quasi-experimental research study was conducted due to the prior evidence of the potential positive impacts of verbal-visual techniques on vocabulary achievement and the rarity of research in this area in EFL vocabulary. The basic aim of the investigation was to declare whether the vocabulary improvement of Iranian EFL learners would be improved when they get benefit of verbal-visual techniques and instructions. In simple terms, the ongoing thesis sought to deal with the visible effects of this trend on EFL learners’ vocabulary achievement. Anyhow, it was hypothesized and predicted that the learners who experience this trend would come to better results and understanding of the words in comparison to those of non-users. However, this section comprises of parts or subparts including subjects, materials, procedure and data-analysis which will be discussed separately.
To go ahead in reaching the intended results or conclusion, sixty high school EFL students who participated in this study were chosen from among a number of EFL students in a high school in Sirvan, Ilam, Iran as the sample of the study. In reality, the researcher of this study was an experienced teacher in this high school. To be honest, the classes were held two days in a week, each day one hour, in Winter, 2014.There was not any control group. The experimental groups were males, native speakers of Persian and Kurdish and ranging in age from fifteen to seventeenbefore carrying out the experiment. The participants were almost similar in the economic, cultural and social level. It should be pointed out that none of the study subjects had the experience of residence in English speaking countries. The sample was large enough to enable generalization of results.
Toundertakethe presentresearch logically, some instruments were usedwith respect to the intended study trend as follows: 1. a vocabulary testwas administered to participants as a pre-test to see if the participants were homogeneous enough to start the study. In order to estimate the reliability of this test, the split-half method was utilized. The questions were given to the participants and the total score for each part was calculated. 2. A post-test: It was administered at the end of the course to measure the difference between the achievements of three groups with respect to the type of vocabulary teaching techniques employed for each group. 3. Visual aids: These included pictures, flashcards, photographs and blackboard drawings. These were labeled and depicted their referents. For better understanding visual and verbal techniques we deal with them in greater details here.
3.3.1. Visual and verbal.
a) Visual techniques
Realia:Using a variety of real objects is one of the most efficient ways of teaching and learning vocabulary.
Pictures: The main advantage of pictures is that they are able to illustrate very large objects which are not easily brought into the classroom.
Mime and gesture: This is an extremely effective way of introducing a new word since it resembles to the Total Physical Response, which clearly promotes the understanding and meaningful retention of new vocabulary items.
b) Verbal techniques
Definitions and illustrative sentences: the introduction of a word in English through the use of other words in the same language offers the advantage of contextualization. I n addition, sample sentences complement the definition because they show how the new word is used.
Synonyms and antonyms: Synonyms and antonyms are especially important in building new vocabulary because learners are able to use know vocabulary.
Scales:This technique is the presentation of related words in scales that include the combination of both verbal and visual and visual techniques; for example, in the term 32° Celsius, the degree sign is the visual.
Explanation: This technique explains the meaning and the use of a given foreign word in the foreign language
Translation: Although many linguists state that translation is not a good presentation technique, it is only considered dangerous for pupils if it becomes the only presentation technique. However, the major drawback may be when L2 words are introduced in lists.
3.4. Data Colection Procedure
Improving your vocabulary is one of the most important academic investments you can make, however, it is often overlooked. Most of us use slang words and phrases, simple words, and at times even improper grammar when we speak and write. Good vocabulary is sometimes ignored and is considered to be somewhat out of style. With a good vocabulary, which indicates scope of knowledge, we grasp the thoughts of others and are able to communicate our own thoughts to them. The ongoing study lasted about 2 months. Prior conducting this study, a multiple choice test as thepretest was administered to measure the students’ current level of proficiency (see table 1, 2 and 3). Three groups were chosen among many groupsof students in a high school. The classes were marked groups 1, 2 and 3. Group 1 was treated by using visual aids (flashcards, pictures, photographs and blackboard drawings). The researcher attempted to get use of visuals that could represent their referent unambiguously. Flashcards were used for most of the words. Simple blackboard drawings appeared to be more efficient in the case of concrete words. When the students had problem in getting the meaning other visuals, namely pictures and photographs were used. In the learning phase, the visuals were shown to the students for a short time (ten seconds) so that all of them could see the picture depicting its referent. Then, the corresponding word was read aloud by the teacher and students were required to repeat. When the new word was difficult to learn, it was read aloud and repeated again. This procedure insured that students could pronounce it correctly. This phase followed by elicitation. To internalize the pronunciation and meanings of the words, the teacher mixed the pictures and showed them one by one to the students to elicit the corresponding words. Group 2 was treated by verbal techniques (exemplification & synonymy). For this group no visual aids were used, but rather they were provided with exemplification and synonyms. When using exemplification it was attempted to choose the examples from “Oxford Elementary Learners’ Dictionary”. With regard to difficult words, more examples were provided. The researcher tried to build examples around the topic of the lesson being taught. In this group after the exemplification phase, a synonymous expression of the word was provided. Finally, the teacher asked volunteer students to provide some examples of the words’ use. The students were encouraged to recycle the words they have been taught already in previous units. While making examples, they received a lot of feedback on their learning of the words. It is noteworthy that this phase of learning/teaching process was associated with interest. The reason is that the learners were making a lot of attempt to use their own resources and background knowledge and link it to the newly learned words. In some cases, the researcher used the words that students were already using in their study of the textbook.
