3. Instrument 3.3.1. Questionnaire 3.3.2. Interview 3.4. Sampling 3.5. Procedure 3.5.1. Data collection 3.5.2. Data analysis CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 4.1. Findings 4.1.1. The frequency of using each technique for presenting new vocabulary as perceived by students 4.1.2. The frequency of using each technique for presenting new vocabulary as perceived by teachers 4.1.3. The effectiveness of each techniques for

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26 27 29 29 30 31 31 31 32

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presenting new vocabulary as perceived by students 4.2. Suggestions to improve the effectiveness of techniques for presenting new vocabulary 4.2.1. Suggestions by teachers 4.2.2. Suggestions by students 4.3. Conclusion CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION 5.1. Summary 5.2. Teaching implications 5.3 Limitation of the study 5.4. Suggestion for further research REFERENCES APPENDICES 58 59 59 61 52 55 56 52

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LIST OF FIGURES
Figures 1. Figure 1: The frequency of using each technique for presenting new vocabulary as perceived by students 2. Figure 2: The frequency of using each sub-technique in “showing the meaning of words visually” as perceived by students 3. Figure 3: The frequency of using each sub-technique in “showing the meaning of words in context” as perceived by students 4. Figure 4: The frequency of using each technique in presenting new vocabulary according to teachers’ lesson plans 5. Figure 5: The frequency of using each sub-technique in "Showing the meaning of words visually" according to lesson plans 6. Figure 6: The frequency of using each sub-technique in "showing words in context" according to lesson plans 7. Figure 7: The frequency of using each technique in presenting new vocabulary in actual teaching sessions 40 39 38 37 35 34 Page 33

8. Figure 8: The frequency of using each sub-technique in “showing the meaning of words visually” in actual teaching sessions

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9. Figure 9: The frequency of using each sub-technique in “showing the meaning of words in context” in actual teaching sessions 10. Figure 10: The effectiveness of each technique for presenting denotational meaning as perceived by students 11. Figure 11: The effectiveness of each sub-technique in "Showing the meaning of words visually" for presenting denotational meanings as perceived by students 12. Figure 12: The effectiveness of each sub-technique in "showing words in context" for presenting denotational meanings as perceived by students 13. Figure 13: The effectiveness of each technique for presenting connotational meanings as perceived by students 14. Figure 14: The effectiveness of each technique in "Showing the meaning of words visually" for presenting connotational meaning as perceived by students 15. Figure 15: The effectiveness of each sub-technique in "Showing words in context" for presenting connotational meanings as perceived by students

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1. Rationale Together with grammar, vocabulary is an essential element that needs to be mastered by any English learners. Allen (1983) once claimed that “Experienced teachers of English as a second language know very well how important vocabulary is. They know their students must learn thousands of words that speakers and writers of English use.” To some extends, vocabulary is even more highly regarded than grammar as linguist Wilkin (1972) said: “Without grammar, very little could be convey, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.”(p.111). However, teaching vocabulary used to be neglected for a long time due to a belief that vocabulary only could be absorbed through experience (Allen, 1983), which leads to the little necessary of lecturing on vocabulary in class by teachers. Fortunately, according to Thornbury (2002), the interest in vocabulary has recovered in recent years, partly because of the expansion of the “word-centered” approaches in language teaching. This also means that the importance of vocabulary has been considered more seriously and its role has been estimated more fairly than in the past. Strategic Mission is a short name for the project of building and developing 16 branches, 23 specialties of basic science, high technology, economy-society with international standard at Vietnam National University. This is a new project that is first conducted by ULIS, VNU in 2010. One of the criteria for recruiting students is the appropriate level of English (for example: at least 550 score for TOEFL). Students who have not been qualified in English will take a supplement course on this subject for one year. Due to its young age, it is unavoidable for the project as well as the English course which is applied to encounter

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numbers of problem and difficulties that need to be studied and adjusted. Because of the level of students, new vocabularies would be a possible problem. The techniques of teacher when introducing new words play an important role in the effectiveness in reception of students. Therefore, the researcher decided to carry out a study on techniques of presenting new vocabularies of teachers and their effectiveness as perceived by students of the Strategic Mission Project in VNU.

1.2. Aims of the study and research questions As stated in the topic, this research aims at finding out the techniques of presenting new vocabularies of teachers and their effectiveness as perceived by students of the Strategic Mission Program in VNU. The result of the research will serve to revise and improve the ways teachers carry out the teaching vocabulary activity, which may help to enforce the effective studying for students of this program. The questions will be answered after the research finished are: 1) What are the techniques of presenting new vocabulary that are used by teachers of the Strategic Mission Program? 2) What is the effectiveness of the techniques as perceived by students of the Strategic Mission Program? 3) What can be some possible solutions to improve the effectiveness of presenting new vocabulary suggested by teachers and students?

1.3. Scope of the study The study focuses on the techniques for presenting new vocabulary and their effectiveness within the scope of the Strategic Mission Program, which was carried out by Vietnam Nation University. It does not discuss
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the effectiveness of techniques for presenting vocabulary in any other context outside the program. The effectiveness of the techniques would be explored from the perception of the students of Strategic Mission Program. The participants are first year students of the program, who are at Pre-intermediate level. One more noteworthy point about the scope of this study is that it focuses on the effectiveness of techniques for presenting the meaning of new vocabulary rather than the form.

1.4. Significant of the study As having been clarified in the rationale, vocabulary is inevitable to learn a new language. As for students at the early stage, the role of vocabulary in studying procedure is even more important as it is one of the basic tools for any language learners to attain more difficult knowledge later on. Therefore, the effective presentation of new vocabulary is significant. First and foremost, the research makes a contribution to the storage of the researches on the issue of vocabulary teaching in the FELTE, especially on the effectiveness of this activity. It serves as a reference material for the other researchers who are keen on the topic. Secondly, based on the findings and suggestions in this research, the quality of English teaching and learning in Strategic Mission Program in the next years could be enhanced in terms of its techniques in presenting vocabulary.

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1.5. Organization of the study The paper consists of five main chapters. Chapter I “INTRODUCTION” states the rationale, the aims, scope, methods and overview of the study. Chapter II named “LITERATURE REVIEW” defines the key terms and reviews some earlier papers surrounding the topic. Chapter III “METHODOLOGY” clarifies the methods employed throughout the research. Chapter IV “RESULTS AND DISCUSSION” includes the results and analysis. In the last chapter “CONCLUSION”, findings summary and implications of the research are provided.

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CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1. An overview of vocabulary 2.1.1 Definition of vocabulary According to Cambridge Dictionary for Advanced Learners, there are two definitions for vocabularies: a. All the words known and used by a particular person. b. All the words which exist in a particular language or subject Oxford Dictionary for Advanced learners gives one more definition: “A list of words with their meanings especially in a book or learning a foreign language”. In “A Course in language teaching”, Ur, P. (1991) defined: “Vocabulary can be defined, roughly as the words we teach in a foreign language” (p.27). However, Penny also claimed that vocabulary items are not only single words but can also be combined words or multi-word idioms. Therefore, he suggested the name “items” instead of “words” for those cases. In “English, An introduction to language”, Pyles and Algeo (1970) said:
It is true that vocabulary is the focus of language. It is in words that sounds and meanings interlock to allow us to communicate with one another, and it is words that we arrange together to make sentences, conversations and discourse of all kinds.

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There is also methodology concept for vocabulary: “a word is a basic unit of a language denoting concept, things and phenomena in society” (GHP, 1998, p.58) In brief, there are different definitions of vocabulary from different angles of study. This research focuses on vocabulary as all the words which exist in a particular language, including single words and items that contain more than one word. 2.1.2. Roles of vocabulary Initially, it is undeniable that vocabulary is an inevitable component of language. Especially, for the learners of second language, vocabulary is the issue that needs to be studied before all others. Wu Jiangwen & Wang Binbin of Guangdong College of Finance said:“A good mastery of vocabulary is essential for ESL/EFL learners, especially for those who learn for specific purposes or expect to operate at an advanced level in English.” This emphasizes the necessity of studying vocabulary for students of non-English-major, in this case, students of Strategic Mission program. I. S. P. Nation also supports that: “Giving attention to vocabulary is unavoidable. Even the most formal of communication-directed

approaches to language teaching must deal with needed vocabulary in one way or another.” Some may oppose to the importance of vocabulary teaching and consider grammar the most essential to be taught. Wilkin, D. (1972) may answer them: “Without grammar, very little can be conveyed. Without vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed.” (p.111). Grammar, though

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necessary, is also illustrated through words; hence, grammar by no means can surpass vocabulary in the range of importance. Harmer (1992) agreed with Wilkin and claimed that: “If language structures make up the skeleton of language, then it is in vocabulary that provides the vital organ and flesh to make up its perfect body” (p.23). McCarthy (1990) stated in a more general way: “Without words to express a wide range of meanings, communication in the second language cannot happen in any meaningful way.” (p.5). All four skills in English learning – Writing, Reading, Listening and Speaking – are involved with vocabulary. Therefore, for English learners, it is compulsory to gain a certain amount of English words before practicing the above skills. Moreover, in their learning process, widening and sharpening their vocabulary are also important as all kinds of knowledge are expressed by one of the most basic component of language: words. In brief, all the statements above lead to a conclusion that vocabulary is the first and foremost factor that needs to be approach in order to master a language. Without vocabulary – the most significant one, every other factor cannot be achieved. 2.1.3. Aspects of vocabulary to be taught What involved in knowing a word? To answer this question, Penny Ur (1996) brought out some aspects that should be pay attention to when teaching vocabulary: meaning, form, grammar, collocation, and word formation. 2.1.3.1. Meaning
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2.1.3.1.1. Aspects of meaning Some aspects of meaning that need to be learned are: denotation, connotation, appropriateness/ formality. Denotational meaning (also known as propositional meaning) - is the literal meaning of a word, the meaning that we can find in the dictionary. In other words, propositional meaning of a word is what it refers to in the real world. Connotation of a word refers to “the associations, or positive or negative feelings it evokes, which may or may not be indicated in a dictionary definition” (Ur, 1996). Connotational meaning is an implied meaning of a word, the suggesting of a meaning by a word apart from the thing it explicitly names or describes. Another subtle aspect of meaning need to be taught is the appropriateness of a particular item in a certain context. Thanks to this, learners can be aware of when and where to use a word properly. For examples, "put up with" is an informal word, typically used in speech; tolerate is the more formal equivalent, common in academic writing (according to uefap.com). 2.1.3.1.2. Meaning relationships Meaning relationships is how the meaning of one item relates to the meaning of the others. There are some main types of meaning relationships: synonym, antonym, hyponym, co-hyponym, metonym and translation. Synonyms:

