improving vocabulary learning through the use of images


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this is a document in which you are going to know how important are images in learning vocabulary and how these ones can help you to improve it.

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improving vocabulary learning through the use of images

  1. 1. IMPROVING VOCABULARY LEARNING THROUGH THE USE OF IMAGES<br />JORGE LEONARDO HOYOS DE HOYOS<br />EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH<br />TUTOR<br />SONIA JEREZ RODRIGUEZ<br />UNIVERSITY OF CORDOBA<br />ENGLISH LICENCIATURE<br />MONTERIA 2011<br />ITEMS<br />Presentation of the problem: problem statement<br />Purpose<br />Rational<br />Theoretical framework<br />4.1- Vocabulary learning<br />4.1.1- What is vocabulary<br />4.1.2- What is vocabulary learning<br />4.2- Learning strategies<br />4.2.1- what are learning strategies<br />4.2.2- Which are the main learning strategies<br />4.2.3-The use of images<br />4.2.4- What is imagery<br /> 5- References<br />Problem statement: <br />The lack of vocabulary among students from 2nd to 4th grade at Colegio Diocesano Pablo VI usually makes difficult the learning of the language. Students are used to translating every single word and they seem to lack of other strategies to learn vocabulary. Therefore it is urgent to look for strategies that facilitate this process in these students in this school.<br />Purpose: <br />This study aims at teaching students vocabulary though the use of a vocabulary strategy known as imagery. <br />Rationale: <br />Many times the lack of vocabulary is an obstacle at the moment of communicating with someone else. Vocabulary is necessary for having good relationships among people and the lack of it, joined with the absence of appropriated grammar and pronunciation, makes difficult the communicative process. in this study, vocabulary is considered an important aspect of the language to be developed for communicating as well as the teaching of vocabulary strategies to do so, in particular I will concentrate on the use of “Imagery”, since the participants of the study are children.<br />The selection of this topic is base on Scott, et al (2003) who stated that creating visual images is useful when learning new words associated with known concepts or when learning definitions. According to Van den Broek and Kremer (2000), students use mental imagery in reading to depict key text elements such as events, facts, and setting and to illustrate meaningful relationships between elements. Visual imagery assists students in learning word meaning and in making better predictions and Inferences (Center, et al, 1999). In fact, Pictures can cue students with learning disabilities with decoding unknown words, can decrease task complexity, and can assist in developing memory for the written word (van Der Bijl, Alant, & Lloyd, 2006). Equally the use of visual imagery is supported by Paivio's (1971) dual coding theory which suggests that verbal and non-verbal Information are represented and processed in distinct but interconnected mental subsystems. Additionally, using visual imagery requires students to personalize word meanings (principle one), to build on multiple sources of information (principle three), and to connect what is personally known to new vocabulary concepts (principle four) (Blachowicz & Fisher, 2000).<br />Taking into account the above mentioned theoretical background this study justifies the use of this strategy to improve vocabulary learning <br />3. Theoretical framework:<br />What is vocabulary? <br />Vocabulary is the group of words that a person or group of people need to start to communicate among them. Vocabulary is, according to Hatch & Brown (1995), the list of words that speakers of a particular language use. Broadly defined, vocabulary is knowledge of words and word meanings. However, vocabulary is more complex than this definition suggests. First, words come in two forms: oral and print. Oral vocabulary includes those words that we recognize and use in listening and speaking. Print vocabulary includes those words that we recognize and use in reading and writing. Second, word knowledge also comes in two forms, receptive and productive. Receptive vocabulary includes words that we recognize when we hear or see them. Productive vocabulary includes words that we use when we speak or write. Receptive vocabulary is typically larger than productive vocabulary, and may include many words to which we assign some meaning, even if we don’t know their full definitions and connotations – or ever use them ourselves as we speak and write (Kamil & Hiebert, in press).<br />Vocabulary is also the set of words within a language that are familiar to that person. A vocabulary usually grows and evolves with age, and serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and acquiring knowledge.