Teaching Vocabulary Items through Contextualization and Picture to Elementary Iranian EFL Students

Akbari, Omid
September 2008
Asian EFL Journal;Sep2008, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p53
Academic Journal
This research was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of teaching vocabulary items through pictures and contextualization to elementary Iranian EFL students. The subjects were divided into three groups each consisting of 32 male learners within the age range of 12-15. The subjects were assigned to three almost homogeneous groups, based on their scores on a general test which had been standardized and validated before. All the students came from the same linguistic background and the teacher and teaching materials were the same for the three groups. The experimental groups received different treatments. In one class vocabulary items were presented through pictures, and in the other class they were used in contexts and model sentences. In the third class, control group, the new words were presented through definitions and synonyms. The treatment of the study took 10 sessions. Before starting the treatment, two similar tests were prepared as the pretest and posttest. Each of them consisted of 45 multiple-choice items of vocabulary. They enjoyed the criteria of validity and reliability. At the first session, the pretest was administered to determine if there was any significant differences between the three groups. By utilizing one-way ANOVA technique, it was revealed that the three groups were almost homogeneous. At the end of the term, the posttest was administered. Then, the statistical techniques of one-way ANOVA and t-test were utilized to analyze the collected data. Analysis of the results in the posttest revealed significant differences between picture group and context group, on the one hand, and between these groups and the control group, on the other hand. The results showed that though both picture and context enhanced vocabulary development of the learners, picture seemed to be better than context. That is, picture group outperformed the other two groups significantly. Hence, it was concluded that the contribution of pictures in teaching vocabulary items to elementary Iranian EFL students led to a higher level of vocabulary improvement.


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