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Synonyms are items that have the same or nearly the same meaning. To be more specific, synonyms are words of the same part of speech which have similar or identical denotation, but differ in shades of meaning, connotation or combinability with other words. There are 6 types of synonyms: absolute, semantic, stylistic, semantic stylistic, phraseological, and euphemism synonyms. - Absolute synonyms: words that are identical in their meanings and synonymous in all contexts. For example: begin – start. - Semantic synonyms: words that are different in denotational meaning. For example: discuss – debate – argue. - Stylistic synonyms: words that are different in connotational meaning. For example: friend – mate - Semantic stylistic synonyms: words that are different in both denotational and connotational meaning. For example: compound – department – dwelling. - Phraseological synonyms: words that are different in collocation. For example: do-make, say-tell - Euphemism synonyms: words that are used to reduce the unpleasant effect. For example: die – pass away Antonyms: Words of the same part of speech that are opposite in meaning. The three main types of antonym are gradable, complementary and conversive antonyms.

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- Gradable antonyms: the name has illustrated their characteristic which is gradable. They are opposite ends of a continuous scale of value. For example: rich/ poor, strong/ weak. - Complementary antonyms: this type includes two items, the assertion of one is the negation of the other. Complementary synonyms come in pairs and between them exhausting all relevant possibilities. If one is applicable, then the other cannot be, and vice versa. For example: True/false. - Conversive antonyms: words that denote the same situation but from different point of view, with a reversal of the order of participants and their roles. For example: Doctor/ patient. Hyponyms: This is the relationship between two words in which the meaning of one includes the meaning of the other. Items that serve as specific examples of a general concept are call co-hyponyms. For examples, daisy, rose, violet are flowers. “Rose” is the hyponym of “flower”, “flower” is called the super-ordinate. “rose”, “daisy” and “violet” are co-hyponyms. Metonyms: Metonym is the substitution of one word for another with which it is associated. In other words, instead of the name of one object or notion, we use the name of another because these objects are associated and closely related. Metonymy is based on contiguity. For example: - The Crown had absolute power in the Middle Age. In this sentence, “the Crown” refers to the King or the Queen.
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Translation: words or expressions in the learners’ mother tongue those are more or less equivalent in meaning to the item being taught. For example: house – nhà. 2.1.3.2. Form Form of a word includes spoken form and written form. Spoken form of a word is its pronunciation, which means how it is said in a particular way (Cambridge Dictionary for advanced learners). The role of word pronunciation has been asserted by Gairns and Redman (1986) that even if learners can communicate clearly in written form, they would not make it in spoken form if there is incorrect pronunciation. Written form – also known as spelling- is the proper way a word is written. If in Vietnamese, all literate people can write down a word after listening to it, the case is different in English. English words’ spelling do not closely attached with pronunciation. One letter can be pronounced differently in different words and vice versa, one sound can be transcribed by more than one letter. For examples, the sound /i:/ can be written as ee (need), i (sit) or ea (feat). Some students may have the habit of applying language rules from L1 to assume one of the two above component when they first approach a new word in L2. For instance, when he/she hears the sound /ru:m/ , he/she may write it down as “rum” instead of “room”. Therefore, it is necessary that students should be provided with both spelling and pronunciation of a new word simultaneously. 2.1.3.3. Grammar

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Grammatical rules in English are not applied to every vocabulary items. There are irregular cases where the form of a word is unpredictably changed or the combination with other words is distinctive. A typical example for the unpredictable form changing is irregular verb. Since most verbs’ past form is created by adding “ed”, a lot of students make mistake when they apply this rule to irregular verbs such as “goed” or “eated”. The distinctive combination with other word can be seen clearly when adjectives or verbs go with prepositions like “interested in” or “fond of”. 2.1.3.4. Collocation Collocation refers to the restriction on how words can be used together. McCarthy (1990) said: “the relationship of collocation is fundamental in the study of vocabulary; it is a marriage contract between words and some words are more firmly married to each other than others.” As mentioned in the aspect of grammar, the combination of adjectives or verbs with preposition is an example. For another instance, the combination of verbs and nouns or adjectives and nouns is also restricted. We can say “take/ make a decision” but “come to a conclusion”, not vice versa; a person is often described as “tall”, not “high”. In some special cases like in literature, some untypical collocations may appear and confuse or mislead the learners. Therefore, collocation is an important aspect to teach.

2.1.3.5. Word formation Normally, vocabulary items can be divided into smaller component “bits”. Word formation is about the way to put these “bits” together.
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There are two main ways of word formations: using affixes and combining many words. Instead of teaching a lot of words like unfriendly, unreal, uninteresting, unkind, teachers can provide the meaning of prefix “un”, so that learners can guess the meaning of the above words. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the affixes in many words do not have their original meanings such as “subject” or “comfortable”. Words can be built by combining two or more words; for examples, bookcase is created from two nouns. Knowing the meaning of each separated word, learners can predict the meaning of the compound word. 2.1.4. Classification of vocabulary In his research paper on “Selection, Classification, Strategies of Developing and Techniques of Teaching Vocabulary” (2010), V. Harindhar Reddy divided vocabulary into 4 groups, basing on their functions in a sentence. They are functional words, substitute words, distributive words and content words. 2.1.4.1. Functional words Functional words do not have their own meanings. Mainly, they are used for expressing relationship between words and grammatical patterns, and connecting the content words. Functional words include the following categories: Prepositions: A preposition shows a relationship between noun or noun substitute and some other words in a sentence. For examples: with, at, by, to, in, for, from, of, in, betwixt, amidst, underneath, circa,

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subsequent to, pursuant to, in lieu of, on behalf of, be-hither, anent, vis-a vis, etc. Auxiliaries: Do forms, be forms, have forms, can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, must, ought to, need, dare are all auxiliaries. Conjunctions: Which, for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so, nevertheless, unless, that, if, but, and, when, since, whether, therefore, unless, until, albeit, whereas, while, whilst, etc., Articles: English has two articles: the and a/an. „The‟ is used to refer to specific or particular nouns; a/an is used to modify non-specific or non-particular nouns. Demonstrative adjectives: This, these, those, that, etc. Interrogative Particles: How, what, when, where, which, who, whom, whose, why, however, whatever, whenever, wherever, whichever, whoever, whomever, etc. Degree words: More, most, than, one of the, best, etc. Miscellaneous: There, it, ever, etc. 2.1.4.2. Substitute words These are the words that serve as substitutes for other words. For example: Mary does her work as well as you do. She finished the course and he did too.

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Here the words do and did stand for other words. Hereafter they are called substitute words. Some more examples for substitute words are given below. Personal pronouns: I, me, our, us, you, your, he, his, him, she, her, they, their, them, we, etc. Indefinite substitutes: everybody, somebody, anybody, someone, everyone, anyone, everything, anything, etc. Negative substitutes: nothing, none, nobody, nowhere, none, etc. Words denoting number of quantity: all, several, much, each, some, few, once, twice, one, etc. Flexible substitutes: so, do, as, alike, akin, similar, etc. 2.1.4.3. Distributive words There are a number of words with affirmation and negative distribution. Let us consider the following examples: - He went to the disco and she did too. - Speech is good; better still is silence. Here the words too and still are the words affirmation distribution. Here are two more examples. - Rita does not like oily food; neither do I. - I have not any pen. Here the words neither and any are the words of negative distribution. Evidently, these words show the absence or the presence of a negative
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thing. Several other words such as quite, already, yet, more, some etc. fall under this category.

2.1.4.4. Content words If functional words are the skeleton of a passage, content words ửok the flesh and blood of the language. They form the solid substance of a language. These are the words that stand for things, actions or qualities and are fragmented into 4 types. - Concrete words - Abstract words - Action words and - Quality words a. Concrete words or words for things: These words include common nouns and the nouns formed out of verbs and adjectives. They are: Simple forms: table, chair, pencil, kite, light, camera, etc. Compound forms: chairperson, blackboard, white-house,

spokesperson, sports-car, penknife, etc. b. Abstract words Words for actions changes as nouns: approval, invention, departure, feeling, etc. Words for qualities changed as nouns: goodness, weakness, strength, length, conduct, width, sincerity, bravery, breadth, etc.
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c. Action words Simple forms: run, jump, rowing, type, google, jig, grimace, chuckle, etc. Compound forms: run-over, turn-over, depend upon, cutting across, break apart, tore off, etc. Words for qualities changed as nouns: unveil, endanger, imprison, dethrone, etc. Words for qualities changed as verbs: weaker, harden, soften, enable, endear, etc. Adverbial words: fast, slow, quick, fleetingly, etc. d. Quality words These words describe the quality. They include simple adjectives and adjectives formed out of verbs and nouns. Simple form: Short, tall, good, bad, happy, nice, rotten, sour, colossal, mammoth, etc. Words for things changed into adjectives: boyish, childlike, girlish, accidental, tom-foolish, etc. Words for actions changed into qualities: cheerful, smiling, written, learned, etc.

