In the name of God
ISLAMIC AZAD UNIVERSITY
The Affirmative Impact of Visual and Verbal Techniques upon Raising Vocabulary Achievement of Iranian High School Students
By: Yaser Soleimani
Supervisor by: Dr. Habib Gowhary
Advisor by: Dr. Saeid Rahimipour
Evaluated by the Following Committee in February 2015 as:
Dr. (Supervisor) Habib Gowhary…………………………………..
Dr. (Advisor) Saeid Rahimipour…………………………………..
Dr. (Reader) Akbar Azizifar …………………………………..
ISLAMIC AZAD UNIVERSITY
Thesis for Receiving M.A. Degree on English Language Teaching
English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
The Affirmative Impact of Visual and Verbal Techniques upon Raising Vocabulary Achievement of Iranian High School Students
H. Gowhary. Ph.D.
S. Rahimipour. Ph.D.
This green leaf is dedicated to the presence of the first master of Shiat society in the world, Emam Ali (A).
All praise and thanks to Almighty Allah who donated me the health and wealth to carry out this work.
This project would not have been possible without the support of many people. I wish to express my sincere thanks to my supervisor, Dr. Habib Gowhari, who read my numerous revisions and helped, make some sense of the confusion. He was always a source of encouragement for me. Also thanks to my dear advisor, Dr. Saied Rahimipour, who offered guidance and support and various parts meticulously. Thanks to the University of Ilam Azad Science and Research for awarding and providing me the means to complete this project.
Last but not the least; I’d like to thank members of my family who motivated me to go ahead for higher education.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Introduction
1.1. Introduction 3
1.1.1. Knowing a Word 13
1.1.2. Definitions of vocabulary 14
1.1.3. Second Language Vocabulary 15
1.1.4. Definition of the technical terms: Verbal and Visual Techniques 16
126.96.36.199. Verbal language features 16
188.8.131.52. Visual language features 17
1.1.5. Significance in language learning 18
1.1.6. Statement of the Problem 19
1.1.7. Research questions 20
1.1.8. Research Hypotheses 20
1.1.9. Organization of the study 21
Chapter Two: Review of Literature
2.1. Literature review 23
2.1.1. Background to vocabulary teaching 23
2.1.2. Vocabulary and Its Importance 27
2.1.3. EFL Vocabulary 29
184.108.40.206. Definition of Vocabulary 29
220.127.116.11. Types of Vocabulary 29
18.104.22.168. The Role of Vocabulary in TEFL 30
2.1.4. Factors Affecting Vocabulary Learning and Retention 31
2.1.5. What does it mean to know a word? 32
2.1.6. Verbal and visual techniques of vocabulary teaching 35
2.1.7. What is visual instruction in new vocabulary learning? 38
2.1.8. The effect of synonymy on L2 vocabulary achievement 40
2.1.9. The effect of exemplification on vocabulary achievement 41
2.1.10. The effect of visual aids on vocabulary achievement 43
Chapter Three: Methodology
3.1. Introduction 48
3.2. Participants 48
3.3. Instruments 49
3.3.1. Visual and verbal 49
3.4. Data Colection Procedure 50
3.5. Data analysis 52
Chapter Four: Results and Discussion
4.1. Introduction 55
4.2. Results and discussion 55
4.2.1. Semiotics and vocabulary teaching 62
4.2.2. Dual coding theory (DCT) 63
4.2.3. Cognitive load theory (CLT) 65
Chapter five: Summary and Conclusion
5.1. Discussion 68
5.2. Procedure 68
5.3. Conclusion 70
5.4. Future Directions 72
5.5. Limitations 73
5.6. Recommendations to School Administrations and Supervisors 74
5.7. Recommendations to Teachers of English 74
5.8. Summary 74
List of Table
Table 4.1. pretest score means of the groups under study 57
Table 4.2.pretest scores means 57
Table 4.3. Posttest scores 58
Table 4.4. estimating posttest scores based on AVNOVA method 58
Table 4.5. Pretest and posttest raw scores of groups 1, 2, and 3 59
List of Figure
Figure4.1.Vocabulary achievement of three experimental groups in pre and posttest61
This report investigated the sensible impact of verbal, visual and a combination of verbal-visual techniques on vocabulary enhancement of Iranian high school students in Sirvan (Iran). The subjects were 60 male native speakers of Persian and Kurdish in intermediate level of L2 proficiency ranging in age from 15 to17. In order to have homogeneous groups, the students last year scores were look at between the three groups of 12-17, there part. In order to state the reliability of this test, the split –half method was utilized .The second one was question elicited demographic information such as names, age and job of father. They were selected from among seven classes and divided into three groups of 20, namely group 1, 2 and 3.The classes were held two days in a week, each day one hour, in Winter, 2014. The lexical items were taught to experimental groups by verbal (synonymy and exemplification), visual (pictures, flashcards, blackboard drawings and