Vocabulary Teaching: A Systemic Perspective
The purpose of this chapter is to discuss ways in which soft systems methodology (SSM) may be applied to the field of vocabulary learning and teaching. It begins by addressing the current problematic situation in this field and then attempts to approach the problem by borrowing the transformation processing model from SSM. In this chapter, I argue that teachers may benefit from focusing on fostering students’ vocabulary learning ability which contributes to effective vocabulary learning, rather than their vocabulary knowledge per se, because teachers typically do not have enough time to deal with vocabulary in class. I also suggest that vocabulary instruction should be seen as part of a broader language education system. More specifically, I propose that vocabulary and grammar instruction may be interconnected with each other within the framework of Meaning-order Approach to Pedagogical (MAP) Grammar, and explore ways in which vocabulary is learned effectively for communicative purposes using the MAP Grammar model.
KeywordsVocabulary Soft systems methodology MAP Grammar Vocabulary learning ability
- Biemiller, A., & Slonim, N. (2001). Estimating root word vocabulary growth in normative and advantaged populations: Evidence for a common sequence of vocabulary acquisition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(3), 498–520. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-06126.96.36.1998.
- Checkland, P. (1989). An application of soft systems methodology. In L. Rosenhead (Ed.), Rational analysis for a problematical world. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Checkland, P., & Scholes, J. (1999). Soft systems methodology in action. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Foster, P. (2001). Rules and routines: A consideration of their role in the task-based language production of native and non-native speakers. In M. Bygate, P. Skehan, & M. Swain (Eds.), Researching pedagogic tasks: Second language learning, teaching, and testing (pp. 75–93). Harlow: Longman.Google Scholar
- Laufer, B., & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, G. C. (2010). Lexical threshold revisited: Lexical text coverage, learners’ vocabulary size and reading comprehension. Reading in a Foreign Language, 22(1), 15–30.Google Scholar
- Nation, I. S. P. (2012). The BNC/COCA word family lists. Retrieved May 17, 2018, from http://www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/about/staff/paul-nation
- Sasao, Y. (2013). Diagnostic tests of English vocabulary learning proficiency: Guessing from context and knowledge of word parts. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.Google Scholar
- Sasao, Y. (in press). Measuring the ability to learn words. In S. A. Webb (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of vocabulary studies. Oxford: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Tajino, A. (2002). Transformation process models: A systemic approach to problematic team-teaching situation. Prospect, 17(3), 29–33.Google Scholar
- Tajino, A., Kanamaru, T., & Sasao, Y. (2015). Bunpousei handan no seikakusa to ryuuchousa eno “Imijun” chishiki no kouka [The effects of the “MAP Grammar” knowledge on accuracy and fluency in grammaticality judgement]. Paper presented at the 159th Higashi Asia Eigo Kyouiku Kenkyukai [English Education in East Asia Research Project], Seinan Gakuin University.Google Scholar
- Webb, S., & Nation, P. (2017). How vocabulary is learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- West, M. (1953). A general service list of English words. London: Longman, Green & Co..Google Scholar