Twist in the list : frame semantics as vocabulary teaching and learning tool
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The purpose of this study, which is grounded in applied linguistics, was to investigate two ways of presenting vocabulary in a German language class in order to determine whether Frame Semantics is a feasible tool with regards to students’ vocabulary acquisition and culturally appropriate usage of vocabulary. In addition, this study examined learners’ attitudes toward the new method of vocabulary teaching and learning. A total of 34 university students enrolled in four second-semester German classes participated in this study. In the Control Group rote memorization techniques were used, while the in the Treatment Group frame semantics was utilized for the teaching and learning of vocabulary. The data was analyzed through quantitative methods. The quantitative data was derived from an online demographic survey, a vocabulary pre-test, two vocabulary post-tests (an immediate post-test and delayed post-test), a cultural appropriateness pre-test, two cultural appropriateness post-tests (an immediate post-test and delayed post-test), as well as an pre-test and post-test attitude scale provided as an online questionnaire. Analysis of the data indicates that there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups with regards to their cultural appropriate usage of the vocabulary items, and no statistically significant differences were observed with regards to vocabulary recall and retention. In addition, only the factor of enjoyment yielded significant differences with regards to learners’ attitude, while the factors of motivation, interest and confidence did not show statistically significant differences between the groups. Thus, the results indicate that both methods – Frame Semantics and the more traditional methods – are suitable for vocabulary learning and teaching as both methods resulted in an increase of learners’ vocabulary knowledge, including long-term retention.
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