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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/19332

Title: THE ROLE OF EXTENSIVE READING IN L2 VOCABULARY ACQUISITION: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY ON SAUDI FEMALE STUDENTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH, KING SAUD UNIVERSITY
Authors: Al-Hammad, Nouf Mohammad
Kebbe, Mohammed Ziad
Keywords: ROLE OF EXTENSIVE READING
L2 VOCABULARY ACQUISITION
SAUDI FEMALE STUDENTS
KING SAUD UNIVERSITY
Issue Date: 21-Feb-2009
Abstract: There has been a great deal of interest in extensive reading (ER) over the past decade. This has been shown in the numerous articles on the benefits of ER in English for both foreign and second language learners. In addition to the gains in reading and listening proficiency, reading speed, writing, and spelling, the greatest benefit of any ER program has always been realized in vocabulary. A number of studies involving learners of different ages and different contexts have confirmed the widespread belief that second language learners can acquire vocabulary through reading. This is important since many language teachers, especially in Saudi Arabia, give little or no attention to vocabulary assuming that students will learn words incidentally. In fact, many studies suggest that incidental vocabulary acquisition is a time-consuming and unpredictable process; thus raise questions about the suitability of this approach for second language learners. Motivated by the continued growth of research on extensive reading as well as the positive results from a variety of studies, this experimental study hypothesized that ER would result in vocabulary acquisition especially when accompanied with vocabulary enhancement activities. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the impact of ER on English vocabulary acquisition in a Saudi context, and tried to investigate whether incorporating ER with vocabulary enhancement activities (ER Plus) would yield better results than (ER Only). Moreover, it sought to broaden the scope of ER literature by reporting on the use of ER in formal classroom settings. It also aimed to provide valuable insights and pedagogic implications for educators who want to implement ER in their classrooms. The subjects were 112 EFL female translation majors at King Saud University. Their ages varied from 19 to 22. They were all taking Reading 2 course (a first year, second semester course in the English program). They were divided - according to their sections- into three groups; a control group and two experimental groups. The first experimental group received an ER Plus treatment, whereas the second experienced an ER Only treatment. In order to measure the difference between the three groups, a set of vocabulary tests and questionnaires were administered before and after the treatments (ER programs). The vocabulary test was used to measure the increases- if any- in the students’ vocabulary size, whereas the affective questionnaire was used to measure the subjects’ attitudes and beliefs towards the incorporation of an ER program into their reading course. Results showed that ER can enhance vocabulary acquisition both incidentally and when incorporated in vocabulary enhancement activities. Positive results obtained from the affective questionnaire proved that ER can promote positive attitudes toward reading in English and learning vocabulary through reading. The study also revealed the most common vocabulary strategies used by the subjects which can sometimes cause reading problems, such as lack of motivation, hesitation… etc. The study recommends an urgent need for a constructive supplementary reading program to be incorporated in the English syllabi of the university in the form of extensive extra-curricular reading activity. The study suggests that teachers should give consideration to the effects of combining reading with specially designed vocabulary enhancement activities. It also suggests that benefits of graded readers in vocabulary acquisition should not only be assessed by measuring breadth vocabulary gains and passive retention, but also by looking at how ER helps in developing depth vocabulary knowledge and enriching already known vocabulary.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/19332
Appears in Collections:College of Arts

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