A Semantic Field Approach To Vocabulary Learning English Language Essay

A Semantic Field Approach To Vocabulary Learning English Language Essay

This survey was intended to research to the difference between scholars in geting new words with different semantic Fieldss to which they belong. 38 pupils of three different degree of instruction took portion in this research. They were exposed to some new words of 4 different semantic Fieldss and so tested on their acquisition of the words. The result showed important differences between groups with different degrees of instruction sing keeping of words from different semantic Fieldss.

Introduction

Learning vocabulary has ever been one of the major countries in ESL/EFL about which monolithic sum of research have been done. To happen the best manner to assist pupils retain vocabulary for a longer clip, is a controversial issue which requires even more research to crystallise.

Reading, as a accomplishment, is best known for furthering vocabulary acquisition. It is widely believed that by exposing linguistic communication scholars to reading transitions in the mark linguistic communication, vocabulary acquisition will take topographic point as a byproduct of reading. This method of picking up new vocabulary points is called “ incidental ” vocabulary acquisition.

A big figure of survey has been investigated incidental vocabulary acquisition each of which has put to the trial a different facet of this type of acquisition ( e.g. e.g. Hulstijn, Hollander, & A ; Greidanus, 1996 ; Laufer and Hulstijn 2001 ; Paribakht and Wesche 1999 ) .

This survey works with the same issue, incidental vocabulary acquisition but with a different point to concentrate at. In this survey we tried t see whether the significance of words, better to state, the semantic field to which they belong, makes any difference in pupils geting them.

Semantic field theory

All the words that we know have a definite significance that we understand instantly when we encounter them. Some of the words significances are more related to each other than some other in a manner that when we encounter one of them, the other comes to our head, excessively. For illustration, when we hear the term instructor, most of us instantly think of the words school or pupil. And, when we hear the word door we may believe of window or wall but non teacher or pupil. These simple illustrations show that these words belong to different classs that all of us superficially can acknowledge them. This interrelatedness between the words is called “ semantic field ” and this theory has been the base of a great figure of surveies to construe why that is and even to look into whether this is a general theory or merely a simple co-incident.

The footing of semantic theory is strongly influenced by structural linguistics point of position to linguistic communication. In Saussurean structural linguistics lexical field is defined as web of words in which the significances of words define each other and put bounds on each other ‘s significances ( Kleparski and Rusinek, 2007 ) . Following the Saussurean position other bookmans tried to form this theory in a more structured manner. The first debut of this theory was in Germany. In this state in 20s and 30s a assortment of point of views about semantic Fieldss emerged. Below, two of the most influential 1s are briefly described.

Trier ‘s semantic field theory

In 1930, Trier introduced his position of semantic field theory. Wu ( 1988 ) summarized the foundations of this theory as follows:

“ a. The vocabulary in a linguistic communication system is semantically related and builds up a

complete lexical system. This system is unsteady and altering invariably.

B. Since the vocabulary of a linguistic communication is semantically related, we are non supposed to

analyze the semantic alteration of single words in isolation, but to analyze vocabulary

as an incorporate system.

c. Since lexemes are interrelated in sense, we can merely find the intension of

a word by analysing and comparing its semantic relationship with other words. A

word is meaningful merely in its ain semantic field. ” ( Cited in Chonghong, 2010, p.51 )

Porzig semantic field ( syntactic field )

Porzig looked at the impression of interrelation of words from a different point of position. He put frontward the impression of accompaniment of the words. Based on this issue, some bookmans name his theory “ syntactic ” theory.

Harmonizing to Porzig ( 1928, 1934, cited in Kleparski and Rusinek, 2007 ) , the significance of words are limited in the context in which they are used and the “ neighbours ” which are environing them. As he would explicate, there is a pivot ( which is largely a verb ) word around which the significance of other words is defined. Below, is an illustration from Kleparski and Rusinek ( 2007 ) :

Ride a: Equus caballus

Camel

Bike

Donkey

Etc.

As it is manifested in the illustration, in Porzig ‘s theory, sentence structure plays a more important function than that of semantics.