photographs) and verbal-visual techniques respectively. Put another way, group1 was treated by using visual aids (pictures, photographs, and flash cards), groups 2 was treated by verbal techniques (synonyms and exemplification). For this group no aids were used, but rather they used exemplification and synonyms, group2 was treated by using visual aids (pictures, photographs, and flash cards). For group 3, verbal and visual techniques were used complementary to convey meaning of the lexis. During the ten sessions of the treatment, 70 vocabularies were instructed to the three groups, Results of one way ANOVA showed that when verbal or visual techniques were used alone, verbal techniques manifested more vocabulary acquisition than visual modality and among three techniques employed in this study, complementary use of verbal-visual techniques was the most effective. It may be concluded that in directing the learners toward the ability of vocabulary skill, teachers should not solely rely on verbal cues and can benefit to a large extent from non-verbal aids. Results obtained from this study may have pedagogical implications in the areas of syllabus design and teaching methodology.
Keywords: Vocabulary achievement, Verbal techniques, Visual techniques, EFL
In reality, vocabulary is a vital part of language that students need to master in order to communicate effectively. Moreover, it is considered the base for the other skills. The ability to grasp the meaning of new words is a vital skill to strengthenreading and listening comprehension. This can positively impact overall academic success and can develop skills for real world applications. This calls for more attention to thisimportant skill, i.e., vocabulary.
Researchers have seen that students face serious problems regarding this aspect of language (vocabulary learning). Learners tend throughout learning stages to favor interesting methods which make interacting, exciting and fun learning. This motivated me to conduct the present study which aimed to investigate the effectiveness of visual and verbal techniques on vocabulary on vocabulary achievement.
Laraba (2007:136) states that “foreign language vocabulary learning is determined by the similarities that may exist, at different levels, between the first language and the second or foreign language learnt. Nation (1990: 31) suggests the following list of the different kinds of knowledge that a person must master in order to know a word:
1. The meaning(s) of the word
2. The written form of the word
3. The spoken form of the word
4. The grammatical behavioral of the word
5. The collocations of the word
6. The register of the word
7. The associations of the word
8.The frequency of the word
English has become the language of international business, diplomacy and professions. After all, it is the language of the United Nations. English has become the most dominate language in the world. As time passes, more people are learning English. Nowadays, the whole world seems to speak English. As David (2009) asserts, it is the language of travel, tourism, science and technology. It became a universal language that covered all aspect of life, where people of different nationalities used it to communicate with each other and it became the language of science, technology, politics, economy and education. This universal acknowledgment of English as the language of today and the need for good communication skill in English has created a huge demand for teaching English around the world. This has put a tremendous pressure on scholars to cope with this demand and to contribute to the development of a new and different teaching methodology for teaching English as a foreign language Hamdona(2007:1). Educators know that words and vocabulary strongly impact learners’ lives. In fact, educated individuals are often identified by their written and spoken vocabularies (Blachowicz& Fisher, 2004). Beck, McKeown and Kucan (2002) in their book, Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction, introduce the first chapter with a reminder that vocabulary plays a “critical role…in people’s lives and future possibilities. A large vocabulary repertoire facilitates becoming an educated person to the extent that vocabulary knowledge is strongly related to reading proficiency” (p. 1). In order to be aware of the full importance vocabulary plays in the lives of adolescents, it is necessary to first have a comprehensive definition of vocabulary. According to Lehr, Osborn, and Hiebert (2004), vocabulary is knowledge of words and their meanings. For vocabulary and word knowledge, Cronbach (1942) describes several qualitative dimensions, defined as the kind of knowledge one has about a word and the uses to which that knowledge can be put:
Generalization: The ability to define a word.
