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Essay about extensive reading

Research Essay for Reading a Efl Library Extensive Learners:

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HO CHI MINH NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
UNIVERSITY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES (USSH)
FACULTY OF ENGLISH LINGUISTICS AND LITERATURE (EF)

AN INVESTIGATION INTO INTENSIVE READING AND EXTENSIVE READING FOR LEARNING VOCABULARY OF THE SECOND-YEAR STUDENTS OF ENGLISH FACULTY, USSH

A research
submitted to

The Faculty of English Linguistics and Literature

By
LE THI XUAN VU

Supervised by
PHAN THI MAI TRANG, M.A
HO CHI MINH CITY, November 2012

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the study
“Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed” This conclusion by David Wilkins indicates the indispensable role of vocabulary knowledge in learning L2. In fact, there are three core components that constitute a language: phonetics, grammar and vocabulary. However, it is suggested that students should “see vocabulary as being a very important, if not the most important, element in language learning” (Anderson, 1999:25). Why? As can be seen, vocabulary appears in every skill of a language so learners with a limited vocabulary will find it more difficult in mastering English than those with plentiful of words. Hence, “giving attention to vocabulary is unavoidable” (Anderson, 1999:25) especially for those who are majoring in English. Besides, the question of which skill is of most importance in learning vocabulary is still highly controversial since in each one out of the four basic skills presents different useful techniques and strategies. Several teachers and researchers, however, argue that reading is “probably the most important skill for L2 students” in academic study or learning context (Pretorius, 2000:35). Indeed, many researchers have discussed about the relationship between reading and vocabulary knowledge. They find out that reading, a complex process, has tremendous effect on students' vocabulary knowledge. Nagy & Herman (1987:27) believes that […] learning of words during reading may be the easiest and single most powerful of promoting large-scale vocabulary growth. Many researchers show that children who are exposed to storybook reading before they go to school have larger vocabularies and greater knowledge (Pretorius, 2000:35). This argument indicates that great exposure from reading, more or less, helps learners develop their word study skills and enrich their general vocabulary knowledge. Therefore, it can be inferred that by reading, learners can potentially benefit a great deal especially to enhance their vocabulary.

In language learning, there are two main approaches to reading, known as extensive reading and intensive reading. For those who would like to “learn to read”, they are encouraged to read extensively and focus on the general content or meaning of the text, not the language per se with the aim of enjoying reading. Furthermore, it is not necessary to acquire something new although they may learn some. To some certain extent, this approach is quite suitable for beginners who want to practice the skills of reading and develop their fluency. However, for English-majored students, it is suggested that they should reach another level of reading: “read to learn” which is involved in intensive reading. In this approach, learners are taught to concentrate on “language features” and provided various strategies to deal with words under the guidance of the teachers. Nation (2008) analyzes the study of Waring and Takaki (2003). He finds out that over a period of time without further reinforcement, the vocabulary gains from reading are gradually lost. It is thus important to make sure that there are repeated opportunities to meet the same vocabulary in reading. Extensive reading is of great importance to get this problem solved. With substantial opportunities for vocabulary repetition, words are learnt and memorized better. It can be inferred that from the combination of intensive reading and extensive reading, learners could possibly enrich their...

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