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Home / Regular Issue / JSSH Vol. 29 (2) Jun. 2021 / JSSH-7943-2021


Students’ Vocabulary Learning Strategies of Discovery and Consolidation in Malaysian Primary School English Language Classrooms

Sharon Fung-Chien Kho, Joseph Ramanair and Ambigapathy Pandian

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 29, Issue 2, June 2021


Keywords: English language learners, language learning, primary school, vocabulary knowledge, vocabulary learning strategies

Published on: 28 June 2021

A good grasp of vocabulary enables language learners to articulate, comprehend and communicate ideas and concepts effectively. For learners whose first language is not English, mastering vocabulary knowledge in terms of the breadth and depth is challenging and needs to start at a young age through the use of various strategies. The lack of English language vocabulary knowledge would demotivate learners and even result in abandoning efforts to learn the language. Therefore, it is important that learners know and are able to use five strategies, which include determination, social, cognitive, memory, and metacognitive strategies to learn vocabulary. Determination and social strategies are in the discovery category, while social cognitive, memory, and metacognitive strategies are in the consolidation category. This study aims to determine the vocabulary learning strategies used by 132 Year Five primary school English language students in two urban National Type Chinese schools in Sarawak. It investigated the strategies these learners used, how frequently they used them, and their reasons for preferring particular strategies. Data were collected from two classrooms at each school through the use of questionnaire and individual interview. Questionnaire results were analysed descriptively in terms of mean scores and standard deviation while interview responses were coded, categorised and analysed using thematic analysis. The findings suggest that while the students employed moderate use of all the five strategies, cognitive strategies which involved mechanical approaches were the most used while social strategies were not used by all students.

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