Application: The ability to select or recognize situations appropriate to a word.
Breadth: Knowledge of multiple meanings.
Precision: The ability to apply a term correctly to all situations and to recognize appropriate use.
Availability: The actual use of a word in thinking and discourse.
In addition, every person has a receptive vocabulary and an expressive vocabulary. Receptive vocabulary refers to words that can be heard and understood in spoken context or read and comprehended in print. Expressive vocabulary refers to lexical items which a person can use properly when speaking or writing (Readence, Bean, & Baldwin, 2004).
There is evidence indicating that oral language plays a critical role in laying the foundation for literacy with print (Metsala, 1999). According to Nelson (2007)
The apparent assumption in most word learning research is that infants come to language with a supply of categories and concepts of objects, organized in accordance with innately specified conceptual structures. In this way, words may be mapped to objects, which no problematically map to internal concepts. (pp. 133-134). In addition, a strong vocabulary can make a significant difference for students and their comprehension of reading materials (National Reading Panel, 2000). This makes sense; to get meaning from what they read, students need a great many words in their vocabularies. Vocabulary knowledge as one of the component skills seems to play an important role in language achievement. Kitajima (2001) argues that without words that label objects, actions, and concepts, a speaker cannot express intended meanings. Words are the units of meaning. Sentences, paragraphs, and whole texts are formed from words. Language ability is often regarded as the number of words that we know. Therefore, vocabulary teaching/learning is a critical area that deserves paying special attention. In the literature of English language teaching and learning a recurring theme has been the neglect of vocabulary. It was often given little priority in language programs and was often left to look after itself and received only incidental attention in textbooks and language programs (Hedge, 2008; Richards and Renandya, 2002).French (1983) believes that vocabulary has been neglected in the past decades because 1) those who were involved in the teacher-preparation programs during the past few decades felt that grammar should be emphasized more than vocabulary, 2)specialists in methodology believed that students would make mistakes in sentence construction if too many words were learned before the basic grammar had been mastered, and 3)those who gave advice to teachers said that word meanings can be learned only through experience and cannot be taught in the classroom. More recently, however, a number of researchers have become interested in vocabulary instruction. They have wakened to the realization that vocabulary is an important area worthy of effort and investigation. It has, consequently, gained popularity in the general field of English language teaching and learning (Coady and Huckin, 1997; Richards and Renandya, 2002; Hedge, 2008). There is now general agreement among vocabulary specialists that it is at the heart of communicative competence (Coady and Huckin, 1997). Studies noted that without an adequate knowledge of relevant vocabulary, students have difficulty performing the tasks required of them both in school (Harley, 1996). Harley noted that vocabulary knowledge is fundamental to the development of second language proficiency. While many researchers accept the importance of vocabulary acquisition in language proficiency and academic achievement, their ideas about how vocabulary should be learned have varied widely. This study aims at determining the effectiveness of using multimedia annotations including animations in second language vocabulary acquisition.
One of the major concerns is the need for developing effective pedagogical methods for the teaching of second language vocabulary. Traditional pedagogical methods for vocabulary acquisition include word-lists, dictionary use, workbooks, teacher-made materials, group discussion, and visuals such as pictures and real objects. Yet developing effective pedagogical methods for vocabulary acquisition continues to demand attention and exploration (Iheanacho, 1997).
