Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching

A Study of Category Theories in College English Vocabulary Teaching and Learning

Author XieDanDan
Tutor ChengXiaoGuang
School Northeast Normal University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Category Theory Vocabulary Teaching and Learning Semantic Network of Vocabulary Non-English Major
CLC H319
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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As we all know, vocabulary plays a prominent role in language. Without vocabulary, people can’t express anything. Therefore, mastering a certain amount of vocabulary is the basis of learning English well. However, most English teachers and learners lack effective methods of vocabulary teaching and learning, which gives rise to the“time-consuming and inefficient”status. In order to solve this problem, this thesis attempts to apply category theories of cognitive linguistics to college English vocabulary teaching and learning and to get some implications from it.The purposes of this study are to get to know the problems that students of non-English majors encounter in vocabulary learning and attempt to help them find effective ways and strategies in vocabulary learning. First, a survey is made in the form of a questionnaire from three aspects: the attitude of vocabulary learning, the problems of vocabulary learning and their causes. Then on the basis of it, an experiment is designed to test the effect of category theory in vocabulary instruction. According to the theory of levels of categorization, students are required to remember word lists designed according to semantic network of basic-level category terms.Through using statistic instrument of independent samples t-test to analyze experimental results, we find the effect of this method is much better than memorizing words in a random order. Therefore, teachers should help students build a vocabulary network from the cognitive perspective, in which category levels are clear and words are interrelated with each other. Thus, words are not stored in people’s mind in the isolated form but interrelated entities. This kind of clear cognitive framework helps students memorize words faster and reduce the forgetting volume and speed. Through this study, some implications are obtained in vocabulary teaching and learning. First, teachers should attach great importance to the teaching of basic-level category words. Second, teachers should help students build semantic network of vocabulary and gradually cultivate their ability in this aspect. In addition, the strategies of semantic aggregation and segmentation should be applied to vocabulary instruction. All in all, students should utilize all kinds of strategies to learn vocabulary positively, thus they will get a good result in learning vocabulary.

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