Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date

2019

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Chair

Teresa Dalle

Committee Member

Mahmoud Amer

Committee Member

Emily Thrush

Committee Member

Ronald Fuentes

Abstract

One of the key aspects to learning a language is building good vocabulary knowledge. However, building vocabulary is considered to be as hard a process as developing the language itself in the long term. In second language acquisition (SLA), the larger vocabulary size has been connected to intelligence and as a major determinant of successful language use. With the constant use of vocabulary learning strategies (VLSs), language learners have reported successful growth of their language learning. The current study investigated SpanishEnglish bilingual speakers beliefs and practices about sequential VLS processes as a means of improving second language vocabulary acquisition. The study recruited participants from two groups (each group has 35 participants, N = 70) attending public high school in a Spanish speaking country. The effects of five preselected sequential VLSs (Guessing meaning of a new word with its context, building synonyms network, listening and pronunciation process [speaking strategies], bookmark word search [note-taking strategies], and remembering strategy for writing) on 35 participants were investigated through a 4-week VLS intervention design. A convergent mixed-methods design has been used, in which quantitative and qualitative data were collected in parallel, analyzed separately, and finally merged. The study used a questionnaire followed by the vocabulary size test (VST) to test the theory that certain VLS processes positively influence the growth of vocabulary size or knowledge for bilingual learners of English during the language learning process. The findings showed that specific sequential VLS processes (the vocab-backup strategy model VBS) accounted for a change of the vocabulary size scores. Statistical analysis revealed that, all participants preferred the same VBS model sequencing when it comes to vocabulary learning. On the effective use of sequential VLS processes, participants were recorded performing two types of VLS: initial-VLS processes and consolidated-VLS processes. The sequential and frequency of use for the VLSs from the interviews findings reported that participants favored mostly guessing meaning from context, synonyms relation strategies, and dictionary use as initial attempts for their vocabulary learning. The overall results suggest that deeper processes of VLS use result in successful vocabulary learning but also enhance language learning input.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest

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