Knowledge of vocabulary plays a significant role in almost all domains of language pedagogy (Alavi & Akbarian, 2008). Research justifies the fact that vocabulary is a sine qua non of reading (Nassaji, 2003), writing (Laufer& Nation, 1995; Lee, 2003; Leki& Carson, 1994), and speaking (Joe, 1998). Thanks to decades of research in the 44 the comparative effects realm of vocabulary acquisition, even novice teachers are well aware of the centrality of vocabulary to language acquisition process. However, most of the teachers act as vocabulary acquisition gardeners; they try to grow the learners’ vocabulary flower to such an extent that they are able to identify the meaning of words in a multiple-choice test. They neglect to take a multi-faceted view of vocabulary knowledge. As Lee (2003) contends, word knowledge is formed along a continuum, from reception to production, consisting of the following stages: “see the word, hear the word, understand the word, say the word and use the word in the context” (p. 540). In terms of the learner’s ability to recognize or produce words correctly in the context, there exists a hierarchy of vocabulary skills; that is, learners have a great difficulty in producing words, which they can recognize easily (Laufer& Goldstein, 2004). According to Melka (1997), one’s approach to vocabulary teaching should be based on the learners’ requirements of vocabulary recognition and production. Since the learners’ greatest difficulty is in producing the words, a language teacher should choose the method that has the greatest effect on vocabulary production. In spite of its significance, the issue concerning the effect of methods of vocabulary presentation on the learners’ productive knowledge of words has not received rightfully deserved attention in research areas. Although there have been an increasing number of studies on vocabulary recognition and production in the last decade, only few of them have attempted to investigate the influence of methods of vocabulary presentation on the development of these two aspects of vocabulary knowledge. The major focus of most of these studies has been either estimating the receptive and productive vocabulary knowledge or determining which one precedes the other in the process of vocabulary acquisition (Webb, 2005). This tells us about the discrepancy between receptive and productive mastery of words, but does not provide much help as to how to decrease this distance. Our field now is in a sore need of studies that investigate and shed some light on the ways to promote learners’ partial knowledge of words to the higher and more advanced levels of vocabulary production. Learning vocabulary seems to be one of the easiest things about learning a language but it is somehow burdensome for some learners and also one of the hardest things to do, especially when the students have reached a certain level of proficiency. Fortunately, the need for vocabulary is one point on which teachers and students agree (French Allen, 1983). Moras (2001) claims that students might have a receptive knowledge of a wide range of vocabularies, which means they can recognize the items and their meanings; nevertheless, their productive use of vocabulary is normally restricted, and this is one of the areas that need greater attention Vocabulary acquisition is a key component of successfully developing communicative and literacy skills. Developing a rich vocabulary is a top priority and an on-going challenge for both L1 and L2 instruction. Researchers and theorists have pointed out to the fact that vocabulary acquisition is a complicated process and due to this complexity, teachers must make a comprehensive approach to lexical development in order for students to reach a higher quality and quantity of L2 output. But it seems that students’ achievement in this area is not satisfactory. In the context of Iran, even though students realize the importance of vocabulary in learning language, most of them learn vocabulary passively. They consider the teachers’ explanation for meaning or definition, pronunciation, spelling and grammatical functions, boring. They are often passive in a vocabulary section of the class, just listening to their teacher. Their young faces do not hide the frustration in EFL classes. Most of them complain about the heavy burden of words.