What was worked upon in this research was related to Terier ‘s semantic field because here we focused on the significance of the words non on the syntactic context in which they were placed.

Reappraisal of literature

The sum of research done on the theory of semantic field and its deductions in ESL/EFL is non that big. On vitamin E of the ground of this deficiency of research is that, there are several versions of this theory that make it hard to specify the research inquiry and sphere of survey exactly.

Despite all that, there were a figure of surveies seeking to concentrate on semantic Fieldss in the country of vocabulary acquisition. Crow and Quigley ( 1985 ) implement the semantic field theory to measure vocabulary larning while reading comprehension. In their research they compared two alternate methods of learning vocabulary by the way utilizing reading transitions. “ This survey compares a traditional attack to vocabulary direction with an attack based on the semantic Fieldss of words that appeared in college-level reading texts. ” ( P. 497 ) . The victor of this comparing was, expectedly, the attack based on semantic field.

In another survey, Lehrer ( 1985 ) tried to acquire some penetration into lexical alteration by the usage of semantic field theory. He would explicate that, lexical changing is non an independent procedure for each individual word instead we should look at the issue in a broader position point. Every word belongs to a specific semantic field and the alteration that occurs to the significance of a word through clip, should be studied by maintaining an oculus to the alterations that occur in the harmonizing semantic field.

Kleparski and Rusinek ( 2007 ) , excessively, developed a survey to look into the consequence of semantic field of words on their alteration over clip.

There were besides some surveies based on Porzig ‘s position of semantic field. Schmitt ( 1999 ) developed a research to measure the vocabulary portion of the TOEFL trial. He scrutinized how profoundly the inquiries in this trial, were understood sing the “ association, collocation and word category cognition ” ( p. 189 ) . The consequence showed the deficiency of ability of the TOEFL trial to assist pupils make this deeper degree of apprehension of the words under inquiry in the trial.

Chonghong ( 2010 ) explored the part of semantic field theory in vocabulary direction. His survey contains both types of semantic field theory explained supra. He worked upon semantic portion of the theory and concentrate on the relationships between word significances like subordination and opposite word and at the same clip brought into consideration the syntactic portion of the theory. In this respect, he employed some techniques to measure vocabulary acquisition in footings of collocation and metaphors. He would depict the consequences as follows:

“ The survey is of pedagogical significance in that it helps to enlarge scholars ‘ vocabulary by building paradigmatic dealingss of new points and to intensify scholars ‘ command of vocabulary, chiefly intension and collocation, by building syntagmatic dealingss of the new items. ” ( P. 50 ) .

Research inquiry

Do pupils of different degrees of academic instruction tend to retain words belonging to a specific semantic field?

Hypothesiss

Students of higher degree of instruction tend to retain academic words the best.

These pupils tend to retain words about going abroad better.

Students of mere school degree instruction tend to retrieve words about Persian civilization best.

These two hypotheses are based on some observation on the recent societal status of Persian society. The academic class books which are taught at universities are abandoned with English academic words which are an grounds to claim the first hypothesis. In add-on, in recent status of our society, a great figure of the pupils in higher instruction tend to go abroad to go on instruction. Hence the hypothesis 2 can be hypothesized. The 3rd hypothesis is in the complimentary place to the other two.

Methodology

This research is a quasi-experimental research which is designed in a “ pre-test, post-test, control group ” design.

There were 3 integral categories which as a whole contained 38 scholars. These scholars were from 3 different educational degrees. These pupils with different academic degree of instruction were non distributed to the categories harmonizing to their educational degree. In other words, all 3 categories contained pupils of all three degrees.

The degree of proficiency in English linguistic communication was the same among all the participants, merely their degree of academic instruction varied.

The first stage of the research was to derive a homogeneous group of participants. In order to make it, the pupils first took a pre-test of vocabulary points under survey. After doing certain that the groups are comparable in footings of their vocabulary cognition, the intervention started.

In 5 back-to-back yearss, the pupils worked on 5 reading transitions each of which contained some of the mark words.

