Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 4 April 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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Techniques to Teach Vocabulary to Regional Medium Students

J. R. Nirmala, Ph.D.


The aim of the present study is to study the impact of vocabulary teaching techniques on vocabulary learning by Regional Medium Students of Tamilnadu. For this study, nearly 60 students from professional colleges, particularly I year B.E./B.Tech. students, were identified based on their medium of instruction at the school level. This strength was divided into two different groups, namely,

1. Student studied in Tamil medium from Urban Background - Tamil Medium &Urban Background, TM & UB.

2. Student studied in Tamil medium from Rural Background. - Tamil Medium & Rural Background, TM & RB.

The First Group TM & UB, consists of 28 students, both boys & girls. Of this strength 12 are girls and 16 are boys. These students were taught to learn new English words by producing either spoken or written sentences using them (a contextualizing technique).

The Second group TM & RB had 32 students. Of this, 10 were girls, and the remaining 22 were boys. These students were taught to learn new English words by memorizing word lists associated with their Technical Subjects (a de-contextualizing technique) and allowing them to practice.

The data were collected using two types of tests: a memorization test and a sentence-making test, which were administered to both groups.

The results of the study revealed that the students in the TM & RB outperformed those in the TM & UB quite significantly on a vocabulary memorization test. The TM & UB had better performance on a sentence-making test than the TM & RB, though the difference was not statistically significant.

Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that memorization of word-lists can work better than sentence-making practice, especially for Tamil Medium Students of Rural Background at low levels of proficiency.


Vocabulary learning, by far, plays a very crucial role in learning another language. Seal, (1990, as cited in Celce-Murcia, 1991, p. 269) states that "To the non-language specialist, the common sense view of how languages are learned is that always we substitute the words in our first language for the corresponding words in the second language. Words are perceived as the building blocks upon which knowledge of the second language can be built."

The vocabulary of any language is huge and its acquisition takes time, even for a native speaker. Research has concentrated more on how words are learnt than on what should be taught, though everyone agrees that a threshold of around 2000-3000 words is a requirement for further progress. Extensive reading leads to good vocabulary gains. Also teachers can help the learners to become autonomous by teaching useful strategies and ensuring the availability of appropriate, motivating materials.

Importance of Vocabulary Teaching/Learning

Considering the crucial role attributed to vocabulary learning in second or foreign language learning, one can appreciate the importance of vocabulary teaching as well. A number of research studies have dealt with lexical problems, namely, problems which language learners face in vocabulary learning. The research findings have revealed that lexical problems frequently interfere with communication. As a matter of fact, communication breaks down when people do not use the right words (Allen, 1983).

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

The Influence of First Language Grammar (L1) on the English Language (L2) Writing of Tamil School Students: A Case Study from Malaysia | Economic Hardship and Emotional Humiliation in Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable | Effects of Using Urdu Dictionary as a Teaching Tool for Teaching Urdu in Urdu Language Classroom in Pakistan | Acoustic Correlates of Stress in Mizo, a Tonal Language | Racism and the American Dream in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men | Stimulating Language Strategies through Thinking - Help for Slow Learners | Masses as the True Makers of History - Analysis of the Play The Trial of Dedan Mimathi | Personal and Labour Market Environment Factors in English for Employability: A Case Study of KSA | A Study of the Reported Language Skill Development Strategies of the Student Teachers in Pakistan | Strategies for Communication Skills Development | Schema in Learning | Achieving Professional Goals: Use of a Mixed Discourse in Interviews | The Reality in Langston Hughes' Poems | Techniques to Teach Vocabulary to Regional Medium Students | Life History of Buddha as Reflected in Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha | Technique as Voyage of Discovery: A Study of the Techniques in Dante's Paradiso | Some Gaps in the Current Studies of Reading in Second/Foreign Language Learning | Unmasking Student Competence: Using Computers to Teach Writing | Feminist Literary Criticism | Amy Tan and Chinese American Literature | An Acoustic Analysis of Glottal Fricative [h] at Word Medial and Final Positions:
A Comparison between Regular and Non-regular Urdu Speakers of Pakistan
| Teaching Writing Skills | Self-esteem of Institutionalised Elderly Women in Coimbatore - A Case History | An Assessment on Women's Work Participation and Economic Equality | Economics of Crime : A Comparative Analysis of the Socio-Economic Conditions of Convicted Female and Male Criminality in Selected Prisons in Tamil Nadu | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF APRIL 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of April 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

J.R. Nirmala, Ph.D.
R.M.K. College of Engineering and Technology
Chennai 601 206
Tamilnadu, India

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