It is admitted that vocabulary acquisition, as the smallest unit in English acquisition, is the most basic, decisive yet hard portion. However, vocabulary acquisition has ever obsessed and fascinated the English linguistic communication scholars. This paper chiefly presents a treatment of English vocabulary acquisition by foreign scholars in the regard of vocabulary size and correct usage. Through the analysis of the jobs bing in the present vocabulary acquisition and instruction, there are besides some acquisition schemes available to spread out vocabulary size.
With the development of many states, English instruction and acquisition has got great popularity in the whole society. Simultaneously, it has aroused many inquiries which deserved further researching to do English instruction and larning more efficaciously. As to these inquiries, the survey of vocabulary acquisition by foreign pupils may be the most of import parts. Just as A.D. Wilkins said, “ Without grammar, small can be conveyed ; without vocabulary, nil can be conveyed. ” [ 1,118 ]
Today, besides the linguists, every English scholar knows that vocabulary acquisition plays a dominant function in 2nd linguistic communication instruction and acquisition. The sum of words one has straight influences the consequence of English acquisition. If attending is non unfeignedly paid to words larning, it ‘s obliviously impossible for him to get nice English ability, and farther surveies. And, to great extent, the roar of vocabulary acquisition is motivated by the flourishing of linguistic communication trial. A assortment of trials and scrutinies, such as TOEFL, GRE and the most popular CET, all reserve a considerable room for proving the examinees ‘ vocabulary cognition.
Motivated by the slipstream of assorted trials, there have emerged many manus books and steering books on vocabulary. In English schoolroom, you can see the chalkboards are frequently littered with multitudes of new lexical points, and pupils compile page upon page of word list that they seldom have any opportunity to pattern. After old ages of English acquisition, vocabulary acquisition is still a difficult nut to check to foreign scholars of English. And bit by bit there is a common belief among scholars that to larn an English word is to cognize its equivalent in the native linguistic communication. Knowing the equivalent of a foreign word in your female parent lingua means cognizing the English word. And the larger one ‘s vocabulary size, the higher degree one is at. Theoretically, it may be true. Yet this mostly depends on the sound cognition of the vocabulary points one has and the correct use he/she can do usage of them. Different attacks to vocabulary acquisition will hold wholly different effects on both scholars and instructors in assisting the scholars expand them vocabulary cognition and size. The misconception of vocabulary acquisition will necessarily take scholars to travel far from a good bid of the English linguistic communication. So, the inquiry to be discussed below is the relation between vocabulary size and correct usage.
1.1.1 Vocabulary size and right usage of words
As long known to linguistic communication instructors and research workers, strong correlativity between vocabulary and reading comprehension has established. Many linguists have a batch of research to place the minimal vocabulary size required to read unsimplified texts adequately. Harmonizing to E.D. Laufer, scholars whose vocabulary size gives them 95 % coverage of the words in the text are able to make an equal degree of comprehension. He besides finds that if a scholar has less than 3000 words, his academic ability does non counterbalance for it to assist comprehension. [ 1,127 ] So it is necessary for English scholars to hold a big vocabulary. What ‘s more, a scholar with a great many words in his vocabulary has the ability to utilize assorted schemes to set up the significances of new words when they encounter them in the reading, and interested in more and larn more new words, but on the other manus, the 1 who has non frequently struggles to accomplish comprehension, and his frequent defeat normally leads to less reading, which, in bend, deprives him of less chance to see and larn really many new words. This sets in gesture the good known “ Matthew Effects, ” Stanovich ‘s application of Matthew, “ the rich get richer and the hapless get poorer. ” In footings of vocabulary development, good readers read more, go better readers, and larn more words ; hapless readers read less, become poorer readers, and larn fewer words. [ 1,25-29 ]
The attempts to cognize equal sum of vocabulary cognition is really necessary for good comprehension. But set uping precisely what it means to cognize a word is no easy undertaking. Is “ cognizing ” a word being able to acknowledge what it looks and sounds like? Is it being able to give the word ‘s dictionary definition? Research suggests that, in general, the reply to these inquiries is “ no ” . Knowing a word by sight and sound and cognizing its dictionary definition are non the same as cognizing how to utilize the word right and understanding it when it is heard or seen in assorted contexts. B.L. Wallace says, “ to cognize a word is to do it recognized, recalled at will, related to an object or a construct, right used, marked and spelt, suitably collocated, used at the right degree of formality and with consciousness of its intensions and associations ” . [ 2,115 ] And Summer puts it this manner: “ the word is merely truly acquired if the scholar can utilize it actively and correctively, or has efficient callback of it in a assortment of contexts ” . [ 2,115 ] These impressions of linguists are particularly informative to foreign scholars of English who hold the misconception that cognizing the native equivalent means cognizing the English words: the overall vocabulary size is by no agencies equal to the size of equivalents they have obtained.
In many states, college pupils, as the chief group of English scholars, have ever been fighting to go through the CET-4 and CET-6 to acquire a enfranchisement to guarantee the successful graduation and a promising occupation. And in the new CET-4 Syllabus, a pupil needs to acknowledge 4,200 words with 1,600 phrases and looks, and needs to be able to utilize 2,500 of them decently and skilfully. On the exam paper the proportion of vocabulary trial carries more weight. Therefore, it required pupils to single-foot their encephalons to roll up English vocabulary every bit many as possible. They adopt whatever method possible they believe to rich their vocabulary, and many of them merely do all attempts to memorise words ‘ spelling and native equivalents. With the clip on, after memorising 50 pages of words list, they find they can merely remember the words on the last page and all the words on the other pages have long gone out of their head. Though for a short period they might accomplish a rapid growing, the words are “ easy semen, easy spell ” . Repeat does non give any aid. The harder they try, more defeated they feel. Confusion and defeat finally coerce them to lose all their involvement in vocabulary and English. Why? One of the grounds is the manner of their vocabulary acquisition: the consecutive interlingual rendition and rote acquisition. It does non assist to organize in the head broad association with other words, therefore can non hive away long in the encephalon. As we all know that, words are stored and remembered in a web of associations. Wordss in our mental vocabulary are tied to each other non merely by intending, signifier and sound, but besides by sight and by other parts of context in which we have learned or experienced them. So today more and more scientific vocabulary books can be found to supply scholars with non merely bilingual word lists, but illustration sentences, flash cards, audio tapes and other types of channel to assist memorise new words. And many English text editions published in other states are revised to add some representatives and often used sentences following every word, and after text reading, vocabulary exercisings are besides designed to intensify their memory.
Another ground for the failure of vocabulary acquisition is that many foreign scholars rely excessively much on the female parent lingua. They have used to interpreting every English word into their ain linguistic communication, even in the reading comprehension, which makes them experience “ safe ” . And they will confound one English word with other unrelated words because of similar significances in the native linguistic communication. Memorizing individual equivalent in female parent lingua makes them hapless at understanding a word in the assorted reading contexts, non to advert in the hearing and utilizing it in talking. So this bad wont impairs their abilities to utilize them suitably, and it is non unusual to bury easy. No 1 can deny the importance and necessity of spread outing vocabulary, but the key is to happen a proper method to accomplish it that enables scholars to retain and utilize words right.