With regard to group 3, verbal and visual techniques were used complementarily to convey the meaning of the lexis. Different practices of group 1 and 2 were incorporated in this group. First, visual aids were used to clarify the meaning and then verbal cues were provided. At the end of the treatment a post-test was administered in order to measure the students’ level of vocabulary after treatment. The post-test was representative of the items covered during instruction within six weeks. The test was both recognition (multiple-choice) and production skills (cloze). Both pre-test and post-test were administered for three groups at the same time and place. In scoring there was no penalty for wrong answers and the scores were
out of twenty.
3.5. Data analysis
Without a good working knowledge of words and their meanings, both written and verbal communication will be muddied or poorly understood. Teachers and parents can emphasize reading and verbal interaction with children to help them build a strong working vocabulary. The present dissertation studywas an attempt to investigate the difference between the mean performances of three experimental groups being taught with verbal, visual and verbal/visual techniques of vocabulary teaching. It is a between-group study with techniques of vocabulary teaching (verbal, visual and verbal/visual techniques) being the independent variables and the level of vocabulary achievement as the dependent variable. Based on the students’ scores, standard deviation and the means of all groups were calculated (Table 1, 2 and 3).
Having a cursory glance at table 3 and 4, it is obvious that the mean of group three is more than group one and two. So, it may be assumed that the method used for group 3 is more efficient. But mere use of standard deviation and means does not guarantee our results and is not an authentic way of comparing the result of the treatment effect on three groups. The design of this study required us to compare the means of three groups simultaneously by another authentic measure, namely ANOVA. In this study, the experiment tested the impact of method of vocabulary teaching (the independent variable) on vocabulary achievement (the dependent variable). The independent variable had three levels (three methods of teaching were used in three groups). Therefore, the technique used for testing the significance of differences in means was a one-way ANOVA. For convenience in interpretation, the results were given in table 1, 2 and 3.
Since the F-value is larger than one (F1), we know that there is a meaningful difference among the means. But how important is that difference. An ANOVA provides information on whether the three groups differ or not, but it provides no information as to the location of the source of difference.
Results and Discussion
Undoubtedly, technology has fundamentally affected almost all human activities and education is not an exception. Applying technology to the learning is becoming an important educational issue today. It has also affected foreign language teaching and learning in many different ways. The application of practice with the most relevant technology in a particular context is challenging language teachers to achieve effective teaching with technology. Computers like other forms of technology are linked to people’s lives, jobs, hopes and dreams.
During the past decade, the use of computer in educational setting has increased dramatically from the combination of educational needs and technological means (Warschauer, 1998). Meanwhile, application of Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) is experiencing a renaissance in the modern language teaching and learning arena, with a high growth of popularity. It involves the use of technology in the form of computers ranging from software to the Internet (Hewer, 2007). In the current thesis, attempts were made to show the discussed for final decisions. The data were collected statistically according to various tables shown in the current study .However, to be more attentive, the results relevant to the present work will be discussed in details in the coming chapter .Meanwhile, the design and suggestions will also be discussed.
4.2. Results and discussion
In the following section the research questions presented before will be dealt with.
Research Question 1-What is the visible effect of verbal techniques (synonymy, exemplification, etc.)on vocabulary achievement of Iranian EFL students?
Table 3 shows that there is difference between mean of verbal group with