An Examination of Vocabulary Learning of College-level Learners of English in China

| June 28, 2007
Title
An Examination of Vocabulary Learning of College-level Learners of English in China

Keywords: vocabulary learning strategies; gender; attitude; beliefs; problems

Authors
Ming Wei
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA

Bio Data
Ming Wei is a doctoral candidate majoring in linguistics/TESOL at the Oklahoma State University. She received her master’s degree in linguistics in 1999 from Nankai University, China. She then taught English as an assistant professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University for five years until 2004 when she came to the U.S. for her PhD degree.

Abstract
This paper reports on the learning of English vocabulary by college students (N=60) in mainland China. The purpose of this study was three fold: 1) to identify the pattern of vocabulary learning strategies; 2) to look at the differences in vocabulary learning strategy by gender, major, and self-rated English proficiency; and 3) to find out the vocabulary learning problems, attitudes and beliefs in relation to strategy use. A vocabulary learning strategy questionnaire was used for data collection. Statistical analysis revealed that contextualized activation and management strategies were seldom used. This may lead to difficulties in long-term retention and use of vocabulary, the top two problematic areas in vocabulary learning rated by the participants. Significant differences existed in strategy use by field of study and self-rated proficiency level, not by gender. While strategy use was closely related to students attitude, there were discrepancies between strategy use and beliefs about vocabulary learning.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 9 Issue 1