Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Paragraph Writing on Vocabulary Learning of Iranian Intermediate Efl Students

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Paragraph Writing on Vocabulary Learning of Iranian Intermediate Efl Students

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Learning vocabulary is one of the first steps of learning a second language. Most students learning a foreign language have agreed that the most important part of learning a foreign language was vocabulary. Knowing a lot of vocabulary items can enable language learners to learn and understand English better. So vocabulary as a very important component of language has a brilliant role in learning a foreign or second language.

Vocabulary development is an important aspect of language development. No matter what is the reason of foreign language learning, foreign languages have something to offer everyone. Foreign language learners generally see vocabulary learning as their first priority.

For many years vocabulary learning was limited to long list of vocabularies with their native language equivalents for students to memorize them.

It seems a commonly accepted truth that teachers mostly incline to teach others in the same way we were instructed. Based upon Zimmerman's (1997) survey, the teachers would think that most second language learners have traditionally been taught by methods that paid insufficient attention to vocabulary and thus the statement that most teachers will also continue to neglect vocabulary appears reasonable (Coady, 1997). Therefore, an urgent need was felt by the researcher to deal with those techniques of teaching and learning vocabulary which had been neglected in working with Iranian EFL students. Hoping that familiarity with this technique would help teachers to make use of different techniques for teaching vocabulary.

Moreover, being influenced by grammar as the ultimate goal of language learning and as a result vocabulary would be an overlooked component classroom situation.

Consequently, here the problem is to find a good technique to be in corporate into the student's language curriculum.

In order for a classroom instruction to be successful it is important to keep in mind that learning does not occur in vacuum, (Baker, Simmons and Kameenuni). Therefore just listing words for a student to memorize may not be interesting.

The great problem is the deficiency in vocabulary learning which may lead to the problem in writing, reading comprehension and listening. As students read challenging texts, especially those in the content areas, they encounter many complex words. As a result, students with limited vocabularies may not be able to access the meaning of the text (Anderson & Free body, 1981). So, here the teacher can help them overcome this problem by creating some new tasks for learning vocabularies.

There are different strategies to help students learn and recall new words. One of them is writing assignment. Writing is an important means of learning. Writing anything to be learned helps students practice the material and store it in a long- term memory (Chastain, 1988).

One principle of effective vocabulary learning is to help learners involve in writing. According to Rivers (1981) the activity of writing helps to consolidate the learning to render it available for use in other areas. Writing gives the students practice in manipulating structural variants and in selecting and combining lexical elements. Chastain (1988) said that writing is a basic communication skill, a unique asset in the process of learning a second language.

Some researchers have suggested that the use of paragraph writing for inferring meaning can be beneficial to L2 learners' vocabulary building (change, Wagner, muse, chow and Shu, 2005; Morin, 2003; Schiff and Califf 2007). Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore the effect of Writing Paragraph on Iranian EFL learners' vocabulary knowledge.

Writing Paragraph is defined operationally as "the awareness of and access to the meaning and structure of morphemes in relation to word in a well-organized structure: (change et al. 2005, p.417).

Writing Paragraph involves two steps. First learners need to be able to think about what they want to write. …

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