In reading and listening sections, they are awed by the many unknown and unfamiliar words and they cannot understand the underlying message. In other words, their competence in the target language is being held because of their limited vocabulary. With a limited vocabulary they cannot rely on the strategy of guessing the meaning from context. EFL learners in Iran often complain about forgetting new words soon after learning them and look for effective ways to increase opportunities for retaining new words in long term memory. There are different intervening factors contributing to the low vocabulary achievement among most EFL learners. One of these factors is what Grenfell (2000, p.269), describes as the “alien linguistic environment”. In many countries where English is not spoken as the first language, the learning environment is not supportive. In such an environment there are few English native speakers available for EFL learners to interact with. There are limited opportunities for learners to use the target language outside the classroom. In fact, they are not in a surrounding that fosters FL learning, nor are they receiving the necessary support in or out of the classroom to acquire the target language. As a result, the majority of students who are learning English as a foreign language end up with a limited proficiency even after many years of study. Another factor may be the cultural distance between the two countries and the students’ lack of familiarity with the target language speakers’ culture and socio-cultural significance of words. Students know very little about the basic aspects of their own culture, and certainly most of them are too young to have had the experiences about cultures of other countries. Meanwhile, fundamental aspects of the culture are incorporated into the most of the class activities. In fact, language and culture are inseparably bound and complete comprehension in any type of intercultural communication depends on the participants’ knowledge of cultural distance and socio-cultural significance of words and expressions employed. So, teachers are required to give students information about the basic similarities and differences between their culture and that of the target language. Yet, another factor contributing to the students’ limited knowledge of vocabulary is the insufficient support from teachers and schools in terms of different kinds of sources and materials. Most language teachers adopt verbal modalities (e.g. synonymy, examples, and definitions) to vocabulary teaching which downplay the use of other modalities such as pictures, videos, etc. Using just one modality does not offer adequate information. Besides, it causes boredom and lack of interest and motivation on the part of learners. Since using different modalities and materials for presenting new vocabulary keeps the learning process dynamic and interesting, schools and institutes should employ different instructional aides and modalities to enhance the learning process.
In an effort to find out ways to enhance vocabulary learning, the present study suggests the integrating verbal and visual modalities for presenting new vocabulary. A few researchers investigated the effect of verbal /visual modalities on vocabulary learning (Kost, Foss &Lenzini, 1999).When we turn to existing research in the context of Iran, we find something akin to researchers’ silence regarding this particular issue, for what is noticeable is the lack of literature on the impact of verbal and visual techniques on vocabulary achievement. This study fills the gap by investigating the advantages of glossing individual lexical items through two different modalities, namely verbal and visual. It attempts to elaborate on the necessity of incorporating both of them in an integrative and supplementary manner. Considerable confidence is placed in the value of integrating both of them to enhance the learning of foreign language vocabulary. With computer technology, Web-based learning has become a common choice in education institutions (Bauer, 2002, p. 31). Furthermore, the variety of media such as text, graphics, audio, and video for delivering content has attracted many instructors and students to use the Internet for distance education (Ali, 2003). These multimedia components get and hold learners’ interest, which many researchers believe is important when teaching the video generation (Jonassen, 2000, p. 208). Visual text and graphics are some of the most popular tools in on-line learning.
In many cases, graphics can be used to represent important information and are often used for supporting text (Newby, Stepich, Lehman, & Russell, 1996, p. 103). Using these techniques, the most widely used asynchronous online learning tool is courses primarily posted in visual text and static graphics (Liles, 2004). English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners often adopt various strategies to memorize vocabulary words. For instance, vocabulary learning is often used with strategies such as word lists or paired associations in which new words are presented with their translations. These strategies often require learners to memorize pair associations directly (Sun & Dong, 2004). Meara (1996) found that many researchers in vocabulary learning studies have explored various methods of vocabulary presentation and their corresponding effectiveness in retention. Some earlier studies found the following:
There is a limit to the number of words that can be learned at one time (Crothers &Suppes, 1967, chap. 4).
Rote repetition appears less efficient than using spaced recall and structured review (Atkinson, 1972). Silent repetition and silent writing are less effective than repeating the words aloud (Meara, 1996).
Brown and Payne (Hatch & Brown, 1995, p. 383) have identified five steps to vocabulary acquisition: (a) having sources for encountering new words; (b) getting a clear image, either visual or auditory or both, of the forms of the new words; (c) learning the meaning of the words; (d) making a strong memory connection between the forms and the meanings of the words; and (e) using the words. Recently, a number of researchers have discussed the benefits of presenting information using multimedia components such as visual text, spoken text, graphics, and videos on language learning (Al-Seghayer, 2001; Chun &Plass, 1997; Duquette&Painchaud, 1996; Ehsani&Knodt, 1998). In their studies, information presented in text, spoken words, graphics, and video formats can be integrated to create an authentic, attractive, and multi-sensory language context for EFL learners (Sun & Dong, 2004). Kost, Foss, and Lenzini (1999) found that EFL learners performed better on both production and recognition vocabulary tests when they were allowed to use a combination of visual text and graphics.
