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An Experimental Study on the Application of Schema Theory in Teaching College English Vocabulary

Author: WangSha
Tutor: DuanMuQingYi
School: Henan Normal
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: schema theory vocabulary mental lexicon vocabulary teaching
CLC: H319
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 131
Quote: 0
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Abstract


Vocabulary is one of the most important factors to constitute language and it is the foundation to acquire and use vocabulary to enlarge language knowledge and develop language skills. Therefore, vocabulary teaching plays an integral part in foreign language teaching. With the deepening knowledge and research on vocabulary, although the traditional method in teaching vocabulary still plays a major role in English class, it is crucial for teachers to guide students to learn and memorize vocabulary more effectively and cultivate proficient learning strategies.Schema theory explores language understanding and learning process from the perspective of cognitive psychology and has been widely applied in the teaching and research practice of foreign language reading, listening, writing and translating. The study is based on schema theory and explores how to put it into vocabulary teaching and learning practice by guiding students to activate and construct schemata and finally achieve the aims required. Meanwhile, as a form of representation of human psychology, schemata could easily lead to subjective application. So mental lexicon, which is a part of linguistic schemata and can provide visualized and systematic knowledge for vocabulary teaching, will be consulted in the teaching process and its organization models will be applied to guide the application of schema theory in the teaching process.With the guidance of schema theory and 102 non-English majors in Xinxiang College as its subjects, the experimental study is carried out to investigate how to guide students to activate, construct and put schema theory into learning practice during one semester. At the beginning of the experiment, questionnaires were handed out to investigate students’vocabulary memorization strategies and pre-test was designed to examine students’vocabulary proficiency and differences between the two classes. In the experimental process, schema-based methods and traditional vocabulary teaching methods are respectively applied in the experimental class and the controlled class and post-test was designed to examine the results at the end of the semester. By the comparisons between various results of the two classes and with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), the conclusion is drawed that the schema-based vocabulary teaching benefits students to acquire new words and consolidate previously-learnt ones and plays a positive part in college English vocabulary teaching practice.Combining theory and practice, the research is a worthy application of schema theory and also benefits English learners and help them find more approaches to learn vocabulary better. Therefore, the research has certain practical significance.

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CLC: > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching
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