In order to achieve the purpose of this study, the following
research questions will set forth :
1. Do synonyms and antonyms have any statistically significant effect
on the performance of EFL students’ vocabulary learning ?
2. Does providing collocations have any statistically significant effect
on the performance of EFL students’ vocabulary learning?
3. Which one of these contextual clues, synonyms and antonyms or collocations,
seems to be more effective on the performance of EFL students’ vocabulary learning?
The study will be carried out among pre-intermediate students who are
studying Interchange book 1 (Richards, 2013). The participants are
going to be 60 female students, with an age range of 17-23 who will be
divided into one control group and two experimental groups.
Instruments : 1. 80 English content words
2.Vocabulary Knowledge Scale (VKS)
3. Lesson Plan
4.Two parallel vocabulary tests
Vocabulary Knowledge Scale
(VKS); developed by Wesche
and Paribakht (1997).
1. I don't remember having seen this word
2. I have seen is word before but I don't know what it
3. I have seen is word before and I think it means...
4. I know this word. It means...
5. I can use this word in a sentence e.g ...
Data Collection :
First, three intact groups of the students will be selected, For the next step, each of
these groups are randomly selected as the first and second experimental groups and
the control group, Then 80 English content words will be selected from the participants’
book(Choosing just the words which enjoy both synonym/antonym and collocation is
among the first priorities), a Vocabulary Knowledge Scale (VKS)
is accompanied the list; VKS consists of five categories, Words which participants
marks the first two categories are assumed to be unknown and therefore are going to
be included in the experiment.
Among these target words, I'm going to choose 35 words randomly and create two
parallel achievement tests, I attempt to make the tests parallel in terms of length and
the level of simplicity.
In order to pilot the teacher-made tests, the researcher is going to administer
them to a parallel group of 20 students and then give them a 35-item pretest
to the students who participated in the study.
I decided to employ a counterbalance design, i.e. while the control group
and the first experimental group receive form A as the pretest,
the second experimental group receives form B which will be shifted
respectively in the posttest stage in order to reduce the test effect factor.
After administering the pretest, the researcher is going to present the participants
with averagely 8 words, which are classified according to the topic of each session,
during 8 sessions of the treatment period.
Each word will be explained by a definition accompanied with an exemplary sentence.
While synonyms and antonyms of the target words are added to the exemplary sentences
for the first experimental group, a sentence containing collocations will be added to
for the second experimental group.
Example : Fabulous
To teach the word “Fabulous” in the control group,
I'm going to define it as “extremely good” along with this
sentence: Jane is a fabulous cook.
1st Exp. Group
In the first experimental group having underlined the target
word, the teacher writes its synonym and antonym:
Jane is a fabulous cook
SYN : Wonderful, Great
ANT : Terrible
2nd Exp. Group
For the second experimental group, the following sentence will
be added instead of synonym/antonym :
The hotel was high above the lake,
with a fabulous view.
Data Analysis :
At first, for determining the reliability of the teacher-made tests KR-21
will be used, to compute the final results, I will submit the data to SPSS analyses then by
applying the T-test, I will compare the mean of the experimental groups’ scores with the mean of
the control group ones to determine whether there is any significant difference between them.
Among several research designs, the one which seemed to best fit the research is a kind
of quasi experimental design .
This design is often used in classroom experiments where experimental and control
groups are intact classes and are considered to be similar. The reason for choosing this
design rested upon the fact that it is impossible for the researcher to assign the students
randomly to language classes. According to this design, the experimental group receives
the treatment while the control group doesn't. The presence of the control group in this
design eliminates the problems related to internal validity.