Techniques Utilized for Vocabulary Acquisition


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Vocabulary acquisition is seen as an integral area of language teaching by linguistic researchers. Psychologists, linguists and language teachers have been interested in vocabulary learning strategies for a long time. They have come to understand the role of the lexicon in language learning and communication. Accordingly the increased attention to vocabulary teaching has become more important. In particular, during past fifteen years, the field of second language acquisition has seen renewed interest in vocabulary learning and acquisition. There are many dimensions to vocabulary acquisition, as reflected in the multitude of different areas of research being done on the topic.

In order to conduct the research in a more systematic and logical way, the researcher takes prominent variables such as person, task, context and strategy into account. These four factors are primarily introduced and defined, then in subsequent parts they are dealt with in great details. Having taken these important variables into consideration, the investigator also tries to shed significant light on major issues and comments concerning each variable.


The primary goal of this study is to investigate and review the effects of learning strategies on EFL vocabulary acquisition during recent years. Vocabulary acquisition can be best conceived as a process in which L2 learners negotiate word meaning from a text level to a word level. This shift is necessary so that the learner can form a mental connection between the word form and his/her meaning premise. Second language (L2) learners who use scaffolding strategies such as inferring word meanings through contextual clues and determining word meanings through dictionary reference stand to benefit. Technically speaking, word knowledge includes the ability to recall meaning, infer meaning, comprehend a text, and communicate orally. No single approach can address all of these skills; when learners receive input about vocabulary only from reading or only from the use of lists, drills, or skill-building activities, they have not addressed the range of skills needed for word use. Effective approach to word learning should be multifaceted in what they require of the learner and rich in what they reveal about the target words. Put another way, most of the noted recent researchers came to this conclusion that the most efficient and practical learning approach involves a carefully selected combination of both explicit and implicit instruction and learning.

Word knowledge has linguistic, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic aspects. Lexical competence is far more than the ability to define a given number of words; it involves knowing a great deal about each word, including information about its general frequency of use, the syntactic and situational limitations on its use, its generilizability, its collocational probabilities, its underlying form, its derived forms, and its semantic features. The process by which learners acquire this information appears to take place gradually over a long period of time, is very complex, and is quite difficult to investigate. In conclusion, a lot of work has been done to find overall patterns of strategy use.

However, the choice, use, and effectiveness of vocabulary learning strategies very much depend on the task (e. g. breadth vs.depth), the learner (e. g. cognitive and cultural styles of learning, motivation), and the context.

Full-text available at: [E-journal, Language in india].

Acknowledgement: I would like to express my deep gratitude on Professor Ismail Baroudy’s thought-provoking and continuous support, my dear professor to his constant guidance I am greatly indebted. Finally, a special thanks goes to Mrs. Rezvan Abol-Nejadian, B. A. , for supporting my research and encouragement, I am also grateful to her for helping me complete the work successfully.


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