2.2. Presenting Vocabulary

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As proposed by Gower (2005) and Thornbury (2002), there are three stages in teaching vocabulary: Presenting, practicing, and consolidating and revising. This research focuses only on the techniques for the first stage which is presenting vocabulary. Thornbury emphasized on some factors that affect the number words should be presented: The learners’ level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) Learners’ likely familiarity with the words (learners may have met the words before even though they are not part of their active vocabulary) The difficulty of the items (whether, for example, they express abstract rather than concrete meaning, or whether they are difficult to pronounce) Their “teachability”, which means whether they can be easily explained or demonstrated within the context of the classroom. Whether items are being learned for production (in speaking or writing) or recognition only (as in listening and reading). Since more time will be needed for the former, the number of items is likely to be fewer than if the aim is only recognition.

2.3.

Techniques for presenting new vocabulary According to Ur, P. (1996), as adapted in ELT Methodology II course

book (by Vietnam Nation University), four following main techniques are used for presenting new vocabulary.
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2.3.1. Showing the meaning of words visually: Using pictures: Pictures can be used in many ways. They can be flashcards of separated words, big printed pictures in textbooks or prepared by teacher, or they can even be pictures drawn by teachers or students directly on the board. Pictures are useful in catching student’s attention, raising their interest in the presented subjects and thus, enhancing their motivation. This instrument offers the chance for students to make use of their imagination; hence, using pictures help students to create the link between the meaning of words and real-world image immediately. This technique is highly recommended for beginners in English. Using realia: In this way, real objects are used to illustrate the meanings of words. The objects may already in the classroom, or brought to class by teachers. Penny Ur emphasized that “Real objects are better than pictures whenever we have them in classroom” and it would be “a waste of excellent opportunities” if teachers only use textbook instead of exploiting the real objects surrounding. However, there are a few exceptions when using this instrument. Using real objects is not recommended when the words relate to clothes or body parts. Pointing at these objects, especially the ones one someone’s body in class would create uncomfortable feeling. In these cases, pictures can be used as substitutes. Using mime: Teachers use their own action and facial expressions to illustrate the words. This way is applied mostly for verbs and adjectives, when pictures and real objects are not available. In general, the advantages of showing the meaning of words visually are the directness, attractiveness and quickness. Nevertheless, this way
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cannot be applied to teach every word but mostly used when illustrating non-abstract words. 2.3.2. Showing words in context: As for abstract words, when visually techniques cannot be used, showing word in context using examples, situations and explanations can take effect. However, it should be remembered that the examples, situations or explanations do not have to be too complicated. Simple sentences like “Houses are building. This school is also building” are enough to clarify the meaning of “building”. As Penny Ur described, this is the way teacher “use simple English to show meanings of words” (1996, p.46). He also emphasized that it is not easy to use simpler English to describe one English word, even with native speakers. This technique requires considerable experience in teaching English to speakers of other languages. An effective example should be simple but clear enough for the learners to understand the word meaning. The sentence “He is lazy” itself cannot show the meaning of “lazy” to someone who does not know it. The word should be illustrated more by description such as “He wakes up late. He does nothing all day long”. Ur claimed that example sentences can be more helpful than definitions, especially when the sentences are simple and familiar enough. This technique requires preparation of teachers in order to create appropriate contexts which are brief and comprehensible enough for learners. 2.3.3. Using synonyms or/and antonyms

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If the learners have already known the synonym/ antonym of the new word, this will be a quick way to explain the meaning. This way can help learners revise old words and study new words simultaneously. Moreover, when learners can see a relation in meaning between the new knowledge and the one that they have known, memorizing the new words becomes easier. Once learners have been familiarized with some rules to create antonyms such as using prefixes, they can easily get the meaning of a new word or can even predict the form of an unknown antonym. For instances, when learners have known about pairs of words like “happy – unhappy”, “friendly – unfriendly”, they can guess the meaning of “uninteresting” or guess that there can be words like “unkind, unnecessary”. However, this technique is not applicable if the students do not know the words from which they have to infer the opposite or similar meaning. One more disadvantage of this technique is that antonym can hardly be applied with nouns, and not all adjectives, adverbs or verbs have a true synonym or antonym. 2.3.4. Translation Translation is the technique of explain the new word by the learner’s first language. This is considered the simplest and clearest way to show the meaning of a new word. Moreover, it seems to be a favourable technique by teachers thanks to its time-saving nature. Several authors suggest that first language does not play an essential role in foreign language teaching (Tang, 2002). Whilst Nation (1990), for example, suggests that the degradation of mother tongue has a harmful psychological effect on learners. A number of professionals in the field of second language and foreign language acquisition agree that mother tongue should be used with students who are not highly proficient in the target language such as Nation (2002) or Atkinson (1987).This may
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suggest that mother tongue plays an important role in language teaching, especially for the low proficiency learners like students of Strategic Mission Program. However, only translation technique itself cannot vividly shows how the word is actually used. Furthermore, there are cases that the Vietnamese word cannot fully depict all aspects of meaning of the English counterpart. If students are not active enough to study the meaning carefully by themselves, they will easily misuse the words. Therefore, it is recommended that together with translation, teachers should provide examples to illustrate how the words really work. 2.3.5. Combining different techniques Because each technique has its own benefit and limitation, the combination of different techniques is applied frequently in order to support each other and reinforce the effectiveness of the presentation. The ways to combine techniques depend on the purpose and the creativeness of each teacher.

2.4. Vocabulary acquisition To serve the aim of this study, the researcher did not take “the number of words a language learner should know” into consideration. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of techniques for presenting new vocabulary, the researcher needs to initially answer the question: What does it mean by “knowing a word”? Richards (1976) brought out eight assumptions in relation to lexical competence which are listed in Carter and McCarthy (1989).

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Knowing a word means knowing the degree of probability of encountering it and the sorts of words most likely to be found associated with it (frequency and collocability). Knowing a word means knowing its limitations of use according to function and situation (temporal, social, geographical; field, mode, etc). Knowing a word means knowing its syntactic behaviour (e.g. transitivity patterns, cases). Knowing a word means knowing its underlying forms and derivations. Knowing a word means knowing its place in a network of associations with other words in the language. Knowing a word means knowing its semantic value (its composition). Knowing a word means knowing its different meanings (polisemy) Joanna Channell (1988) stated that an L2 word is considered as being acquired by a learner when: a) its meaning can be recognized and understood both in and out of context b) it can be used naturally and appropriately to situation. The limitation of time does not allow this study to investigate thoroughly into each of the eight assumptions by Richard. The methodology is also not enough to explore the ability of using new words naturally and appropriately of students. Consequently, in the scope of this

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study, the researcher only aim at the vocabulary acquisition at the most basic level, at which “knowing a word involves knowing its form and its meaning.” (Thornbury, 2002) Moreover, as most techniques for presenting vocabulary listed here focus on the meaning of words, the significant focus of the study is also the meaning of the new vocabulary presented.

2.5. Related studies 2.5.1. In Vietnam There have been a number of researches on teaching vocabulary. The major of them are about techniques in teaching vocabulary for students in secondary schools, high schools (especially 11th and 12th form) or some certain centers. Those studies aim at the techniques to teach vocabulary in general but do not elaborate in the presenting stage. Besides, the focus of a lot of those studies is teaching vocabulary through games and visual aids, or the difficulty when teaching vocabulary. There haven’t been any study investigates the effectiveness of the techniques. Moreover, as the Strategic Mission Program is brand new, there has absolutely been no research on any issue of this program.

2.5.2. In the world The situation is quite the same in the world. There are numerous of researches on techniques for teaching vocabulary in various environments. Alemi, M (2010) conducted the study “Educational game as a vehicle for teaching vocabulary”, in which she attempted to investigate the role of using word games in expanding the learner’s vocabulary. In “An investigation of two ways of presenting vocabulary”
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(retrieved from eltj.oxfordjournals.org ) by Papathanasiou, E, the author aimed at examine the two manner of L2 vocabulary presentation which are presenting words in related fashion and semantically related vocabulary. Researcher Pyle, D. wrote “Teaching vocabulary meaningfully with language, image and sound” (2009). This study was an exploration of how an instructional technique that uses language, image, and sound - that of a meaningful presentation of language with image by gradual, step-by-step sequencing - affects vocabulary acquisition. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of techniques for presenting new vocabulary has not been studied thoroughly in any specific real case.

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CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
3.1. Settings Strategic Mission is a short name for the project of building and developing 16 branches, 23 specialties of basic science, high technology, economy-society with international standard at Vietnam National University. This is a new project that is first conducted by ULIS, VNU in the academic year of 2010-2011. Students come from different universities of VNU, who have not been qualified enough in English will take a supplement course on this subject for one year. Their English course consists of five modules, which will be studied within one year. They aim at the level of at least 6.0 IELTS after the course. Most of their first year time í spent on English studying only. The twenty classes of Strategic Mission Program are divided into 3 main groups according to students’ level: From QT1 to QT5 plus QT19 are classes at the highest level, from QT6 to QT18 are middle-leveled classes, and QT20 is a special class for students at the lowest level. This research focuses only on the second groups. Strategic Mission Program’s students have five 50-minute sessions of English per day, and five days a week. Among the five sessions, the first four are carried out by teachers. Students work with the course books which are distinctively assigned for the program depending on each module. The fifth session is for the tutors who are voluntary students from English-major faculty to come and helps the students with any questions they might have regarding the contents of the lessons in previous sessions.

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There are some features which should be noted about students of Strategic Mission Program. Firstly, different from the English-major course, the four skills (speaking, listening, writing and reading) are not study separately but combined together in their course book. Only for module B2 and C1, writing skill is split out with particular textbooks. Next, from the second year on, they will study course of their majors in English. Therefore, they need to reach the required English level, which is also the main target of the English course in the first year.