1.1.1. Knowing a Word
Lexical learning represents a corner stone in foreign language education. Vocabulary is indispensable to both oral and written communication and often regarded as a major source of problems by foreign language learners. For EFL adult learners, effective vocabulary use is a real challenge when they are engaged in language production as they need to bring into focus their active vocabulary. Lexical recognition may also be a real threat when they are indulged in comprehension processes as it exposes their not only active but also passive vocabulary and puts it to the test (Bossers, 1992; Coady, 1993, 1997; and Grabe
&Stoller, 1997).Words are the tools we use to think, to express ideas and feelings, and to learn about the world. Because words are the very foundation of learning, improving students’ vocabulary knowledge has become an educational priority. Student word knowledge is strongly linked to academic accomplishment, because a rich vocabulary is essential to successful reading comprehension. Furthermore, the verbal sections of the high-stake standardized tests used in most states to gauge student performance are basically tests of vocabulary and reading comprehension (Johnson & Johnson, 2004). Laraba (2007:136) concludes that “foreign language vocabulary learning is determined by the similarities that may exist, at different levels, between the first language and the second or foreign language learnt. Nation (1990: 31) proposes the following list of the different kinds of knowledge that a person must master in order to know a word:
The meaning(s) of the word
The written form of the word
The spoken form of the word
The grammatical behavioral of the word
The collocations of the word
The register of the word
The associations of the word
The frequency of the word
From the above mentioned, the researchers conclude that knowing a word includes student ability to recognize the meaning, memorize the word, and use it appropriately in different situation .
1.1.2. Definitions of vocabulary
One of the general components which have to be mastered well by students in learning English is vocabulary. If the students lack of vocabulary, they will have difficulties in using English. To know what is vocabulary the writer would like to present several definitions. Up till now, there has not been only one but a wide variety of definitions of vocabulary. In order to find the best and easiest-to- understand definition is such an unfeasible task. Each linguist or scholar, in his specialized field, with his own set of criteria has found out for his own a way to define vocabulary. However, in the most popular way, Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary Online has applied a meaning for vocabulary as “all the words which exist in a particular language or subject.” This definition covers vocabulary’s meaning on the whole. Nevertheless, it does not show vocabulary in a deep understanding. More precisely, Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (1995) presents six meanings of the word “Vocabulary” as follow:
1. All the words that someone knows, learns or uses.
2. The words that are typically used when talking about a particular subject.
3. All the words in a particular language.
4. The word failure/ compromises, etc. is not in somebody’s vocabulary used to say that someone never thinks of accepting failures, etc
5. A list of words with explanations of their meaning in a book for learning foreign languages
1.1.3. Second Language Vocabulary
Second language learners realize that their limited repertoire of vocabulary knowledge greatly affect their ability to convey their intended meaning in communications using the target language (Read, 2004). Moreover, Gass and Selinker (2008) found that lexical errors were the most common errors committed by second language learners based on the large corpora of errors. It seemed that vocabulary learning was vital to success in second language learning. English language, like any other language, has different areas that students should study, such as vocabulary, grammar, spelling, listening and reading. In the past, vocabulary teaching and learning were often given little priority in second language programs, but recently there has been a renewed interest in the nature of vocabulary and its role in learning and teaching (Richard&Renandya, 2002:255). Decarrico (2001) states that words should not be learnt separately or by memorization without understanding. Moreover, “learning new words is a cumulative process, with words enriched and established as they are met again”, From the researcher’s EFL/ESL teaching experience, vocabulary teaching in class was less focused on than teaching English grammatical rules, as a part of the school syllabus. The grammar translation method plays a prominent role in the English classroom. In terms of knowing a word, vocabulary teaching in the classroom was simply restricted to give learners a long list of English words together with Arabic translations. Thus, the learners basically learned two things: the English or L2 word form and the Arabic translation. Extra information about new words (e.g. English definitions, synonyms antonyms, etc.) was optional, depending on whether or not each individual teacher provided the extra information. The learners were normally asked to learn/memorize words on their own. Fox (1987, cited in Tassana-ngam, 2004:17) clarifies that “Students had been learning foreign languages by a grammar translation method which flooded them with new vocabulary items and grammatical structure, but did not allow time to assimilate them much.”It can be said perhaps that learners had little interest or enjoyment when learning and acquiring vocabulary. Allen &Valette (1977:149) indicate that words are generally taught in context .Thornbury (2002, 22) focuses on the teacher role of encouraging an enthusiasm for vocabulary acquisition, and provides learners with strategies for self-directed learning.