The 3rd stage was the post-test. The participants were tested of their keeping of vocabulary points to which they had been exposed. The consequences of the post-test were put to ANOVA trials and comparings between the tonss of pupils of different educational degree were drawn. These comparings were intended to construe whether pupils of different educational degree tended to retrieve words of a specific semantic field.

Participants

There were 38 participants placed in 3 different categories. They were pupils of simple degree of proficiency and they were analyzing in a private linguistic communication school in Tehran. The age scope of the scholars was between 20 and 35. They were of three different degree of academic instruction: high school, undergraduate, post-graduate. The figure of pupils in each group is: 12 pupils of high school instruction, 22 pupils of undergraduate degree and the 4 remainder were of post-graduate academic degree.

They were all pretested in advanced to see whether they build a homogeneous group in footings of their vocabulary cognition.

Their category met for 1 hr and a half, 5 times a hebdomad.

Target words

There were 24 words were selected to do up 4 different semantic Fieldss each incorporating 6 words. These Fieldss were defined as: words related to Persian civilization, academic nomenclature ( mathematical and biological ) , words related to American civilization and history and words related to going abroad. The list of words is available in Appendix subdivision.

Pre-test

The pre-test was intended to do certain that all the pupils make up a homogeneous group. This trial was a simple list of the 50 words out of which 24 were the mark words and the remainder played the function of distracters.

The consequences of this trial were put to a Trial of Homogeneity ( Leven ) to look into the equality of discrepancies between the groups.

Treatment

The intervention stage started after the consequences of the Test of Homogeneity supported the equality of the groups.

The mark words were embedded in 5 different reading transitions. The words were glossed in the border of the text with a simple and familiar equivalent in pupils ‘ L1, Persian ( Farsi ) . The participants were non told in advanced that they would be tested on their addition of vocabulary points. This is on vitamin E of the definitions of incidental vocabulary acquisition in which the pupils read the text for the interest of reading non for vocabulary acquisition, but subsequently they are tested to see the degree of their keeping of vocabulary acquisition.

This survey was intended to measure the part of semantic field theory in incidental vocabulary acquisition. Harmonizing to this purpose, the reading transitions were worked on by pupils for the interest of reading comprehension non to larn vocabulary.

The process was as follows:

Each twenty-four hours the participants were given one of the transitions to read at place. They answered the comprehension inquiries and wrote a short sum-up of the text. The twenty-four hours after, a little figure of them spoke about the text in the category.

All these activities were planned merely for the pupils to be more occupied with the text and later more open to the mark words in the text.

After 5 Sessionss of intervention, the pupils took the post-test.

Post-test

The post-test was a multiple-choice trial incorporating 50 points. These points were all fill-in-the-blank sentences with four picks provided to take from. The 50 words that were put to the trial were the same words as listed in the pre-test.

The trial was developed by the research worker utilizing some theoretical account trial, taken from the Internet.

The trial was put to a pilot proving. 25 pupils from the same degree of the participants took the test and the dependability of the trial was calculated utilizing the SPSS package and the value obtained was.68. This figure could hold been higher if the figure of pupils taking the pilot test were larger. Unfortunately, it was non executable for the research worker to make a bigger figure of the pupils to take portion in the pilot testing.

Datas analysis

The day of the month obtained from the post-test was put to 4 ANOVA trials. Each trial compares the public presentation of all three groups of pupils on keeping of words of one semantic field.

Table 1, shows the basic descriptive statistics of the tonss of the pupils. In this tabular array the figure of the pupils and the mean of their tonss along with the other statistical variables.

In this tabular array we can see that the high school degree pupils scored the best on the words related to Persian civilization. The undergraduate pupils scored highest on the words of academic semantic field. And, the pupils of alumnus degree scored highest once more in the academic word keeping.

To do dependable reading the consequences were put to ANOVA trials. Table 2 shows the consequences of these trials.

