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THE BURDEN OF KNOWING A WORD IN ACQUIRING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

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Author(s): Laura Ionică

Journal: Language and Literature : European Landmarks of Identity
ISSN 1843-1577

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2011;
Start page: 388;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: discourse | input | accuracy

ABSTRACT
Vocabulary learning is part of a wider range of goals with a major importance in the language classroom. Language is generally associated with ideas (subject knowledge), skills (fluency, accuracy), discourse (conversational rules), and reveals the way in which words work together to form correct sentences. A well-designed teaching course should be based on the acquisition of reading, writing, listening or speaking skills, which all resort to one’s ability to become familiar with the majority of the running words in the input one is aiming at. The present work focuses on the crucial role of the word in a newly-formed context, on the one hand, and the Romanian learners’ difficulties in placing the right word, on the other hand. Learning vocabulary is a gradual cumulative process that emphasizes certain features of the word. A word is a productive living organism whose meaning can be deciphered only contextually, or on the basis of prior knowledge. The very first sense of a dictionary word may either open us various gates of further understanding, or mislead us. Starting from this idea, vocabulary should be analyzed in terms of low or high-frequency words. The more frequently students encounter a new word, the more chances there are for them to store it in their mind. Handling words involves knowing formal aspects, meaning, and last, but not least, our ability to use it accurately. It is thus suggested that teachers and learners should give careful consideration to how words are learned, since this is a complex process that also requires a psychological dimension meant to trigger dynamic learning.
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