1.1.4. Definition of the technical terms: Verbal and Visual Techniques
You will be given three texts; two written and one visual
The visual text could be an advertisement, poster, web page or magazine cover. There are other possibilities.
With visual techniques you will have to know the difference between VISUAL Language Features/techniques and VERBAL Language Features/techniques.
VISUAL techniques have to do with what the words look like on the page. e.g. font, size, colour, placement.
VERBAL techniques have to do with what the words actually say.
This list may help you:
22.214.171.124. Verbal language features:
onomatopoeia, simile, metaphor, personification
Personal pronoun (especially ‘You/ you’re/ you are in and advertisement)
Superlatives (e.g. the best/the most biggest, tallest, prettiest, tastiest, strongest)
Use of a particular language (e.g. Maori) to target a particular audience.
126.96.36.199. Visual language features:
Lettering: includes font, size and colour
Dominant image (or images) -avoid using ‘pictures’ – photograph is better.
Reverse print (white print on coloured background)
Background (e.g. images, fuzzy, colour)
Layout (placement of elements on the page -includes ‘balance’.
White space (also called ‘empty space’)
Images: consider gender, ethnicity, consumer group (teenager, middle-aged. elderly, parents etc)
Use of contrast
Rule of thirds (no more than three main colours/fonts/sections)
Colour- different colours have connotations e.g. pink/femininity, green/nature and cleanliness, black/evil and danger
However, considering the important of of vocabulary learning this study aimed at investigating the effect of two visual and verbal techniques on vocabulary achievement. More information regarding the present study will be provided in the following sections.
1.1.5. Significance in language learning
The result of this research will be useful for both teachers and students. All of the teachers have concluded that there are benefits from the use of visual and technical materials for learning for learners with different ages. Likewise, Koren (1996) points out that the learning of foreign words by using such a trend can be easier and memorable than the words learned in the traditional ways. Because of this matter, many teachers in the English language classrooms may use this to increase the vocabulary and speaking skills of the learners. Visual elements such as pictures can be important and suitable solutions for many problems. There are many researches on learning vocabularies by pictures or example, Underwood (1989), as cited in Chun &Plass (1996) has concluded that an important rule for learning is visual memory. For learners, memorizing words by use of visual and verbal objects is more effective than memorizing them with only the text.
