The Relationship between Morphological Awareness and English Vocabulary Knowledge of Indonesian Senior High School Students

| September 28, 2009
Title
The Relationship between Morphological Awareness and English Vocabulary Knowledge of Indonesian Senior High School Students

Author
Nurhemida
University of Queensland
Abstract
The main purpose of the present study is to investigate the relationship between English morphological awareness and vocabulary knowledge in the context of English as Foreign Language (EFL) for senior high school students in Indonesia. Measurements of learner vocabulary size and morphological awareness are obtained and then correlated to assess the degree to which knowledge of English morphological processes and structures can be systematically related to vocabulary knowledge. Based on the findings, the possible role that morphological awareness can play in second language (L2) vocabulary development is discussed. Implications for vocabulary instruction are also addressed.

The participants were 98 students (29 males and 69 females) at a public Islamic senior high school in a rural area in West Sumatra, Indonesia. The participants were grouped into two groups according to program of study: Social Science and Natural Science. The data collection tools were Nation s Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT), which tested knowledge of words drawn from the 2000, 3000 and 5000 most frequently occurring word families (90 words in total) and two morphological awareness tasks. The first consisted of a Morpheme Identification task (item matching, 5 questions) and the second was Morphological Structure test (short answer, 20 questions). A 10-item questionnaire that elicited the participants perceptions of the tests and their English vocabulary learning in general was also administered. The VLT results revealed that the students performed better at the 2000 level than the two higher frequency levels, with little difference between the Social Science and Natural Science groups. Performance on the Morpheme Identification Test approached the ceiling for both groups, while the Natural Science group did better on the Morphological Structure Test. There was a significant relationship between the students performance in the vocabulary level test and the morphological awareness tasks. Finally, the participants gave feedback that suggested their interest in applying the morphological knowledge to their vocabulary learning. Thus, the findings have implications as to the importance of facilitating the students morphological awareness in English vocabulary learning for EFL senior high students in Indonesia.

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Category: Thesis