FL Vocabulary Learning of Undergraduate English Majors in Western China: Perspective, Strategy Use and Vocabulary Size

Baicheng Zhang

Abstract


The present study, by use of questionnaire and vocabulary tests, has investigated the foreign language vocabulary learning situation of 481 undergraduates in terms of their perspective of vocabulary learning, strategy use and vocabulary size. Based on the questionnaire investigation and vocabulary level tests, the characteristics of the subjects’ foreign language vocabulary learning have been outlined: (1) Objects have the belief that vocabulary should be learned by using them; the most frequently used strategies include dictionary use, guessing the meaning and note-taking; objects average out to a small vocabulary size. (2) Significant differences exist in the use of some strategies between different graders and different majors. (3) Four strategies (cognitive & meta-cognitive) significantly correlate with vocabulary size. In order to facilitate learners’ foreign language vocabulary development, four tentative solutions have been offered to solve the relevant problems: (1) Raising learners’ awareness of FL vocabulary development and try to enlarge their vocabulary size; (2) Developing learners’ productive vocabulary by using the target words in authentic contexts; (3) Fostering learners’ awareness of using appropriate vocabulary learning strategies; (4) Broadening learners’ vocabulary learning approaches by utilizing both the intentional (direct) learning methods and the incidental (indirect) ones. The research results may probably offer empirical reference for the foreign language vocabulary teaching and learning in China.


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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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