Vocabulary acquisition through extensive reading of unsimplified English material in a Saudi Arabian tertiary context

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/622530
Title:
Vocabulary acquisition through extensive reading of unsimplified English material in a Saudi Arabian tertiary context
Authors:
Sivardeen, Hussain Ziya Zaeem
Abstract:
A number of studies seem to indicate that Extensive Reading (ER) enhances language proficiency in general and vocabulary knowledge in particular. However none of those surveyed focused on poorly motivated lower level language learners in a normal course of study that incorporated ER of unsimplified material, and few addressed partial vocabulary gain and the other factors that could have affected this. In this study the participants were young adult male Saudi Arabians, who were elementary English language learners and who were not used to reading for pleasure even in Arabic. Tests were used to gauge their partial vocabulary acquisition when they engaged in ER involving an open choice of simplified and unsimplified English material during a regular English preparatory course of just one semester. If ER could be linked to improved vocabulary acquisition in such difficult but natural conditions, the case for ER‘s wider implementation could be strengthened. The study also used diaries, surveys and interviews to delve into the reading habits, academic background and cultural context that could also explain any observed vocabulary gain. The results showed there were few statistically significant partial vocabulary gains after the ER programme, and although the experimental cohort that received the ER programme showed greater gains than the control in most of these cases, the difference was not large in terms of the absolute number of words. The diaries, surveys and interviews gave a rich profile of the participants with a level of detail that surpassed that of any other surveyed study, offering several possible reasons for their modest vocabulary gains and yielding unanticipated findings, such as an exposition of their motivations for academic study. It is concluded that a greater awareness of the learners‘ context is essential when applying ER, which in this particular context leads to the view that pure ER may not be suitable for vocabulary learning, and instead a significantly modified version could be more appropriate. These modifications include selecting appropriate books for the students and adding explicit vocabulary learning activities, and they even include linking the reading to the students‘ final grade. Further research is needed to gauge the effectiveness of such modifications, while a more inductive approach is also important when investigating ER and vocabulary acquisition to give the opportunity for unforeseen results to emerge.
Affiliation:
University of Bedfordshire
Publisher:
University of Bedfordshire
Issue Date:
Oct-2016
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/622530
Type:
Thesis or dissertation
Language:
en
Description:
A thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Appears in Collections:
PhD e-theses

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorSivardeen, Hussain Ziya Zaeemen
dc.date.accessioned2018-03-07T15:14:13Z-
dc.date.available2018-03-07T15:14:13Z-
dc.date.issued2016-10-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10547/622530-
dc.descriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophyen
dc.description.abstractA number of studies seem to indicate that Extensive Reading (ER) enhances language proficiency in general and vocabulary knowledge in particular. However none of those surveyed focused on poorly motivated lower level language learners in a normal course of study that incorporated ER of unsimplified material, and few addressed partial vocabulary gain and the other factors that could have affected this. In this study the participants were young adult male Saudi Arabians, who were elementary English language learners and who were not used to reading for pleasure even in Arabic. Tests were used to gauge their partial vocabulary acquisition when they engaged in ER involving an open choice of simplified and unsimplified English material during a regular English preparatory course of just one semester. If ER could be linked to improved vocabulary acquisition in such difficult but natural conditions, the case for ER‘s wider implementation could be strengthened. The study also used diaries, surveys and interviews to delve into the reading habits, academic background and cultural context that could also explain any observed vocabulary gain. The results showed there were few statistically significant partial vocabulary gains after the ER programme, and although the experimental cohort that received the ER programme showed greater gains than the control in most of these cases, the difference was not large in terms of the absolute number of words. The diaries, surveys and interviews gave a rich profile of the participants with a level of detail that surpassed that of any other surveyed study, offering several possible reasons for their modest vocabulary gains and yielding unanticipated findings, such as an exposition of their motivations for academic study. It is concluded that a greater awareness of the learners‘ context is essential when applying ER, which in this particular context leads to the view that pure ER may not be suitable for vocabulary learning, and instead a significantly modified version could be more appropriate. These modifications include selecting appropriate books for the students and adding explicit vocabulary learning activities, and they even include linking the reading to the students‘ final grade. Further research is needed to gauge the effectiveness of such modifications, while a more inductive approach is also important when investigating ER and vocabulary acquisition to give the opportunity for unforeseen results to emerge.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherUniversity of Bedfordshireen
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/*
dc.subjectEnglish language learningen
dc.subjectSaudi Arabiaen
dc.subjectreadingen
dc.subjectsimplified Englishen
dc.titleVocabulary acquisition through extensive reading of unsimplified English material in a Saudi Arabian tertiary contexten
dc.typeThesis or dissertationen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Bedfordshireen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhDen_GB
dc.type.qualificationlevelPhDen
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Bedfordshireen
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