Vocabulary learning is not just a days task for English language learners. Rather, it is a life-long process. This paper will summarize the article A context-Based strategy for teaching Vocabulary by Deanna L. Nelson. Nelson in his article describes the students encounter with learning vocabulary, with a closer focus on the students in a classroom setting. the article explains the means through which learners equip themselves with the knowledge of new lexical items ,the challenges they face ,the essence of acquiring new words in English ,preparation as well as the processes involved in acquiring new words.
The author agrees with Susan Zinmerman and Chryse Hutchkins, who also explain that learners vocabulary improve through understanding of meaning of new words; ability to identify them in various circumstances of usage, using them in writing and speaking and identifying their parts of speech as well as connecting them with familiar words. Also, the writer concurs with Sharon and Meaghan Edmonds who identify the ease of students in the events of learning new lexical items so to the advancement in their ability to comprehend them. It also calls for their analysis, comprehension, application and evaluation.
Further, from the authors experience as an instructor and an English language learner, students fail to link the vocabulary they learn to new situations accordingly; becoming a major challenge since the instructors giving them simple questions enhancing their memory shortly. Moreover, when learners are engaged in critical analysis of literary texts, their vocabulary widens up. The appropriate context-based vocabulary strategy is that learners need to identify new words, note them, comprehend their meaning and finally apply them in preferable circumstances, which is the basis of vocabulary learning in English .This is evident in the example that the writer employed to teach lexis, when she realized that learners could not comprehend meanings even after using dictionary since they failed to link their usage, they tended to memorize new words instead.
The article has both weaknesses and strengths; first, strengths- Nelson has used a number of case study subjects that has given a reliable conclusion. The findings from the students in Nelsons class can be guaranteed to be effective and reliable because it was not on single subject. A study on single subject may not give the required results or the result might be biased. According to Nelson, better understanding of new lexical items, vocabulary, focuses beyond just a mere knowledge of the meaning of new words but also on how to apply the usage of those words in an appropriate context. This is true because learners are able to improve their vocabulary through extensive reading and analysis of various literary text in order to exercise their knowledge on any new word they might have learnt prior .In other words ,learner-based approach is deemed essential as they will not just memorize new words but understand them permanently .Moreover ,an instructors role is to offer guidance to students in the events their learning .He or she needs time to prepare well in order to facilitate the learning process and ensure effective English vocabulary learning. Additionally, it is worth noting that whereas reading and analysis of technical literary texts have a substantial role to play to students in the learning of English vocabulary ,learning should proceed in a predictable sequence; it should be from simple to complex ,since the simple vocabulary they learn will have a lasting impact on the knowledge of the new words .Learners should be exposed to as diverse literary genres as possible to ensure that there is systematic learning of this aspect of English language.
Weakness; the author has used one class of students to make a conclusion of the entire school. The method might not be the same to other students in other classes. The assumption that the author has made is determined by one group of subjects. Reliable results could be obtained through engaging other classes so as to come up with an assumption that can apply to almost all students and not for one class.
In conclusion, it is true to say that students should be able to move beyond the level of surface meaning in an attempt to comprehend their usage in situation which is the basis of understanding vocabulary .The teacher should perform the role of a guider and a facilitator, by providing an environment that enhances learning since its a fact that learning works best when learners discover for themselves.
Summary and critique of Becoming qualified to teach low-literate refugees: a case study of one volunteer instructor by Kristen H. Perry.
The research has it that there is a tremendous rise in the number of English language learners in the U.S, constituting a recognizable percentage of the population .It therefore takes a lot for one to qualify as a teacher, since it deals with humanity. This paper will summarize and critique the article Becoming qualified to teach low-literate refugees: a case study of one volunteer instructor by Kristen H. Perry.
The findings, based on Carolyn as a case study, admit that there must be some determinations, interests, qualifications and merits within an individual that places them in the right channel .Also, this report acknowledges the essence of educational opportunities for self-independence among refugees .On the contrary, a number of teachers have not been fully equipped especially in English .Some of the discussed areas in the article include; Certification versus qualification where the author argues that, many instructors are experienced but not experts since they lack extensive training and in-service courses. Kristen has also examined the Adult versus ESL issue deals with how to drive the subject matter to the learners.
The author used; open-ended questionnaire, semi-structured interview along with observation methods to collect information on the subject, Caros teaching .The analysis of the results, done during and after collection includes coding Carolyns questions, which reveals that shes an effective instructor of refugees of English language and also her higher degree of preparedness. The findings reiterated that being qualified involves complete awareness of cultural affiliations, being critical thinkers and flexible as well as having deeper understanding of philosophy of teaching and learning .However, it implies that voluntarily involves prior experiences and professional behaviors over time.
The major challenge dwelt much on how to obtain and retain fully equipped tutors. This research, proposes support programs including recruitment of experts, offering proper linkages with ongoing professional projects, especially through educational institutions and finally encouraging self-education among the experts. Kristen concludes that earlier experiences contribute a lot to being professionally qualified to work as an adult refugee tutor of English.
The article has both strengths and weaknesses; first, the strengths- the author has clearly outlined the determining factors to become an English instructor. According to the case study done on Carolyn as the subject, a volunteer adult refugee teacher of English implies that there must be well informed on issues related to cultural backgrounds of the respective refugees in order to present the subject matter clearly; it involves being an extensive thinker-cum practitioner and clearly understands the truth and reality behind the teaching and learning. Additionally, a qualified adult tutor of English should be as diverse as possible to fit in different contexts, thus, evading challenges he or she might encounter. Additionally, there is a need to support teacher training programs in an effort to see the making of professional tutors, since much of the conditions an instructor finds themselves in, have got a lot to tell about their merit.
Weakness; the author has used only one subject in her case study. Although the findings were effective, it may lead us to make a general conclusion that every teacher behaves the same way Carolyn was. The author should have used a number of subjects and not only one to obtain a more reliable conclusion.
In conclusion, despite the claims purported by the findings of this report, there arise some questions, for instance the distinction between an experienced teacher and an expert one .This is because the two terms are inseparable since expertise means being experienced in a particular area.
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