Relationship Between Learning And Context And Frequency Of Encounters

1687 WordsMay 30, 20157 Pages
Learning vocabulary is an essential part of the second language (L2) learning process. Second language acquisition (SLA) theoreticians argue that learning vocabulary plays a major role in SL learning. Whipple (1925) attributes the development of reading skills to a rich reserve of reading vocabulary (as cited in Hiebert & Kamil, 2009). Likewise, Davis (1942) contends that comprehension is the outcome of vocabulary knowledge and reasoning. In addition, Chen & Li (2010) point out that SLA approaches, such as ‘the situational learning approach’, suggest that ‘context’ is one of the founding pillars of the language learning process. This study will review a number of studies on contextual cues and other learning strategies…show more content…
It seems obvious from L2 research that learning vocabulary is at the heart of SLA. Davis (1942) points out that comprehension is the outcome of vocabulary knowledge and reasoning. Moreover, Wilkins (1972) argues that the absence of grammar may result in little communication; however, the absence of vocabulary will yield no communication. In addition, Chen & Li (2010) point out that SLA approaches, such as ‘the situational learning approach’, suggest that ‘context’ is one of the founding pillars of the language learning process. Furthermore, Nation (2000) adds that words are not isolated units of language since they occur in several contexts, whether written or spoken. Nation (2000) also clarifies that small numbers of words cover larger amounts of text. Thus, it may be plausible to suggest that learning new words from context is a possibility especially when the learner is familiar with the most common vocabulary items that Nation (2000) refers to as the first 1000 words (or high frequency words) which cover 71.4% of the academic text (p. 18). 3. Literature Review Successful L2 vocabulary learning can be attributed to both frequency of occurrence of vocabulary items and the type of context in which they appear. Joe (2010) contended that the results of an adult L2 learner’s pre-tests and post-tests showed that frequency of encounters had a significant effect on vocabulary learning when compared with context. In a study conducted by Baleghizadeh & Shahry (2011),
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