Table 1 – Descriptives

Nitrogen

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Mistake

95 % Confidence Interval for Mean

Minimum

Maximum

Lower Boundary

Upper Bound

Iran

senior high school

12

3.5833

.90034

.25990

3.0113

4.1554

2.00

5.00

Barium

22

3.2273

.86914

.18530

2.8419

3.6126

2.00

5.00

aboveBA

4

3.2500

.95743

.47871

1.7265

4.7735

2.00

4.00

Entire

38

3.3421

.87846

.14251

3.0534

3.6308

2.00

5.00

academic

senior high school

12

2.5833

.90034

.25990

2.0113

3.1554

1.00

4.00

Barium

22

4.3636

.72673

.15494

4.0414

4.6859

3.00

5.00

aboveBA

4

5.0000

.81650

.40825

3.7008

6.2992

4.00

6.00

Entire

38

3.8684

1.18939

.19294

3.4775

4.2594

1.00

6.00

travel

senior high school

12

2.5833

.99620

.28758

1.9504

3.2163

1.00

5.00

Barium

22

3.2273

.68534

.14612

2.9234

3.5311

2.00

4.00

aboveBA

4

2.2500

1.25831

.62915

.2478

4.2522

1.00

4.00

Entire

38

2.9211

.91183

.14792

2.6213

3.2208

1.00

5.00

theUS

senior high school

12

2.0000

.85280

.24618

1.4582

2.5418

1.00

3.00

Barium

22

3.1364

.99021

.21111

2.6973

3.5754

2.00

5.00

aboveBA

4

3.5000

1.29099

.64550

1.4457

5.5543

2.00

5.00

Entire

38

2.8158

1.11149

.18031

2.4505

3.1811

1.00

5.00

Analysis of variance

Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

Iran

Between Groups

1.022

2

.511

.650

.528

Within Groups

27.530

35

.787

Entire

28.553

37

academic

Between Groups

30.335

2

15.167

24.121

.000

Within Groups

22.008

35

.629

Entire

52.342

37

travel

Between Groups

5.233

2

2.616

3.587

.038

Within Groups

25.530

35

.729

Entire

30.763

37

theUS

Between Groups

12.120

2

6.060

6.314

.005

Within Groups

33.591

35

.960

Entire

45.711

37

The result of the ANOVA trials gives us the undermentioned findings:

The words related to Persian civilization: as it is displayed in Table 2, the difference between the three groups of the pupils is non important, because the Sig. value obtained is.528 which is much larger than the assurance interval of.05. Therefore, all three groups performed the same on the words of this semantic field.

The words related to academic field: the Sig. value here is.000 which is lower than.05. Harmonizing to this consequence, there is important difference between the three groups in retaining new words in this semantic field. Where this difference lies will be explained in the following portion ( post-hoc analysis ) .

The words about going abroad: the difference between the groups is important because the Sig. value here is less than.05 ( .038 ) .

The words related to American civilization: here, excessively, the difference between three groups is important because the Sig. value is.005 ( less than.05 ) .

Post-hoc analysis

The ANOVA trials showed us that in three semantic Fieldss out of four, there was important difference between the groups. To research between which groups this difference is noticeable, the consequences of the post-test were put to a Scheffe trial. Table 3 displayed the consequence of this trial.

Multiple Comparisons

Scheffe

Dependent Variable

( I ) instruction

( J ) instruction

Average Difference ( I-J )

Std. Mistake

Sig.

