Faculty of Arts


Vocabulary Learning and Teaching


At the core of second language learning is the acquisition of the vocabulary of the language. Even at quite advanced levels, learners are conscious of the limitations of their vocabulary knowledge as they undertake both receptive and productive tasks which go beyond everyday communication.

The vocabulary of English is vast and even native speakers do not know most of the words in the language. Thus, achieving an adequate vocabulary is a major challenge for learners and they need guidance as to how to approach the task most effectively. Formal teaching of words in the classroom can play only a small part, particularly beyond the beginning level of proficiency; learners need to have effective strategies for expanding the size and depth of their vocabulary knowledge. Knowing a word means more than just memorising the meaning or the equivalent word in L1 – there are various other aspects of word knowledge to be acquired. More and more, we are also recognising that the vocabulary consists of phrases, collocations, fixed expressions and other multi-word units as well as just words.

These are some of the ideas explored in this course. Although it gives a lot of attention to basic concepts in vocabulary studies and findings from the rapidly growing body of research on second language vocabulary learning, the course also considers the practical matters of how to focus on vocabulary in language teaching in ways that will help learners to expand and enrich their knowledge.

Availability 2021

Not taught in 2021




Recommended Reading


LANGTCHG 716: 15.0 points

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