3.2. Participants The two targets involving directly in teaching and learning vocabulary are students and teachers of Strategic Mission Program. These are two certain participants of the research. First, an approximately of 70 students from three classes in QT group are chosen for collecting data. The three classes are picked randomly from QT6 to QT18. This is the group of middle level. At the beginning of the course, they are pre-intermediate students. At the last module (C1), they are supposed to reach Intermediate level. As their proficiency in English is lower than the other classes (from QT1 to QT5, plus QT 19), new vocabulary would be more problematic for their learning. The following table tells in detail the course books used for this group during five modules:

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Modules A1

Course books New English File – Ele Pronunciation in Use – Ele

A2

New English File - Pre-intermediate Pronunciation in Use - Ele

B1

New English File – Intermediate Interaction 1 – Reading Interaction 1 – Listening Natural English - Intermediate

B2

Focus on IELTS Foundation Coursebook Focus on skills for IELTS Foundation Paragraph Writing

C1

IELTS Express – Intermediate Effective Academic Writing 2 The Complete Presentation Skill Handbook

Course books used for this group during five modules

The research is carried out at the beginning of semester 2 so that students have already had a certain experience through one semester of the English course. They now can identify their own problem in learning process and complete the questionnaire.

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Second, teachers are the one who directly present new knowledge, which they should be well-prepared for and thoroughly understand. Consequently, for a study on techniques of presenting new vocabularies, teachers are certainly an appropriate participant. Ten teachers are also chosen randomly to do the questionnaire. Due to the fact that the teaching staff for Strategic Mission Program changed after each module, and one class might work with up to 10 teachers within one week, it is not necessary to choose exactly the teachers who are in charge of the chosen classes. Another aim of questioning both students and teachers is to ensure the objectiveness of the data. The students may not be fully aware of the techniques used by their teachers, or they may not concentrate enough in order to remember precisely what are taught in class. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the response of both sides.

3.3. Instruments As for a quantitative research, questionnaire and interview are applied together so that the researcher can cover all the angles of the issue. 3.3.1. Questionnaire The purpose of questionnaire is to clarify the techniques of presenting new vocabularies of teachers’ and students’ evaluation for those techniques. Most questions are close so that the questionnaire will not be time-consuming for the participants and more convenient for the researcher to collect and analyze the data.

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The strong point of questionnaire is the ability of collecting data from a wide group of participants and it has fairly reliability (Mackey & Gass, 2005, p29). “The questionnaire is a widely used useful instrument for collecting survey information, providing structured, often numerical data, being able to be administered without the presence of the researcher, and often being comparatively straightforward to analyze” (Wilson & McLean, 1994, cited in essaycapital.com) Because of students’ limited English proficiency, Vietnamese versions of questionnaire are specially designed for students to decrease the probable difficulty for them. 3.3.2. Interview As stated above, the data collected from questionnaire are only fairly reliable. They may not be trustworthy enough due to the unwillingness of the participants. As a result, interview needs to be carried out in order to gather more concise information. For more specific details about the techniques of presenting new vocabularies and their effectiveness, interview will be applied for 10 students and 3 teachers. The interviewees are chosen basing on the questionnaires. Another purpose of interviewing is to check whether students really understand the options in the questionnaires and if they thought carefully before answering or not. The interviews are conducted confidentially and in friendly atmosphere. The interviewees clarify some unclear points in the questionnaire and elaborate more on some detailed information. The conversations are recorded and transcribed later on.

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3.4. Sampling According to Hatch and Lazaraton (1991), the sample should include at least 30 people in order to achieve the “normal distribution”. From the statistical significance’s point of view, the needed number of participants is around 50 for statistical significance. Moreover, the range from 1% to 10% of the population is often said to be the “magic sampling fraction”. Each of the 20 QT classes has an approximately of 25 to 30 students. Therefore, the researcher decided to distribute questionnaire for three classes. After that, basing on the questionnaire, researcher chose the targets for interviewing to collect more detailed information.

3.5. Procedure 3.5.1. Data collection As earlier mentioned, the data collection procedure of this study was conducted with two instruments: surveys and interviews, both designed by the researcher. First of all, the researcher distributes pilot questionnaire randomly to three students and one teacher. If necessary, adjustment will be applied afterward to come up with the final questionnaire. The copies of the final one will be given out for the participants. The soft copies can also be made used of and sent through email if that way is more convenient for the participants. Secondly, basing on the general situation withdrawn from the answers for questionnaire, the researcher will design interview questions to look for more details. All interviews will be carried out with informal
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and friendly atmosphere. All information about interviewees is guaranteed to be confidential. The content of the interviews will be recorded by the researcher. 3.5.2. Data analysis First, for the questionnaire, the data from close-ended questions will be statistically analyzed to answer the research questions. With the openended questions, synthesis and classification will be employed to analyze data. After writing the transcripts of the interview recordings, the researcher will use the same methods as above to analyze the interviewees’ answers for more specific information.

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CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
4.1. Findings 4.1.1. The frequency of using each technique in presenting the meaning of new vocabulary as perceived by students:
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 22,9 11,4 3 7,4 3 38,8 44,8 23,4 25,4 4,5 9 1,5 Combining different techniques 22,4 44,8 19,9 41,3 35,8 32,9 25,3 Always Usually Often Rarely Never 3 15,4 20,9

9

14,8

19,4

Showing the Showing words Using synonyms Translation meaning of in context or/ and words visually antonyms

Figure 1: The frequency of using each technique for presenting new vocabulary as perceived by students

Figure 1 shows clearly that out of all techniques for presenting new vocabulary, the least used one is the group of visual techniques. About 23% students said they never see these techniques used in class. The majority asserted that they are rarely applied. Nearly two fifths claimed that they are applied frequently (from often to always). Only 3% ticked on “always” option for visual techniques group. According to the data, translation seems not to be a highly preferable technique. Although 14,8% student chose the option “always”

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for it, there another 30% who do not see the usage of this technique regularly. The techniques of using context, synonyms/ antonyms and combining different techniques are exploited with roughly the same frequency. All three of them receive the agreement of 85% to 90% students for the categories from often to always. The first and the last one are both used always in the opinion of one fifth of students. Investigating the way teachers combine different techniques, the researcher received fairly similar ideas from some students. Mainly, their teachers use context together with visual instruments to illustrate the words.

100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

0 1,5 25,4

0 8,9

9

41,8

44,8

Always Usually

59,7 25,4 49,3 14,9 13,4 Using pictures Using realia 5,9 Using mime

Often Rarely Never

Figure 2: The frequency of using each sub-technique in “showing the meaning of words visually” as perceived by students

Taking a closer look at the usage of visual techniques in figure 2, we can see that realia is not a preferable tool for showing meanings of

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words. A half of students have never been exposed to this technique. Another 42% said realia are rarely employed. Only 8,9% students often learn new words through realia. On answering the question “How realia are used in your class?”, student B claimed that his English teachers did not use this tool so often and they mainly made use of the objects available in class. However, objects I class hardly serve the topic in the course book, hence they do not have much chance to be used. As can be seen from the figure, the frequency of using pictures is not high either. More than two thirds of students never or rarely study new vocabulary through pictures. Among those, 13,4% said pictures are never used. Of all three visual sub-techniques, using mime is exploited the most. This is the only technique that is always used according to 9% of students. Other 70% confirmed that mime is usually or often employed by their teachers.
100% 90% 80% 19,4 7,6 35,8 37,3 Always 46,3 29,8 22,4 19,4 10,4 1,5 Using examples 5,9 Using situation 17,9 4,5 1,5 Using explanations Usually

70%
60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

40,3

Often Rarely Never

Figure 3: The frequency of using each sub-technique in “showing the meaning of words in context” as perceived by students

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Figure 3 shows that the frequencies of using each among 3 subtechniques in “showing the meaning of words in context” as perceived by students are not remarkably different. Situation is the least exploited tool since one fourths of students agreed that their teachers never or rarely use situation to present new vocabulary. Meanwhile, this rate for the two other tools is doubled (for using examples) and tripled (for using explanations). Remarkably, explanation is the most preferable instrument with the confirmation of about three fourths of students, among those are 35,8 % who chose “always” and 40,3% chose “usually”. Using example technique has nearly the same frequency as using explanations. But the percentage of students that that ticked on “never” or “rarely” options of using examples (12%) almost doubles that of using explanations (6%). The situation is reversed when it comes to the option “always”. The number of students having chosen this option for using examples is only more than a half of that for using explanations.

4.1.2. The frequency of using each technique in presenting new vocabulary as perceived by teachers 4.1.2.1. The frequency of using each technique in presenting new vocabulary according to teachers’ lesson plans

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100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%

0 6,7

0 10

0 10

30 56,7

50 60

30

Always Usually Often

63,3 50 33,3 0 0 0 40

60

Rarely Never

0%

0 Translation

0 Combining different techniques

Showing the Showing words Using synonyms meaning of in context or/ and words visually antonyms

Figure 4: The frequency of using each technique in presenting new vocabulary according to teachers’ lesson plans

From figure 4, it can be concluded that all techniques for presenting new vocabulary are not neglected by teachers. More or less, all five techniques have been put into teachers’ lesson plans. However, the frequency of tending to use each one varies quite clearly. Outstandingly, the techniques of showing meaning of words visually and translation are rarely considered in lesson plans as 63,3% and 40% of teachers claimed so respectively. On the other hand, the three techniques left seem to be preferable, especially “showing words in context” with totally 67% of teachers’ choice for “always” and “usually” options. Teacher A

explained the reason for not putting translation in her lesson plans:
I don’t put translation in lesson plan because it is not necessary to do so. It is quite an “instinctual” technique. By “instinctual”, I mean when there is no other way to explain the new words, teachers will automatically do this way.

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100% 90%

0 10

0 10 10

0

80% 30 70% 60% 50% Always Usually Often 80 60 50 20% 10% 0% 0 Using pictures 0 Using realia 0 Using mime 50

40%
30%

Rarely

Never

Figure 5: The frequency of using each sub-technique in "Showing the meaning of words visually" according to lesson plans

Figure 5 reveals more details about the frequency "Showing the meaning of words visually" according to lesson plans. All three instruments for this technique rarely appear in the lesson plans of at least a half of teachers. The highest rate of “rarely” option belongs to “using realia” technique with 80%. However, for pictures and realia, there are still 10% of teachers who usually employ them in their lesson plans. Mime are tended to be often used by 50% and rarely used by the other half.

