Teaching Vocabulary to Young English Learners

3602 Words May 14th, 2011 15 Pages
Teaching English vocabulary to young learners

A crucial component of learning a foreign language is the acquisition of vocabulary. For young learners, the very first words that they acquire could lay the profound basis for a better later learning of the children. This study is intended to investigate the specific application of techniques in teaching English vocabulary to young learners. I strived to investigate the current techniques in teaching vocabulary to young learners and studied the difficulties that teachers encounter during this process. Oral interviews, questionnaire and observation schemes were used as useful instruments for data collection. The questionnaire-based survey aims to scrutinize teachers’ common
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Coincidentally, H. Dellar and D. Hocking indicated that progress made from learning grammar most of the time would be much less than that from learning vocabulary. To be short and concise, when comparing the importance of grammar and vocabulary, both mentioned statement above show that most of learner’s improvement was created when the learner himself learned more words and expressions. It was also emphasized when it came to communicate that “you can say very little with grammar, but you can say almost anything with words” (Thornbury , p.13).

2.2. Young learners

2.2.1. Definition The term “young learners”, according to the author of the book An A-Z of ELT, Thornbury , “is used to describe children of pre-primary and primary school age, although it is sometimes used to include adolescents as well” (p.250). In the same way, “young learners” as defined by Sarah Phillips (1993) are “children of formal schooling (five or six years old) to eleven or twelve years of age.” (p.4). Teaching English to young learners, therefore, has a long history: in many multilingual countries, primary school children are taught English as preparation for secondary school, where it is the medium of instruction. In recent years, there has been a phenomenal increase in the teaching of English to young learners, in EFL context as well as in ESL, and in state school
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