95 % Confidence Interval

Lower Boundary

Upper Bound

Iran

senior high school

Barium

.35606

.31828

.541

-.4576

1.1697

aboveBA

.33333

.51205

.810

-.9756

1.6423

Barium

senior high school

-.35606

.31828

.541

-1.1697

.4576

aboveBA

-.02273

.48208

.999

-1.2551

1.2096

aboveBA

senior high school

-.33333

.51205

.810

-1.6423

.9756

Barium

.02273

.48208

.999

-1.2096

1.2551

academic

senior high school

Barium

-1.78030*

.28457

.000

-2.5078

-1.0528

aboveBA

-2.41667*

.45782

.000

-3.5870

-1.2463

Barium

senior high school

1.78030*

.28457

.000

1.0528

2.5078

aboveBA

-.63636

.43102

.347

-1.7382

.4655

aboveBA

senior high school

2.41667*

.45782

.000

1.2463

3.5870

Barium

.63636

.43102

.347

-.4655

1.7382

travel

senior high school

Barium

-.64394

.30650

.125

-1.4275

.1396

aboveBA

.33333

.49310

.797

-.9272

1.5939

Barium

senior high school

.64394

.30650

.125

-.1396

1.4275

aboveBA

.97727

.46424

.124

-.2095

2.1640

aboveBA

senior high school

-.33333

.49310

.797

-1.5939

.9272

Barium

-.97727

.46424

.124

-2.1640

.2095

theUS

senior high school

Barium

-1.13636*

.35157

.010

-2.0351

-.2376

aboveBA

-1.50000*

.56561

.041

-2.9459

-.0541

Barium

senior high school

1.13636*

.35157

.010

.2376

2.0351

aboveBA

-.36364

.53250

.793

-1.7249

.9976

aboveBA

senior high school

1.50000*

.56561

.041

.0541

2.9459

Barium

.36364

.53250

.793

-.9976

1.7249

* . The average difference is important at the 0.05 degree.

The result in Table 3 can be interpreted as follows:

The words related to Persian civilization: we saw in ANOVA trial that there is no important difference between three groups sing this group of words.

The academic words: harmonizing to the tabular array, we can reason that the difference between high school and undergraduate is important so is the difference between high school and alumnus pupils. However, there is no important difference between undergraduate and alumnus pupils in this semantic field keeping.

The words related to going abroad: no important difference can be observed between any of the individual brace of groups.

The words related to American civilization: regarding this group of words, the difference lies between the high school group with the other two groups. But, there is no important difference between two other groups.

Discussion

By uniting the results of all three tabular arraies above, we can look into back uping or rejecting the 3 hypotheses mentioned earlier:

Hypothesis 1: this hypothesis is supported because the difference of the alumnus and undergraduate pupils with high school pupils was important. Besides, harmonizing to Table 1, the alumnus pupils performed highest on the trial of words related to academic field. It can be concluded that the higher the instruction degree, the better keeping of new academic words.

Hypothesis 2: this hypothesis was non supported because no difference between the groups was found.

Hypothesis 3: this hypothesis, either, can non be supported because there was no important difference observed between the groups sing the words related to Persian civilization. However, the high school group performed the best on this portion of the trial among the other groups and at the same clip, their best mark was that of this word group. This result can open a way for farther research which may back up the hypothesis.

In a general expression at Table 1, we can compare the overall public presentation of the participants on each of the four parts of the trial.

The average mark of the academic portion of the trial was the highest among the others ( 3.86 ) . This is clearly because of the larger figure of the pupils who were in higher instruction in comparing to the high school pupils.

The highest mean mark, after that of academic portion of the trial, belongs to the words related to Persian civilization.

To discourse the ground of this determination we can mention to Ausubel ‘s minor premise theory ( 1965, cited in Brown 2007 ) . If we combine this theory with Trier ‘s semantic field, we find a proper ground for this determination.

Ausubel ‘s meaningful larning positions the homo ‘s knowledge as a set of webs. When a new piece of cognition enters our cognitive system, it should hang on some already bing cognition and “ subsume ” under this field if it is intended to retain for a long clip. Sing the present survey, we can reason that Persian pupils have already had the implicit in cognition about Persian civilization, so when they are exposed to some new words about their ain civilization this new piece of cognition subsume good under the bing cognition and retain longer.

Decision

Semantic field theory can hold considerable part in ESL/EFL theories. This survey was really limited sing the figure of participants and the figure of words under survey. Furthermore, the classification of the pupils harmonizing to their mere degree of academic instruction can be considered to be excessively superficial a classification.

Therefore, the is a way taking to farther research with more scientific classification of the participants and more precise grouping of words into assorted semantic Fieldss.