Vocabulary Learning Strategies in an ESP Context: The Case of Para/medical English in Iran

| March 25, 2009
Title
Vocabulary Learning Strategies in an ESP Context: The Case of Para/medical English in Iran

Keywords: vocabulary learning strategies, Schmitt’s taxonomy, English for specific purposes, specialized and non-specialized vocabulary

Authors
Zahra Akbari
English Department at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences

M.H. Tahririan
Sheikhbahaee University

Bio Data
Dr. Zahra Akbari is an assistant professor in the English Department at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. She has been teaching English to medical and paramedical students for 11 years. She received her B.A, M.A and Ph.D in TEFL from Isfahan University.

Dr. M.H. Tahririan is a professor of TEFL at Sheikhbahaee University. His main area of interest is in ESP. He has done research and taught TEFL courses for more than thirty years.

Abstract
Although taxonomies of a broad range of vocabulary learning strategies do exist, they tend to be incomplete in terms of strategies or factors arguably important for vocabulary learning. Compared to other classification schemes, Schmitt s (1997) taxonomy seems to be the most exhaustive and has the advantage of being organized around an established scheme of language learning strategies. In this study, attempt has been made to examine the extent to which her taxonomy keeps its relevance in ESP contexts. To do so, a qualitative study was designed and carried out in which 137 participants were selected randomly from among undergraduate medical and paramedical students who had enrolled in ESP I in Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. Data on vocabulary learning strategies in an ESP context were elicited by observation, interview and questionnaire. The findings of our study led to the modification of Schmitt s taxonomy and making it more comprehensive. The purpose behind challenging taxonomies of vocabulary learning strategy was to gain more insights about vocabulary learning process and point out to effective ways for teaching and learning vocabulary.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 11 Issue 1