Beliefs and experiences of Korean pre -service and in -service English teachers about English vocabulary acquisition strategies
This study investigates how four current non-native in-service English teachers in Korea and four pre-service non-native English teachers from Korea currently studying in the United States address their own English vocabulary learning and also elicits their opinions about strategies for English vocabulary learning and teaching. This study employs a mixed methods approach. Quantitative data come from two questionnaires regarding the participants' beliefs about and strategies for vocabulary learning. The qualitative component consists of four semi-structured interviews with the participants and data from journal entries the participants kept for over a month.
The findings show that there is not much difference in attitude toward and use of English vocabulary acquisition and teaching approaches between the non-native in-service and pre-service EFL teachers. Both in-service and pre-service teachers think conscious vocabulary learning is more efficient for Korean EFL learners because they have to acquire a certain amount of English vocabulary to support further acquisition and that consciously studied vocabulary items should be put to use. All participants showed a high frequency of vocabulary strategy use, including skipping, guessing, dictionary use, note-taking, and memorization. The dictionary is considered the most useful resource by all participants. Because their English proficiency levels are high enough, they alternate between different types of dictionaries: from monolingual to bilingual dictionaries and from paper dictionaries, to electronic dictionaries and on-line dictionaries.
The participants disagree about the use of translation and bilingual dictionaries. The pre-service EFL teachers emphasize as much English use as possible to compensate for the deficient English input in Korea. They thus disagree with the use of translation and English-Korean bilingual dictionaries, whereas the in-service EFL teachers think providing translated definitions of unfamiliar English vocabulary items is the simplest and most effective way of presenting the meanings of these items. The in-service EFL teachers also think English-Korean bilingual dictionaries are the most effective dictionaries for lower-proficiency English language learners. Finally, the in-service EFL teachers state that their teaching approaches are more positively affected by their experiences and those of their colleagues rather than teacher preparation programs.
0282: Bilingual education
0282: Multicultural education