1.1.6. Statement of the Problem
English language is an international language and is being used widely in businesses, academic, and other aspects of life. Research efforts have been going on to investigate ways to improve learning languages including learning English as a foreign language. In Iran, English language education is considered especially important for experts of the other fields. The problem is that students who have received several years of formal English instruction frequently face difficulties to use or remember the words of language, whether in the spoken or written form. You may see someone who has studied 18 to 20 terms in an institute but he/she is unable to express himself/herself in English. The gravity of the situation comes to eyes when, if not many, some technical subjects are not satisfactorily learned until the students study relevant text books and useful materials in English. Most students have problems when they are asked to learn the new words in a single lesson. Some of them who have found the job very difficult will quit the job at the very beginning, and some try to memorize a word list. None of us can forget the tough job of memorizing word lists during the school days. Learning vocabulary in isolation, in a non-meaningful and technical way is useless. So,vocabulary learning is an important matter for learning of foreign language. Most times it is not easy to remember some vocabularies. And because of this matter researchers are seeking for ways to increase student’s learning vocabularies. So, almost all teachers and students have the same opinion with better vocabulary instructions. According French Allen (1983) if teachers use visual and verbal materials, students learning vocabulary will be better than the time when they use other materials. And the writer in the present study researched this study to understand whether this trend is advantageous to students’ learning and improving vocabulary. And also according Nelson et al (1976) the use of visual and verbal materials such as pictures is effective way and it has good results.In summary, this study aimed to investigate the impact of visual and verbal techniques on vocabulary achievement of Iranian high school students in order toimprovestudents’ learning vocabulary skills, stimulate interest for second language learners to increase their level of vocabulary, provide an interesting way for learning vocabulary, and make learners more proficient, andencourage learners for learning vocabulary.
1.1.7. Research questions
This study aims to answer the following questions:
1-What is the effect of verbal techniques (synonymy, exemplification, etc.) on vocabulary achievement of Iranian EFL students?
2-What is the effect of visual techniques (flashcards, pictures, photographs, etc.) on vocabulary achievement of Iranian EFL students?
3-Which one is more efficient? Visualtechniques, verbal techniques or a combination of these two techniques in enhancing vocabulary knowledge of Iranian EFL students?
1.1.8. Research Hypotheses
With regard to the research questions mentioned above, the following hypotheses were made:
H1: There is a positive relationship between verbal techniques (synonymy, exemplification, etc.), visual techniques (flashcards, pictures, photographs, etc.), and combination of these two techniques and enhancing vocabulary knowledge of Iranian EFL students.
H2: There is no relationship between verbal techniques (synonymy, exemplification, etc.), visual techniques (flashcards, pictures, photographs, etc.), and combination of these two techniques and enhancing vocabulary knowledge of Iranian EFL students.
1.1.9. Organization of the study
This study is organized in thesis whit following chapters:
Chapter one (introduction):
Introduction in which the problem of the study, research questions, significance of study are presented .
Chapter two (review of literature):
Literature review in which the paramount issues and influential studies are discussed .
Chapter three (methodology):
This chapter is devoted to the method of study which, in turn will thoroughly describe how the study is conducted encompassing participants instrumentation, procedure and data analysis.
Chapter four (result and discussion):
This chapter presents the analyzed results of the post-test and pre-test by mean of SPSS software in table in various types. In next step, some points are illustrated then the research questions based on the result and statistical analysis of the data are discussed.
Chapter five (Discussion)
In this chapter, Conclusion and implications of this study is here. Later on at the end of chapter, some suggestion for teachers about methods they want to teach. The final part of this study includes references and appendices.
Review of Literature
2.1. Literature review
2.1.1. Background to vocabulary teaching
English language, like any other language, has various areas that students should study, such as vocabulary, grammar, spelling, listening and reading. In the past, vocabulary teaching and learning were often given little priority in second language programs, but recently there has been a renewed interest in the nature of vocabulary and itsrole in learning and teaching (Richard&Renandya,(2002:255) .Language plays anfundamental role in making people communicate with each other. And as for English, it is considered one of the most important languages all over the world. It helps communicating with foreigners at home and abroad. Accordingly, The English language is extensively used in science, technology, computer services, politics, commerce and internet. Hence, many countries emphasize the importance of teaching English to their citizens. Richards (2001: 1) asserts that “Second and foreign language teaching is one of the world’s largest educational enterprises and millions of children and adults worldwide devote large amounts of time and efforts to the task of mastering a new language”. The English language has a special place in the world today. It has become an international language, both in the sense that it is now the native language of people from several continents and in the sense that many others have learnt to speak it as a
second language (Graddol, Cheshire& Swann,1987:3). Ardeo (2003:110) claims that