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100% 90%

0

0

30 80%

70%
60% 50%

60

60
Always

Usually
50 Often Rarely

40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 0 Using examples 40 20 0 Using situation 0 Using explanations 40

Never

Figure 6: The frequency of using each sub-technique in "showing words in context" according to lesson plans

The technique of showing words in context are fairly favourable as showed in figure 6. The situation is exactly the same for the technique of “using examples” and “using explanations” since each one receives two fifths of ticks for “often” and three fifths for “usually”. It is obvious that the most utilized instrument in the lesson plans is situation. Up to a half of teachers usually consider it and 30% always put it into their lesson plans.

4.1.2.2. The frequency of using each technique in presenting new vocabulary in actual teaching sessions

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100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%

0 6,6 16,7 26,7

0 10 10 10 10 50 43,3 50 80

Always Usually Often Rarely 50

66,7 40 20 0 0 0 0 Translation 0 Combining different techniques

Never

0%

Showing the Showing words Using synonyms meaning of in context or/ and words visually antonyms

Figure 7: The frequency of using each technique in presenting new vocabulary in actual teaching sessions

Figure 7 illustrates the frequency of using each technique in presenting new vocabulary in actual teaching sessions as perceived by teachers. Among all techniques, visual techniques are exceptionally rarely exploited by 66,7% of teachers. No one claimed that he/she always uses this technique, and it is usually used by only 6,6% of teachers. The second least applied technique is translation. One fifth of teacher rarely make use of it. Only one other fifth chose the options “always” and “usually”. Teacher A answered that although translating words directly into Vietnamese could help to save time, this technique should not be over-used. She assumes that “if we (teachers) translate all the time, I think the students cannot understand and remember the word as well as when they have to analyze the context or examples in English.” Therefore, she chose to have her students think more through
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explanations in order to help them understand and remember words better. For the other three techniques, no teacher said he/she rarely uses them. Approximately 40% of teachers often employ “showing words in context” and “combining different techniques”. That percentage for “using synonyms/ antonyms” is 80%. Of all five, the most actually applied technique “showing words in context”, which receives the highest rate for “always” option (16,7%) and secondly highest one for “usually” option (43,3%). All three teacher in the interviews agreed that using context is the best way to show the meanings of new vocabulary, both denotational and connotational ones. “Combining different techniques” is the second choice because it is rather complicated and time-consuming to carry out (according to teacher C).
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 70 80 50 0 0 20 0 50 Always Usually Often Rarely Never 0

30

10%
0% 0 Using pictures 0 Using realia 0 Using mime

Figure 8: The frequency of using each sub-technique in “showing the meaning of words visually” in actual teaching sessions

Visual techniques are generally not frequently used in actual teaching sessions since at least a half of teachers ticked on “rarely”
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options for each instrument, especially up to 80% for realia. However, it is realia that is the only one employed usually by one fifth of teacher. None of the teacher chose “usually” or “always” for “Using pictures” and “using mime”. Each of the two techniques receive 30% and 50% of “often” respectively. Describing the way she used realia in class, teacher B said: “Most of the time, I only use objects that are available around the class. It is difficult to find and bring things to class.” She also explained that not many words can be illustrated by real objects, so this technique is not employed much by her. Teacher C justified her reason for not using pictures frequently: “Using picture requires careful preparation and a lot of time.” She needed time to find the pictures that appropriate, simple and clear enough to illustrate the word. Although pictures are beneficial for presenting the denotational meaning of new words, they become impractical in the context of the classroom. First, it would be costly if teachers prepare and print pictures for every session. Second, one picture can hardly describe more than one word. In that way, using pictures frequently is quite a waste.

Teacher A thought that using mime is challenging for most teachers if their body language was not flexible enough. This technique requires good “acting/ performing skill” while not all teachers can master these skills. “Moreover, if I don’t “act” well enough, the acting will become awkward and the students still cannot catch the meaning I want to deliver. In that way, mime turns out to be confusing and too complicated for students” she explained.

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100% 10 90% 30 80% 30 70% 60% 50% 40% 60 60 50 20% 10% 0% 10 0 Using examples 0 Using situation 0 Using explanations 40 Always Usually Often Rarely Never 10

30%

Figure 9: The frequency of using each sub-technique in “showing the meaning of words in context” in actual teaching sessions

Apparently, figure 9 proves that examples are the most highly appreciate instrument by teacher in actual teaching sessions as three fifths of teacher “usually” and 30% for “always”. Both of the two percentages are higher than those of “using situation” and “using explanations”. There is no percentage of “rarely” or “never” for all three techniques. The rate of teachers who often apply situation and explanation are 50% and 60% accordingly. According to teacher B, in fact, teachers often combine these instruments and apply them at the same time. “It’s difficult to clearly distinguish these three instruments. The examples can also be the situations or explanations” she said. Comparing the frequency of using each technique for presenting vocabulary according to lesson plans and in actual teaching sessions, we do not see much difference. The most outstanding dissimilarity is that in

43

actual teaching sessions, the techniques of translation and using synonyms/ antonyms are utilized more than having been planned. In conclusion, taking a look at the frequency of using each technique for presenting vocabulary as perceived by students and by teachers, the researcher realized that despite the difference in terms of percentage for the options of frequency, the general ratio among the frequency of 5 techniques are quite the same. According to the data from both sides (teachers and students), the two most frequently used techniques are showing words in context and combining several techniques. The technique which is made used of the least is showing the meaning of words visually.

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4.1.3. The effectiveness of techniques for presenting vocabulary as perceived by students:
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 10,4 8,5 25,4 32,8 25,4 13,4 3 1 6 0 1,5 Translation 22,4 1,5 0 Combining different techniques 28,4 37,3 45,7 41,8 22,4 35,8 Very effective Quite effective Neutral Little effective Ineffective 18,4 24,9 19,4 34,3 40,3

Showing the Showing words Using synonyms meaning of in context or/ and words visually antonyms

Figure 10: The effectiveness of each technique for presenting denotational meaning as perceived by students

Generally, from figure 10, we can say all five techniques are more or less equally effective for presenting denotational meanings. The percentages of students that believe in the effectiveness of these techniques range from 58% (translation) to 75% (combining different techniques). The combining of techniques is the most helpful one with the agreement of about three fourths of students who chose “effective and “very effective”, and none said it is ineffective. There is not much difference in the number of students who affirm the effectiveness of the other four techniques. However, it is noteworthy that the rate of students considering visual techniques and translation as “ineffective” and “little effective” are remarkably high comparing to that
45

of the others. While there is only 1,5% to 6% of students said that showing word in context, using synonyms/ antonyms and combining techniques are of little or no effective, this percentage for “showing the meaning of words visually” and “translation” are 19% and 15% respectively.
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 13,4 14,9 6 Using pictures Using realia 22,4 9 9 25,3 28,4 40,3 28,4 43,3 Very effectvie Quite effective Neutral 17,9 22,4 14,8

Little effective
Ineffective

4,5
Using mime

Figure 11: The effectiveness of each sub-technique in "Showing the meaning of words visually" for presenting denotational meanings as perceived by students

As viewed in figure 11, three instruments in visual techniques group have approximately similar level of effectiveness. From a half to three fifths of students agreed that these three sub-techniques are effective. About one fourths claimed they are neutral in this question. It is notable that more students do not find using realia effective comparing to the other two instruments. Up to 14,9% ticked on “ineffective” and 9% ticked on “little effective” options for using realia. This percentage for using pictures and using mime and pictures are both
46

under 20%. Also, only a half of students assert the efficiency of using realia, which is less than that of nearly 60% of the other tools. Even so, the number of students who find using realia very effective is the highest one among the three (22,4%). Explaining the ineffectiveness of using pictures in presenting new vocabulary, student D complained that pictures sometimes could confuse her.
Some pictures in course book or handouts are too small and of poor quality, hence I cannot figure out the images. Moreover, there may by too many objects in one picture that distract me from the main object that I need to pay attention to.

So, it is the choice of pictures that has impact on the effectiveness of this technique. Unclear and complicated ones would reverse the effect on students.

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100% 90% 80% 70% 60% Very effective 44,8 41,8 50,7 Quite effective Neutral Little effective Ineffective 31,3 26,8 17,9 20,9 25,4 28,4

50%
40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

3 0
Using examples

4,5 1,5 Using situation

1,5 1,5 Using explanations

Figure 12: The effectiveness of each sub-technique in "showing words in context" for presenting denotational meanings as perceived by students

It can be withdrawn from figure 12 that using explanations is more effective than using the other two instruments. Almost 80% of students thought that explanations are useful for them in studying denotational meanings of new vocabulary. More than one third of those affirm that using this tool is “very effective”. Only 17,8% do not highly regard the efficiency of this technique while that of using examples and situation are 31,3% and 26,8% accordingly. The techniques of using examples and situation are similarly evaluated by three fourths of students as “very effective” and “quite effective”. It is notable that there are 6% could not see the efficiency of using situation to present denotational meanings.

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100% 9,5 90% 80% 70% 60% 40,3 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 18,9 5 4,5 0 7,5 0 14,9 30,8 31,3 39,3 29,8 47,7 27,3 24,4 13,5 28,4 35,9

26,9
29,8

Very effective Quite effective Neutral Little effective

Ineffective 32,8

0
Translation

1,5 0 Combining different techniques

Showing the Showing words Using meaning of in context synonyms or/ words visually and antonyms

Figure 13: The effectiveness of each technique for presenting connotational meanings as perceived by students

When it comes to presenting connotational meaning, there is variety in the evaluation for level of effectiveness among techniques (see figure 13). Overall, combining different techniques is claimed to be the most effective one with 35,9% of students’ choice for “very effective”, 29,8% for “quite effective” and only 1,5% for “little effective”. Showing words in context, using synonyms/ antonyms are rather equally helpful for students as more than 60% of them agreed on the effectiveness of these two techniques. Translation technique receives a considerable rate of 14,9% for “little effective” option. However, it is “Showing the meaning of words visually” that is proved to be the worst technique for presenting connotational meaning of words. Up to 24% students claimed that they

49

could not learn connotational meanings effectively through visual aids, and only 35 % approve the effectiveness of them.

