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The Effect of Teaching Near-synonyms to Taiwan EFL University Students: A Corpus-based Approach
Chen, Sheng Chi
Chang, Hsun Huei
Chen, Sheng Chi
|Issue Date: ||2014-02-10 14:43:48 (UTC+8)|
Corpus Linguistics has progressively become the center in different domains of language research. With such development of large corpora, the potential applications and possibilities of corpora in second language teaching and learning are extended. A discovery-based authentic learning environment is provided as well as created by such corpus-based language learning. Synonym or near-synonym learning is a difficult aspect of vocabulary learning, but a linguistic phenomenon with ubiquity. Hence, this research aims to investigate the effectiveness of the application of data-driven learning (DDL) approach in near-synonyms instruction and compare the teaching effect on the high and low achievers through the near-synonyms instruction.
Participants of this study were given instruction throughout the eight-week corpus-based teaching with materials compiled by the teacher. This is a quasi-experimental study consisting of comparison between two experimental conditions, with a pre-post test and control-experimental group design, followed by qualitative method of semi-structure interviews and questionnaire provided to the experimental group of EFL university students in Taiwan. Two intact classes of 86 college students participated in this study. The quantitative analysis of the pre- and posttest scores and questionnaire were conducted through descriptive statistics and frequency analysis in order to explain the learning effects and learners’ perceptions.
The results of the study revealed that: (1) participants in the experimental group made significant improvement in the posttest; (2) EFL high proficiency learners with DDL approach performed better than high achievers who were taught by the traditional method. However, low achievers may not be able to benefit from DDL approach in the form of concordance teaching materials; (3) the majority of the participants had positive feedback on DDL activities. Also, types of preferred DDL activities were strongly influenced by students’ proficiency level. Low achievers preferred activities that should involve Chinese translation as the supplementary note while as for the high achievers, they were looking for the teacher’s explanation of words’ usages and functions in the end.
This study demonstrates the importance in illuminating the dynamic relationship between DDL approach and second language near-synonyms learning, as well as provides English EFL teachers with a better concept to incorporate corpus or concordance lines into vocabulary instruction.
Key words: data-driven Learning, near-synonym, corpus-based approach
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|Data Type: ||thesis|
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