Online Forum Discussions as a Post-Reading Vocabulary Development Tool
In the language acquisition, especially EFL learners feel themselves quite unattained to native-speaker performance in learning words in the target language although they are exposed to the formal education for years. The fact that they are deprived of native-speaker performance in their vocabulary knowledge after so many years has taken the attention of many educationalists and linguists. Vocabulary knowledge in L2 is essential to enable learners to speak fluently (Nation, 1993). In other words, vocabulary size indicates the proficiency level of the learners in all of the skills; writing, listening, speaking etc. (Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton & Johnston, 2008). Most of the research findings concluded that vocabulary teaching should be regarded as a part of reading skill rather than an isolated activity as context-free isolated vocabulary teaching does not result in long-term retention. In addition to that, interactive post-reading tasks can enhance vocabulary growth (Atay & Kurt, 2006). Integrating target vocabulary items in a reading text enhances learning those vocabulary items; apart from that with the use of less-structured post-reading activities, words exhibited in the reading text can be dealt with more in detail, which, as a consequence, helps learners to cluster these vocabulary items in their lexicon. In the current study, 32 university prepatory year students’ (15 in the experimental group, 17 in the control group) performances were observed after 3 forum discussion post-reading activities during which students were assigned to use the target vocabulary items while answering discussion questions which were related to reading texts covered beforehand. Students’ vocabulary performances were scored with a post-vocabulary test after each forum discussion session. It was observed that students in the experimental group over performed in all of the post-vocabulary tests with a significant difference ratio.
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