100% 9,5 90% 80% 70% 22,3

6 25,4

13,4

34,4 Very effectvie 35,8 44,7 37,3 22,4 21 3 Using pictures 10,4 Using realia 13,4 1,5 Using mime Quite effective Neutral Little effective Ineffective

60%
50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Figure 14: The effectiveness of each technique in "Showing the meaning of words visually" for presenting connotational meaning as perceived by students

Similarly to the result of the whole group, each techniques in “showing the meaning of word visually” is given not much approval for the option “very effective” in presenting connotational meaning, only from 6% (using realia) to 13,4% (using mime). Of all three instruments, mime seems to be the most appreciated tool with the highest rate for both “very effective” and “quite effective” option (48% in total ) and the lowest rate for “little effective” and “ineffective” options (15% in total). The percentage of students who disapproved the effectiveness of using realia is noticeably high (more than 30%). Among those, one third said realia are not effective at all in presenting connotational meaning. To
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answer the question “How can pictures help you to learn the connotational meaning of new word?” student E said:
Pictures only are not enough to show the connotational meaning. It is necessary that teachers ass more explanation. And we need no know the denotational meaning, then we may infer the connotatinal meaning.
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 38,8 Very effective 19,4 26,8 26,8

40,3

41,8

Quite effective
Neutral Little effective

Ineffective
38,8 28,4 25,4

20%
10% 0%

3 0 Using examples

4,5 0 Using situation

6 0 Using explanations

Figure 15: The effectiveness of each sub-technique in "Showing words in context" for presenting connotational meanings as perceived by students

The situation is brighter for “showing words in context” subtechniques. Generally, the majority of students (from 59% to 69%) asserted the effectiveness of these techniques for presenting connotational meaning of new vocabulary. Only less than 6% did not find these three sub-techniques effective for them. Using examples is slightly less effective than the other techniques with the disproportion of nearly 10% for “very effective” and “quite effective” options.

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Briefly, it can be concluded that the two most effective techniques for presenting vocabulary as perceived by students are “showing words in context” and “combining different techniques”. Three sub-techniques of the former one are equally effective in the opinion of students of Strategic Mission Program.

4.2. Suggestions to improve the effectiveness of techniques for presenting new vocabulary: 4.2.1. Suggestions by teachers: In teacher’s opinion, there are two main kinds of difficulty when using these five techniques to present new vocabulary. First, it is the limitation in the characteristics of each technique. For examples, realia is not frequently employed because they cannot illustrate the abstract nouns. Second, the difficulties rise in the procedure of carrying out the techniques. The techniques can be time-consuming to carry out, demanding in preparation, too complicated for students or not appealing enough for students. Giving the solutions for these problems, teachers raise some possible remedies. Teacher B shared her experience in using context to present new vocabulary:
I myself find using context to explain words effective and clear. However, it seems that a number of students don’t think so. I guess it is because the examples and situations are not good enough. They cannot attract students. I think maybe the teachers need more sense of humour, or creativity to provide interesting and effective examples or explanations.

For the difficulty when using visual instruments like pictures or realia, teachers had the same point of view that they should be more
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practical and flexible when applying this way. Teacher A contributed her method:
Teacher can make use of the drawing talent of students. For example, once I conducted a word game, I required one student from each team to illustrate the words by drawing simple images onto the board. Certainly, the teams chose their best painters. The activity was eagerly approved and I could save much time and money on preparing the pictures myself.

The teachers suggested some more techniques that could be useful in presenting new vocabulary. One method that was raised by most teachers is using game. Teacher A said:
I think create a competitive vocabulary game is an effective way to increase students’ motivation, such as some quizzes with marks to decide which group is the winner, which is the loser, and the loser will have to do something to “entertain” the whole class.

The game for presenting vocabulary can be diversity, depending on the creativity and the aim of each teacher. The normal psychology of students is to prefer playing than studying (according to teacher C); moreover, four continuous periods for a session is rather long and tiring, so games become helpful in both comforting students, offering them time to take off stress and simultaneously drawing their attention. Andrew Wright (1984) would agree with this opinion as he said language learning is “hard work’ which requires effort at every moment and must be maintained over a long period of time. Therefore, games encourage many learners to “sustain their interest and work” . He also pointed out that one more advantage of games is to help the teacher to create contexts in which the language is useful and meaningful. In order to take part in the games, students must understand and be able to respond to what is happening. In that way, both the confidence and language acquisition of them are enhanced.
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Some teachers think that instead of explaining the words or translating them for students, teacher can ask somebody in class to clarify meaning (either explain or translate) for the other ones. “Learning from classmates is more effective than from teachers to some extends” said teacher B. The reason is that students in one class normally have the common background knowledge, interest and general level of English acquisition. Consequently, one student may understand what his/ her friends need or how they want the words to be explained better than teachers do. Moreover, students would be more open with their peers than with their supervisors. They feel more comfortable to question the speakers or require more clarification if the provided one has not been satisfactory enough. The feeling of comfort is also a factor that affects the efficiency of studying new knowledge. Another techniques suggested by teachers is using questions. Teacher C stated that she would use this instrument together with translation because of the “very low level of English competency of students”. The questions should be clear, simple and suggestive so that students can gradually reach the meaning of vocabulary by themselves. The last technique raised by teachers is having students use dictionary. Teacher A said:
Sometimes, there are too many new words that teacher cannot handle all, as in a reading text. In that case, students should figure out the word on their own. Additionally, using dictionary is a skill that needs to be mastered as students’ level improves.

There are some certain advantages of using dictionary. First, students will access to both the meaning and the form (spelling and pronunciation) of the word. This lessens the chance of misspelling and mispronouncing
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the words due to the external affection. Second, the definition provided in the dictionary is precise with examples to illustrate, which helps to avoid misunderstanding due to ambiguous explanation by teachers. Last, English learners should know how to read the dictionary properly. By “properly”, it means that students should know what kind of meaning they are looking up for, and which one among the provided meanings is appropriate. However, having students use dictionary, teachers should still explain more in case the examples in dictionary are too complicated or not familiar.

4.2.2. Suggestions by students More than one third of students confirmed that they would like visual aids, especially pictures to be employed more in class for presenting new vocabulary. Students A agreed: “I would love to learn new words through pictures. They are easy to understand and interesting. Looking at pictures help me feel more comfortable and less boring in class.” Nevertheless, as mentioned in the findings, pictures used in class should be in good quality in order to ensure their effectiveness. One more technique which is approximately as preferred by students as using pictures is showing words in context. They would like to be provided with sentences or paragraphs including new words in order to figure out the meaning by themselves. Students also suggested that teachers should use simple and familiar explanations. Student A gave an example:
When teaching about people’s characteristics, instead of giving us general examples about someone named John or Tom, or some “he” or “she”,

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teachers can take someone in my class as an illustration. It would be much more vivid and interesting.

Some students claimed that using synonyms/ antonyms to present new words is the best way. Student D said: “I like to learn new words by synonyms and antonyms because this way helps me to understand much faster and remember better. Furthermore, there are some general rules for creating antonym like adding prefix. Therefore, if I have known some rules, I can easily guess the meaning of the antonyms.” One technique that quite a lot of students raised is providing new vocabulary in theme/ topic. “We can draw mind maps to study words better” is the opinion of student A. Studying new words in certain topics together with mind maps helps students to remember words

systematically. Hence, this is a useful method to present denotational meaning of vocabulary. Lastly, using games is also a preferable method for presenting vocabulary to students. Almost all students interviewed affirmed their expectation of having more games in class. Especially, when there is a theme for the lesson, games for new vocabulary is highly recommended because they will be easier to carry out. Inputting a large amount of new words is challenging and tiring for students at low level. Games help to ease the stress and inspire students. 4.3. Conclusion In general, there is not much difference between the frequency of using each technique for presenting vocabulary as perceived by teacher and as perceived by students. Both two targets confirmed the highest frequency of “Showing words in context” and “Combining several

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techniques” and the lowest one of “showing the meaning of words visually”. In the opinion of students, the two most effective techniques for presenting vocabulary are “showing words in context” and “combining different techniques”. Suggesting ways to improve the effectiveness of presenting new vocabulary, students stated that the five main techniques by Penny Ur should be enhanced and employed more in class, especially using pictures, synonyms/ antonyms and showing words in context. Besides those techniques in the theory, teachers and students have quite different ways to improve the effectiveness. Teachers have the tendency to require students to work more, which explains their choice of techniques like having students use dictionary or explain words for peers. From the other side, students wish for more games and some changes in terms of the way teachers apply techniques.

