Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Setting of the Study
English becomes one of the important languages for international communicationwith the development of economic globalization. English also plays a great role inspreading the cultures of different countries. English courses have been started from thestage of compulsory education in China to adopt the development trend of times. Inrecent years, the Chinese experts and scholars usually focus on studying Englishpragmatics, discourse, communication and learning strategies, while the status of themajor element of language---word seems to be declining. However, word learning isthe basis of English learning. Just like world famous linguist Wilkins (1972) said“Without grammar very little can be conveyed; without words nothing can beconveyed.” So enough words are the precondition of grammar, pragmatics, discourseand communication. What’ more, the quantity and difficulty of words increases a lot injunior high school compared with primary school. Therefore, at the critical period,students need teachers to provide certain teaching methods for them to learn Englishwords. In this case, the author does a survey on the use of word teaching methods andmeta-methods by junior high school EFL teachers. Its purpose is to find out theeffective methods to improve the current situation of students' words learning andteachers' words teaching.
1.2 Purpose of the Study
Mastering effective word teaching methods is very important for English teachersin junior high school. However, the majority of junior high school EFL teachers lack agood command of word teaching methods. They do not have a comprehensiveunderstanding of word teaching methods and cannot systematically andcomprehensively use word teaching methods. Therefore, this thesis aims to provideeffective English teaching methods and meta-methods for junior high school EFLteachers to improve the present situation.
Word is the foundation of English learning. In the teaching process, the wordteaching methods used by teachers will directly affect the learning results of students.The English words are systematically organized in the textbook in junior high school,so the teaching methods designed by teachers should also be comprehensive andsystematic. In the process of word teaching, the traditional teaching methods are notsuitable for students' learning characteristics, teachers should carry out word teachingmethod innovatively. The thesis provide some word teaching methods and meta-methods on word teaching, it provides great help to EFL teachers in junior high school.
Chapter Two Literature Review
2.1 Definition of Word and Definition of Word Teaching
Lu Guoqiang (1983) point out that a word is the unity of sound and meaning,sound is the material shell of a word, and meaning is the material content of a word.Some think that words have fixed phonetic forms, represent certain meanings, belongto certain grammatical categories, and embody certain syntactic functions. To sum up,word is a unity of pronunciation, meaning and grammatical features. A word is also thebasic structure unit of a sentence, because a sentence is usually made up of one wordafter another.
Heidi Harley (2006) gives four definitions about the word. Definition one: asequence of letters that we write consecutively, with no spaces; Definition two: asequence of sounds that we pronounce consecutively, with no pauses; Definition three:a sequence of sounds which can be pronounced on its own, with pauses on either side;Definition four: a combination of vocal sounds, or one such sound, used in a languageto express an idea (e.g. to denote a thing, attribute, or relation), and constituting anultimate minimal element of speech having a meaning as such; a vocable.
In terms of the definition of a word, many experts and scholar have given differentviews on it. But the basic content involved is that word is the basic structure unit ofpronunciation, grammatical features and sentence. It is the combination of vocal soundsused in language to express ideas. So these views help us realize that we need to teach words from different areas, from shallower to deeper, and they have enriched the theoryof words teaching.
Word teaching is the teaching and learning of word knowledge under the guidanceof modern lexicology. It includes two aspects. One is that teachers teach students wordsin different situations with different word teaching methods. The other is that studentsunderstand and applicate word knowledge skillfully.
2.2 Word Teaching Methods and Meta-methods.
2.2.1 Word Teaching Methods
According to classification by Hu Chunlei (2020), Richard. J.C. & Rodgers. T. S(2000) and Shi Yun (2020), word teaching methods can be summarized as the following:
(1) Intuitive teaching method
Intuitive teaching is that teachers use the objectives things which can establish adirect contact between word and objective things. Usually, words are presented tostudents in the form of objects or pictures. For example, when teaching words aboutfruit, teachers can show students real fruit, such as apples, oranges, pears and so on, orshow them some pictures about different fruit. It is an ideal way to teaching words.
(2) Phonetic teaching method
Teachers teach word according to its pronunciation. There is a connection betweenthe phonetic symbol and the spelling of words. Usually, according to the pronunciationof words, students can spell them completely. We can see master the pronunciation is ofgreat help for students to understand and remember the words. It asks teachers to paymore attention on phonetic rules, which is closely related to the pronunciation andspelling of words.
(3) Word-formation method
Word-formation includes conversion, compounding and derivation.
The word has a new meaning by changing its part of speech instead of its form, wecall it conversion. Here are some examples of conversion between nouns and verbs:name, land, fish, ship, water, etc. There are also some examples of conversions betweennouns and adjectives, such as wrong, poor, Russian, etc. What’s more, between verbsand adjectives, there are some words like complete, tidy, open, close and so on.
Chapter Three Methodology................................. 15
3.1 Research Questions.................................... 15
3.2 Research Subjects.........................................15
Chapter Four Results and Discussion................................22
4.1 Frequency of the Use of Word Teaching Methods and Meta-methods............. 22
4.2 Relationship Between Teaching Age and the Choice of Word Teaching Methodsand Meta-methods......................... 26
Chapter Five Conclusion................................................51
5.1 Main Findings of the Study.................................. 51
5.2 Implications and Limitations of the Study............................ 52
Chapter Four Results and Discussion
4.1 Frequency of the Use of Word Teaching Methods and Meta-methods
From the 4 point scoring scale table, this study take the middle value 2.5 as acontrast ratio, 60 subjects were tested, the maximum of intuitive method is 4, theminimum is 1, the average of institutive method is 3.27, which is higher than the ratio2.5. According to the teachers’ communication below, teachers usually use pictures,real object, or PPT to help with their teaching, which are easy and clear for students to understand words quickly and directly. In terms of combining sound, shape andmeaning method, the minimum value is 1, the maximum value is 4, and the mean valueis 3.17, which is higher than the contrast ratio 2.5. As we all known, sound, shape, andmeaning are basic components of a word, junior high school teachers usually pay moreattention to the basic knowledge, they spend a lot of time teaching student Englishwords from their pronunciation, shape, and meaning.
Chapter Five Conclusion
5.1 Main Findings of the Study
Along with the steady growth of junior high school EFL teaching practice ingeneral, junior high school EFL word teaching practice has made remarkable progress.So far, however, there are still some problems in the use of word teaching methods byjunior high school EFL teachers. Meanwhile, with the continual advance of junior highschool EFL teaching research, the study of junior high school EFL word teaching hasalso made considerable achievements. Up to now, however, the study of the use ofword teaching methods by junior high school EFL teachers has not been adequate.
In such a setting of teaching practice and research, therefore, the present study hasintended to, with 60 junior high school EFL teachers from three high schools in Chinaas participants, on the basis of relevant foreign language teaching theories and methods,and through a methodology integrating questionnaire survey, interview, and classroomobservation, explore the use of word teaching methods by junior high school EFLteachers in terms of the frequency of the use of different methods, the relationship ofthe choice of different methods to the teachers’ years of teaching, and the effects ofdifferent methods on word learning tasks. To be specific, this study aims to address thefollowing questions:
(1) What is the frequency of the use of different word teaching methods by juniorhigh school EFL teachers?
(2) What is the relationship between the choice of different word teaching methods and the teachers’ years of teaching?
(3) What are the effects of different word teaching methods on word learning tasks?