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Identifying Core Academic Vocabulary in Igcse Science Textbooks and Exploring Ways of Teaching Them in a Senior Secondary Lac Class



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Identifying Core Academic Vocabulary in Igcse Science Textbooks and Exploring Ways of Teaching Them in a Senior Secondary Lac Class by Lijiao Zhang
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This dissertation, "Identifying Core Academic Vocabulary in IGCSE Science Textbooks and Exploring Ways of Teaching Them in a Senior Secondary LAC Class" by Lijiao, Zhang, 張麗嬌, was obtained from The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) and is being sold pursuant to Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License. The content of this dissertation has not been altered in any way. We have altered the formatting in order to facilitate the ease of printing and reading of the dissertation. All rights not granted by the above license are retained by the author. Abstract: This study identifies the academic vocabulary from the IGCSE science textbooks by using online software. Then compare the words identified with the new Academic Vocabulary List (AVL) (Gardner & Davies, 2013a) to generate 139 academic core vocabulary (ACV) from Chapter 1 of the science textbooks. A trial lesson is conducted to explore ways of teaching those ACV to a group of ESL/EFL students in an international high school programme in Mainland China, where English is the medium of instruction. The researcher utilizes an inductive, inquiry-based approach to teach the lesson, with visuals as the main teaching aids. The measurement instruments include a pre-test, an immediate post-test and a one-week delayed post-test. A questionnaire is employed after students' participation of the trial lesson unit, in order to get students' perspectives on and perceptions of such an academic vocabulary learning LAC programme. The results suggest that learning the meaning of ACV through pictures is effective to students. The majority of students (93.3%) believe that the learning of ACV will benefit them in academic study, although almost half of them (40%) think that participation of such an academic vocabulary learning programme is not necessary. Although students have shown improvement in the tests, the research result is very likely to be only applicable to this particular group of students at this specific time of the academic year. This is because these students are generally positive about learning and have very good interaction with the teacher and classmates in the classroom. They are from Class A, which consists of students of relatively higher English ability. Another important factor is that this study is taken at the end of an academic year for Year 10 students. One implication of the findings is that for future study of this type, it is important to test students' vocabulary size with reference to the new AVL so that the research can be more focused on students' real needs. The study implies that the time of the study (at the beginning of a new semester or at the end of an academic year), the students' English proficiency level and the instructor of the lesson are crucial factors that might affect the study. The current study also indicates that the students' own content teacher plays a vital role in their science key academic vocabulary learning, i.e., the content teacher seems to be in the best position to teach content vocabulary, as the study finds that students are more likely to learn academic vocabulary during class time, rather than spending extra time on vocabulary learning after class. DOI: 10.5353/th_b5396603 Subjects: English language - Study and teaching (Secondary) - China
Release date NZ
January 27th, 2017
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Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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