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CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION
5.1. Summary After analyzing data from questionnaire and interviews, the researcher found out that there is not much difference between the frequency of using each technique for presenting vocabulary from the perception of teacher and of students. Both two sides agreed on the highest frequency of “showing words in context” and “combining several techniques” and the lowest one of “showing the meaning of words visually”. Regarding the instruments for showing words in context, mimes (actions) is the most preferable one while realia are not applied frequently due to some limitations of its. On the other hand, the three instruments in “showing words in context” are equally employed. In terms of the effectiveness of techniques for presenting denotational meaning of vocabulary, most students confirmed that combining different techniques is the most efficient method, and the least useful one is the visual technique of using realia. For presenting connotational meaning, once again, combining different techniques is the most highly estimated method by students, and using realia is still the worst one in their opinion. Students and teachers of Strategic Mission Program have different suggestions in order to improve the effectiveness of presenting new vocabulary. AS for students, they would like the five main techniques by Penny Ur should be enhanced and employed more in class, especially using pictures, synonyms/ antonyms and showing words in context. Besides those techniques in the theory, teachers and students have suggested additional ways to improve the effectiveness. Both of them emphasized the advantages of games for presenting vocabulary, which is
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said to be able to keep the motivation of students. From one side, most teachers seem to have the tendency to require students to work mentally more, for which reasons they preferred techniques like having students use dictionary or explain words for peers. From the other side, students wish for more games and some alternations in terms of the way teachers apply techniques. 5.2. Teaching implications From the result of the study, the researcher believe that the key factor affecting the efficiency of presenting new vocabulary is the way each technique is conducted in the context of classroom. This depends on how experienced and skillful teachers are. Taking using mime as an example, we can see that if teachers want to apply this technique effectually, they need to be creative and competent in order to use body language smoothly without creating awkwardness and confusion. It is quite surprising that some techniques are supposed to be useful turned out to be less effective than expected like using visual aids (pictures or realia). As a result, teachers should carefully consider the

quality of instruments and the procedure of using them in class. One more experience can be withdrawn from the result of the research is that teachers should pay more attention to the needs of students and their background in general. Students’ interest, level, difficulty, etc have considerable impact on the effectiveness of the teaching techniques. Having understood those factors, teachers can have more reliable criteria to base on so that to prepare and perform better. 5.3. Limitation of the study

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First, due to the time limitation, the study could not explore thoroughly all aspects of presenting new vocabulary. It only focuses on techniques to present the meanings of new vocabulary. Moreover, the method of the study was not enough to investigate all three aspects of meaning but had to leave out the “appropriateness of a particular item in a certain context”. Therefore, the finding of the study is not really adequate. Second, there were some technical problem shown up in designing questionnaire and data analyzing. That led to some changes in literature review and methodology. This is a disadvantage since the whole framework is affected and the aim of the study also had to change. Third, the little experience and knowledge of the researcher is another limitation which made the study less insightful. Moreover, as the target of the study (Strategic Mission Program) is brand new, there is absolutely no previous study for the researcher to base on and to compare. Consequently, the procedure of analyzing data and discussing is rather challenging. Last, options for question 4 in the survey questionnaire for teachers (“What are the reasons for you NOT to use some techniques?) only serves the aim of guiding; the researcher did not base on any expert’s opinion to create the option. However, the researcher found out that somehow the options had imposition on teachers. Most teachers just ticked on the option without contributing their own difficulty. Consequently, the information from this question is less authentic. This slightly decreases the objectiveness of the study.

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5.4. Suggestion for further research Since 2011 is the first year of Strategic Mission, the program cannot avoid certain problem in terms of syllabus, teaching method, course book and materials. Accordingly, there is a large number of issue waiting to be explored, discussed and improved. Researchers in the future have a wide range of topic to choose. If anyone is interested in technique for presenting new vocabulary, they can come up with methodology which is qualified enough to investigate all aspects of meaning of words, or explore the techniques to teach both the meanings and the forms of vocabulary. Researchers should also pay attention to students’ English level when carrying out studies, especially when designing the questionnaires and interview questions. Students may not be clear about some complicated terminologies. If the data from questionnaire is not reliable enough, guiding questions in interview should make up for it well.

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REFERENCE LIST
Alemi, M. (2010). Educational Games as a Vehicle to Teaching Vocabulary. Retrieved on April 3rd from http://www.mjal.org/Journal/Educational%20Games%20as%20a%20 Vehicle%20to%20Teaching%20Vocabulary.pdf Allen, V.F. (1983). Techniques in teaching vocabulary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Atkinson, D. (1987). The mother tongue in the classroom: a neglected source? English Language Teaching Journal, 41(4), 241 – 247. Carter, R., and T. McCarthy. (1988). Vocabulary and language teaching. New York: Longman. Channell, J. (1988). Psycholinguistic considerations in the study of L2 vocabulary acquisition. in Carter and McCarthy (eds.), Vocabulary and Language Teaching, pp. 83-96. Doff, A. 1988. Teaching English: A Training Course for Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Foreman, J., Gee, J. P., Herz, J. C., Hinrichs, R., Prensky, M. & Sawyer, B. (2004). Game-based learning: how to delight and instruct in the 21st century, Educause Review, 39(5), 50–66. Gairns, R. and Redman, S. (1986) Working with Words. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Harmer, J. (1992). How to teach English. New York: Pearson ESL.

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Hatch, E. and Brown, C. (1995) Vocabulary, Semantics and Language Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hatch, E. and Lazaraton, A. (1991). The Research Manual: Design and Statistics for Applied Linguistics. New York: Newbury House. Lazer, G. (1999). Using figurative language to expand students‟ vocabulary. ELT Journal 50, vol 1, Jan.1999, p.43-51 Levin, A. (1990) Does the Method of Vocabulary Presentation Make a Difference? Canada: Tesl Canada Journal. Mackey, A. & Gass, S. M. (2005). Second Language Research: Methodology and Design. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. McCarthy, M. J. (1984). A New Look at Vocabulary in EFL. Applied Linguistics, 5, 12-22. McCarthy, M. J. (1990). Vocabulary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Nation, P. (1997). Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nation, I. S. P. (1978). Translation and the teaching of meaning: Some techniques. English Language Teaching Journal. 32 (3), 171 – 175 Pyle, D. (2009). Teaching Vocabulary Meaningfully with Language, Image, and Sound. Birmingham: Brigham Young University Pyles,T. and Algeo,G (1970). English, An introduction to language. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.

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Reddy, V, H. (2010). Selection, Classification, Strategies of Developing and Techniques of Teaching Vocabulary. Retrieved on April 3rd 2011 from http://www.eltweekly.com/elt-newsletter/2010/11/73-researchpaper-selection-classification-strategies-of-developing-andtechniques-of-teaching-vocabulary-by-by-v-harindhar-reddy/ Richards, J.C. (1969) The role of vocabulary teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Schmitt, N. (2000) Vocabulary in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tang, J. (2002). Using L1 in the English classroom. Retrieved on March 15th from http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol40/no1/p36.htm Thornbury, S. (2002). How to teach vocabulary. Longman: Oxford shire. Ur, P. (1996). A course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wilkins, D. (1972). Linguistics and Language Teaching. London: Arnold. Wright, A., Betteridge, D. and Buckby, M .(1984). Game for Language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wu, J. and Wang, B. The Role of Vocabulary in ESP Teaching and Learning. ELT Journal 27, 223 - 234

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APPENDICES
Appendix 1: Questionnaire for teacher QUESTIONNAIRE FOR TEACHERS My name is Nguyen Vu Xuan Lan from group 07.1.E1. I am carrying out a study on THE TECHNIQUES BY TEACHERS IN PRESENTING NEW VOCABULARY AND THEIR EFFECTIVENESS AS PERCEIVED BY STUDENTS OF THE STRATEGIC MISSION PROGRAM IN VIETNAM NATION UNIVERSITY. This questionnaire is an important part of my research; therefore I would highly appreciate if you could spend time on it. Thank you in advance

Personal information: Name:…………………………………………… Email:……………………………………………..

1. According to your lesson plans, which techniques you often intend to use for presenting new vocabulary to students? Rank the following techniques according to the frequency of usage.

1 = Never 2 = Rarely 3 = Often 4 = Usually 5 = Always

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Techniques 1 1. Showing the meaning of words visually Using pictures Using realia Using mime 2. Showing words in context Using examples Using situation Using explanations 3. Using synonyms or/and antonyms 4. Translation 5. Combining different techniques

Frequency of usage 2 3 4 5

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2. In actual teaching sessions, how often do you use each technique for presenting new vocabulary to students? Rank the following techniques according to the frequency of usage. 1 = Never 2 = Rarely 3 = Often 4 = Usually 5 = Always Techniques 1 1. Showing the meaning of words visually Using pictures Using realia Using mime 2. Showing words in context Using examples Using situation Using explanations 3. Using synonyms or/and antonyms 4. Translation 5. Combining different techniques
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Frequency of usage 2 3 4 5

3. According to your estimation, how effective are each technique in presenting new vocabulary to students? Rank the following techniques according to the level of effectiveness.

1 = Not effective at all 2 = Very little effective 3 = Fairly effective 4 = Effective 5 = Very effective Techniques 1 1. Showing the meaning of words visually Using pictures Using realia Using mime 2. Showing words in context Using examples Using situation Using explanations 3. Using synonyms or/and antonyms 4. Translation 5. Combining different techniques Range of effectiveness 2 3 4

5

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4. What are the reasons for you NOT to use some techniques? Put a ( ) on your reason.

Techniques

Reasons NOT to use Time Demanding Too Not consuming in complicated appealing to carry preparation for students to out students Other reasons

1. Showing the meaning of words visually Using pictures Using realia Using mime 2. Showing words in context Using examples Using situation Using explanations 3. Using synonyms or/and antonyms 4. Translation 5. Combining different techniques
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For other reasons, please clarify here: …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………… 5. Could you suggest some ways to improve the effectiveness of presenting new vocabulary for students? …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …

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Appendix 2: Questionnaire for students BẢN ĐIỀU TRA DÀNH CHO SINH VIÊN Chào các bạn, mình là Nguyễn Vũ Xuân Lan, sinh viên lớp 07.1.E1 trường Đại Học Ngoại Ngữ, Đại Học Quốc Gia Hà Nội. Mình đang thực hiện khóa luận tốt nghiệp với đề tài “Phương pháp dạy từ mới của giáo viên và tính hiệu quả qua sự đánh giả của sinh viên Nhiệm Vụ Chiến Lược, trường đại học Quốc Gia”. Bản điều tra này là một phần rất quan trọng quyết định sự thành công của đề tài nghiên cứu, vì vậy mình mong các có thể bỏ chút thời gian để đọc và hoàn thành. Mọi thông tin cá nhân của bạn sẽ được đảm bảo. Vô cùng cảm ơn sự hợp tác của các bạn!

