Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

STEM and Professional Studies

Committee Director

Ginder S. Watson

Committee Member

Cherng-Jyh Yen

Committee Member

Jill Stefaniak

Committee Member

John C. Eisele

Abstract

Vocabulary of a language makes up approximately 75% of comprehension (Nagy & Scott), and researchers agree that learning vocabulary is more effective when learners are given strategies to learn the vocabulary (Cheng, 2011; Lee, Lim, & Grabowski, 2010; Liu, 2010; Teow, Ismail, & Kabilan, 2010). Research will allow instructional designers to determine what strategies work best for different groups of learners while taking into consideration the amount perceived workload to ensure that it is not too much or too little.

The purpose of this study was to compare the keyword and context strategies with learners enrolled in various undergraduate Arabic courses (Arabic 1, Arabic 2, and Arabic 3) to determine their impact on vocabulary learning and perceived workload during instruction. Three research questions guided this study: 1- Does the strategy (keyword vs context method) effect vocabulary learning in learners in various levels of Arabic (Arabic 1, Arabic 2, and Arabic 3) respectively?, 2- Does the strategy (keyword vs context method) effect perceived workload in learners in various levels of Arabic (Arabic 1, Arabic 2, and Arabic 3) respectively?, and 3-Does the strategy (keyword vs context method) effect actual strategy use in learners in various levels of Arabic (Arabic 1, Arabic 2, and Arabic 3) respectively?

The results of the study show that no differences between the keyword and context groups existed in Arabic 1 learners but the context learners in Arabic 2 and 3 outperformed the keyword group when analyzing the results of their post-test scores. All groups of learners had the same downward linear tendency in regards to the perceived workload. Workload was highest on the first day of training and decreased over time. Finally, regarding the strategy usage, in Arabic 1 the keyword group reported higher usage on the cloze section of the test. No differences were found among the Arabic 2 participants, and in Arabic 3 the context group reported higher strategy usage on both sections of the post-test.

A discussion of the results, their implications, and suggestions for future research are presented.

ISBN

9781339109541

Share

COinS