<br />What is vocabulary learning? <br />Vocabulary learning can be defined as the acquisition of words for communicating. Blachowicz and Fisher (2000) pose four main principles to guide vocabulary instruction (1) students need to personalize word learning, (2) students should be immersed in words throughout the day, in many forms, (3) students need to build on multiple sources of information to learn words through repeated exposure, and (4) students should be active in developing their understanding of words and should be encouraged to make connections between what they know and the vocabulary concepts they are to learn. <br />Learning strategies: What are learning strategies? <br />Learning strategies are those which teachers use to improve the vocabulary among students within the classroom and thus make an appropriated learning process. The term language learning strategy has been defined by many researchers. Wenden and Rubin (1987:19) define learning strategies as "... any sets of operations, steps, plans, routines used by the learner to facilitate the obtaining, storage, retrieval, and use of information." Richards and Platt (1992:209) state that learning strategies are "intentional behavior and thoughts used by learners during learning so as to better help them understand, learn, or remember new information." Faerch Claus and Casper (1983:67) stress that a learning strategy is "an attempt to develop linguistic and sociolinguistic competence in the target language." According to Stern (1992:261), "the concept of learning strategy is dependent on the assumption that learners consciously engage in activities to achieve certain goals and learning strategies can be regarded as broadly conceived intentional directions and learning techniques." All language learners use language learning strategies either consciously or unconsciously when processing new information and performing tasks in the language classroom. Since language classroom is like a problem-solving environment in which language learners are likely to face new input and difficult tasks given by their instructors, learners' attempts to find the quickest or easiest way to do what is required, that is, using language learning strategies is inescapable.<br />What are the main learning strategies? <br />Among the main learning strategies for learning a second language it can be found: repetition, reading comprehension, the use of body language, memorization, the use of games, the use of stories, the use of translation, imagery among others. In the following lines I will concentrate on describing what the use of images good is for and the definition of imagery as the strategy this study aims to use to improve vocabulary learning.<br />The use of images: <br />The use of images for improving the vocabulary learning has been one of the most popular ways of teaching English. Images are commonly used for learning new words associated with the topic presented by the teacher. Pictures must be chosen carefully and it is hoped that this study will shed some light on how teachers make these choices. This means that, if teachers do not choose the pictures according to the topic pupils could think that the teacher is a person who does not prepare his/her classes properly.<br />Using pictures is one of the teaching aids that teachers depend on in their teaching. Harmer (2001:134) states that “Teachers have always used pictures or graphics – whether drawn, taken from books, newspapers and magazines, or photographs – to facilitate learning”. English teachers tend to feel that using pictures in teaching new words makes the process enjoyable and memorable. They also feel that pictures attract pupils’ attention and deepen their understanding of vocabulary. Pictures can also help learners with abstract words, as associating the word with a concrete object makes these words easier to remember. Harmer (2001:135) states that “one of the most appropriate uses for pictures is for the presenting and checking of meaning. An easy way of explaining the meaning of the word airplane, for example, is to have a picture of one”. Of course, not all new words can be taught using pictures.<br />On the other hand, images help students to remember the topic that the teachers are talking about; however they are mainly used as a strategy for making students be interested in the class. What is more, thanks to the use of pictures students can identify such as events, experiences, facts and the connection that they have with their daily life; this use of images is well known as “Imagery.”<br />What is imagery?<br />It is the use of images for improving the vocabulary learning among students. Lindamood, Bell (1997) defines concept imagery as "being able to form the mental images for the ideas and concepts which are expressed through language" (p143) The images are selected by the teachers in order to teach or show a vocabulary related to a specific topic, Given that visual imagery is supported by research as an effective instructional strategy. Visual imagery assists students in learning word meaning and in making better predictions and inferences (Center, et al, 1999).<br />References: <br />Blachowicz, C. & Fisher, P. (2000). Teaching vocabulary. In M. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, P.D. Pearson, & R. Ban" (Eds.) Handbook of reading research (Vol. 3 pp. 503-523) Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.<br />Center, Y., Freeman, L., Robertson, G. & Outhred, L. (1999). The effect of visual imagery training on the reading & listening comprehension of low listening comprehenders in year 2. Journal of Research in Reading, 22(3), 241-256.<br />Faerch, Claus and G. Kasper. 1983:67. Strategies in Interlanguage Communication. <br />London: Longman. <br />Hatch, E. and Brown. C. (1995). Vocabulary. Semantics and Language Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stenstrom<br />Paivio,A (1971). Imagery and verbal processes. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston<br />Stern, H.H. 1992. Issues and Options in Language Teaching. Oxford: OUP.<br />Van Der Bijl, Alant, & Lloyd, (2006). A comparison of two strategies of sight word instruction in children with mental disability. Research and Developmental Disabilities, 27, 43-55<br />Van Den Broek, P., & Kremer, K.E. (2000). The mind in action: What it means to comprehend during reading. In B.M. Taylor, M.F. Graves, & P. Van Den Broek<br />Wenden, A. & Rubin, J. (Eds.). (1987). Learner Strategies in Language Learning. Cambridge: Prentice-Hall<br />