Thông tin cá nhân: Họ và tên:…………………………………………………………… Lớp:………………………………………………………………. E-mail:…………………………………………………………….. 1. Giáo viên Tiếng Anh của bạn thường sử dụng phương pháp nào để giới thiệu các từ mới trong bài học? Hãy cho điểm mức độ thường xuyên theo thang điểm sau: 1 = Không bao giờ 2 = Hiếm khi 3 = Thường 4 = Thường xuyên 5 = Luôn luôn Phương pháp Mức độ thường xuyên
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1 1. Giải nghĩa từ bằng hình ảnh Sử dụng tranh ảnh Sử dụng đồ vật thật Sử dụng hành động 2. Giải nghĩa từ dựa vào ngữ cảnh Đưa ra câu ví dụ Đưa ra tình huống Đưa ra lời giải thích 3. Dùng từ đồng nghĩa/ trái nghĩa 4. Dịch sang tiếng Việt 5. Kết hợp nhiều phương pháp

2

3

4

5

2. Theo bạn, từng phương pháp dạy từ mới có hiệu quả như thế nào trong việc giúp bạn nắm được nghĩa đen (denotational meaning) của một từ? Hãy cho điểm mức độ hiệu quả theo thang điểm sau: 1= Không hiệu quả 2= Ít hiệu quả 3 = Bình thường 4= Khá hiệu quả 5 = Rất hiệu quả Phương pháp 1 Mức độ hiệu quả 2 3 4 5

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1. Giải nghĩa từ bằng hình ảnh Sử dụng tranh ảnh Sử dụng đồ vật thật Sử dụng hành động 2. Giải nghĩa từ dựa vào ngữ cảnh Đưa ra câu ví dụ Đưa ra tình huống Đưa ra lời giải thích 3. Dùng từ đồng nghĩa/ trái nghĩa 4. Dịch sang tiếng Việt 5. Kết hợp nhiều phương pháp

3. Theo bạn, từng phương pháp dạy từ mới có hiệu quả như thế nào trong việc giúp bạn nắm được nghĩa mở rộng/ nghĩa bóng (connotational meaning) của một từ? Hãy cho điểm mức độ hiệu quả theo thang điểm sau: 1= Không hiệu quả 2= Ít hiệu quả 3 = Bình thường 4= Khá hiệu quả 5 = Rất hiệu quả Phương pháp 1 1. Giải nghĩa từ bằng hình ảnh Sử dụng tranh ảnh
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Mức độ hiệu quả 2 3 4 5

Sử dụng đồ vật thật Sử dụng hành động 2. Giải nghĩa từ dựa vào ngữ cảnh Đưa ra câu ví dụ Đưa ra tình huống Đưa ra lời giải thích 3. Sử dụng từ đồng nghĩa/ trái nghĩa 4. Dịch sang tiếng Việt 5. Kết hợp nhiều phương pháp

4. Bạn có ý kiến gì để giúp cải thiện mức độ hiệu quả của việc dạy từ mới cho sinh viên? …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………… ……………

Cảm ơn các bạn đã hợp tác!

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Appendix 3: Guiding questions for interview A. For teachers: 1. How do you use realia and pictures? 2. Why don’t you use translation frequently? 3. In your opinion, what are the advantages of each technique? 4. What are the difficulties when applying these techniques? 5. What are your solutions?

B. For students: 1. Why do you find each technique is effective/ ineffective? 2. How can visual/ realia be not effective in showing denotational meaning? 3. How visual show the connotational meaning? 4. What kind of realia do your teachers use?

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Appendix 4: Sample of interview’s transcript Time: April 18th 2011 Place: French Department Interviewee: Teacher A Q: Good morning. Thank you for being here. First, I would like to know which ones among five techniques here you often use. A: Among these ones, I prefer using situation and synonyms/ antonyms. Q: How about visual aids? You don’t use them frequently? A: I think it’s good to use visual aids. However, it’s time-consuming and costly to prepare. You know, I will have to spend time searching for the appropriate pictures and print them. That’s why I don’t use visual aids so often. I only make use of pictures in textbooks or handouts. Q: Have you ever used real objects? And how? A: Yes, I used to, but only twice or three times. I pointed at some objects in the class like “projector” or “air-conditional” when teaching those words. I find using real objects is even more complicated than pictures since the available ones are so limited. Q: How about mime or actions to illustrate the words? A: Using mime is challenging for me because my body language is not flexible enough. This technique requires good “acting/ performing skill”. Not all teachers can master this skill. Moreover, if I don’t “act” well enough, the acting will become awkward and the students still cannot catch the meaning I

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want to deliver. In that way, mime turns out to be confusing and too complicated for students. Q: According to your questionnaire, you never put “translation” in your lesson plans, but still use them in class. Could you explain? A: Translation in lesson plan: I don’t put translation in lesson plan because it is not necessary to do so. It is quite an “instinct” technique. By “instinct”, I mean when there is no other way to explain the new words, teachers will automatically do this way. Moreover, teacher should avoid translating too much. Q: Why do you think so? A: Normally, English teachers prefer to translate words directly into Vietnamese to save time. But I think this method should not be over-used. Translating is too easy-going. If we translate all the time, I think the students cannot understand and remember the word as well as when they have to analyze the context or examples in English. If students have to think more, I think they will understand and remember better. Q: One of your suggestions to improve the effectiveness of these techniques is asking students to use dictionaries. I would like some more detail explanation about this. A: Yes. Sometimes, there are too many new words that teacher cannot handle all, as in a reading text. In that case, students should figure out the word on their own. Additionally, using dictionary is a skill that needs to be mastered as students’ level improves.

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Q: Just one more question. How do you use game in class and what is the benefit of game?

A: I think create a competitive vocabulary game is an effective way to increase students’ motivation, such as some quizzes with marks to decide which group is the winner, which is the loser, and the loser will have to do something to “entertain” the whole class. Q: That’s the end of the interview. Thank you so much for your cooperation.

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Appendix 5: Sample of interview’s transcript Time: April 20th 2011 Place: French Department Interviewee: Student A Q: Chào em. Chúng ta bắt đầu luôn nhé. Chị muốn hỏi lại là trong năm phương pháp dạy từ mới này, thì thầy cô lớp em sử dụng phương pháp nào thường xuyên nhất? A: Em thấy là thầy cô dùng cách giải thích và đưa ví dụ nhiều nhất. Q: Em có thấy cách này hiệu quả đối với em không? A: Có ạ. Em thấy cách này khá sinh động. Bằng cách phân tích ví dụ, bọn em vừa học được nghĩa, vừa học được cách sử dụng từ. Q: Bản thân em thích học bằng cách nào nhất? A: Em thích thầy cô sử dụng tranh ảnh, vì như thế dễ hiều và thú vị. Nhìn tranh ảnh trong giờ học giúp em đỡ thấy buồn chán. Q: Tức là theo em, tranh ảnh là cách dạy từ mới hiệu quả nhất? A: Thật ra cũng có lúc không hiệu quả. Thỉnh thoảng sử dụng hình ảnh để giải nghĩa lại khiến em hiểu nhầm. Chẳng hạn như tranh trong sách hay trong tài liệu được phát, có những tranh bé và tối nên em không nhìn ra. Hoặc là trong 1 tranh có nhiều thứ quá nên em bị lẫn, không hiểu vật chính mình cần nhìn là gì. Chẳng hạn có lần bọn em học từ “puddle” (vũng nước), nhưng trong tranh lại vẽ cả cảnh trời mưa và người đi đường nữa, nên nhìn tranh em không đoán ra được “puddle” là gì.
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Q: Vậy vấn đề là ở chỗ tranh ảnh không rõ ràng hoặc không phù hợp phải không? A: Vâng. Q: Vậy còn đồ vật thật. Thầy cô lớp em có bao giờ sử dụng không? A: Hầu như không ạ. Em nghĩ là sử dụng đồ vật thì khá rắc rối, khó chuẩn bị. Chỉ thỉnh thoảng nếu có thứ gì đấy quanh lớp sử dụng được thì thầy cô mới dùng nó để giải nghĩa thôi. Q: Theo bản điều tra, em có chọn mức “bình thường” cho “độ hiệu quả của việc sử dụng hình ảnh khi giải thích nghĩa bóng của từ mới”. Em có thể giải thích tại sao hình ảnh giúp giải thích nghĩa bóng thế nào không? A: Thật ra chỉ có hình ảnh thôi thì không đủ để nêu ra nghĩa bóng. Thầy cô vẫn phải giải thích thêm. Và từ nghĩa đen bọn em mới suy ra nghĩa bóng được. Q: Em nghĩ sao về cách “sử dụng từ đồng nghĩa hoặc trái nghĩa”? A: Em thấy cách này cũng hay và có hiệu quả. Vì như thế bọn em vừa được học từ mới vừa ôn lại từ cũ. Ngoài ra, đôi khi em có thể tự đoán nghĩa hoặc đoán cách viết dựa vào các quy tắc của từ trái nghĩa như thêm “un”, “in”… Q: Còn về cách “kết hợp nhiều phương pháp khác nhau”, thầy cô em thường sử dụng thế nào? A: Thầy cô thương kết hợp đưa ví dụ kèm giải thích, hay là giải thích kèm với một ít hành động, hoặc tranh ảnh kết hợp với giải thích thêm.

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Q: Ừ. Bây giờ là câu hỏi cuối cùng cho em: Em có đề xuất hay mong muốn gì để cải thiện độ hiệu quả của việc dạy từ mới không? A: Có ạ. Em muốn thầy cô thêm một số cách khác như trò chơi chẳng hạn. Vì thường bọn em học 4 tiết liên tục, nếu có trò chơi thì cả lớp sẽ có hứng và đỡ mệt hơn. Ngoài ra, khi đưa ví dụ để giải nghĩa từ, em muốn thầy cô dùng những ví dụ hài hước, đơn giản và gần gũi với bọn em. Như thế thì ví dụ sẽ hay hơn nhiều. Q: Ok. Vậy là buổi phỏng vẫn đã xong. Cảm ơn em rất nhiều!

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