Developing productive vocabulary in English – Strategies and activities some English teachers employ to ensure the development of productive vocabulary in lower secondary schools
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This research study sought to get a deep understanding of how second language vocabulary is acquired, and why explicit vocabulary instruction is important for overall attainment of word knowledge depth in a L2. To achieve these aims, three teachers at the lower secondary level have been interviewed. The two main aims for the interviews were to both get an idea of teachers’ opinions on vocabulary teaching and to gather a number of strategies that are presently employed in Norwegian classrooms. The data gathered from the interviews have been substantial. The analysis was inductive, meaning that the theoretical framework has been greatly influenced by the interviews. Some of the key points brought to light by the research literature included in this study are: (1) vocabulary development is a cumulative process which develops as a result of many implicit and explicit encounters and retrievals. (2) There is an inherently greater need for explicit vocabulary focus in L2 given the comparatively limited amount of input pupils are regularly exposed to. (3) The encounters with a useful word need to be well planned and structured to ensure fluency development. (4) Vocabulary development is optimized if the course is interspersed with a variety of linguistically-driven vocabulary learning strategies which target the main aspects of a word. (5) Ensuring that the main aspects of a word are covered is more effective than repeated targeting of a few word aspects. In addition, the findings reveal that teaching vocabulary is important for Bildung as it teaches appropriacy of language use and how to utilize vocabulary learning skills for future use. Last, but not least, this study provides a comprehensive list of some of the vocabulary strategies that are currently employed in Norwegian classrooms.