vocabulary and nursery rhymes

Chapter 1THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTINGIntroduction Vocabulary is the arrangement of words which has meaning and also a series of measures of knowing and comprehending the meaning of the words. It is a part of language that should not be ignored in learning because a person cannot communicate without it. Thus, vocabulary is one of the most essential aspects of language. Vocabulary represents one of the most important skills necessary for teaching and learning a language. It is the basis for the development of all other skills: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, speaking, writing and pronunciation. The students’ vocabulary can be divided into two kinds, active vocabulary and passive vocabulary. The active vocabulary refers to the words that the students can understand and pronounce correctly and use them constructively in writing or in speaking. While the passive vocabulary refers to the words in which the students can identify while they are listening to someone speaking or reading a selection of texts, but they do not use the words in speaking or in writing. Vocabulary is the main instrument for the students to be fluent in English effectively. When confronted with a native English speaker, when watching a movie without subtitle or when listening to a favorite English song, when reading a text or when writing a letter to a friend, students will always need to operate with words.Lack of vocabulary is a big disadvantage for the students because they tend to have difficult time in fluency and especially comprehension. One situation that affects the child in expressing his or her thoughts is during class recitation, they usually consider speaking and writing activities or class recitation exhausting because they cannot express his or her ideas about the lesson due to lack of vocabulary. In that situation, the student that lack of vocabulary affect his academic performance. Lack of vocabulary plays a big disadvantage in student comprehension. For example, in reading a book, the reader cannot understand a text without knowing what most of the words mean. Because of that situation, the reader might not be interested in reading books again. Another example is when interacting with other people. Many students usually find it difficult to speak English fluently. Due to lack of vocabulary, students keep on using the same expressions and words and very soon their conversation is abruptly interrupted due to missing words. And the main cause for such communication problems is the lack of vocabulary. Vocabulary is important to express intentions, desires, project meaning, and feelings of a person; and also to communicate with others. It is one of the components that support the speaker in communication, whenever they want to communicate with other people using a language, they should have mastered a stock of words. Mastering vocabulary is very important for the students because if they do not know the meaning of words, they will not be able to speak, write and translate anything in English. It will take a lot of time and effort to analyze the meaning of those unfamiliar words. That is why an effective strategy is needed for the students to not feel bored in learning vocabulary.In teaching vocabulary the teacher has the job of managing the students learning to master the target vocabulary. Many teachers conducted their learning in a class by using conventional method which made them to be passive. Some teachers only focused on how to teach the lesson until the end of the learning process, some teacher did not think creatively about the good way to teach their students. Furthermore, the learners got stuck on the teachers’ explanation. As the result of this way, there were a number of students who were getting bored because of the traditional way of teaching. Teaching vocabulary to children especially at the elementary level is not easy and it is far different from teaching vocabulary to adult. In the teaching and learning process, a teacher plays an important role. He or she must be able to know the students’ interest and motivation. When teaching vocabulary at elementary school, the teacher should be more creative in teaching and keep the students from feeling bored in learning words. In order to keep the students away from feeling bored in learning vocabulary, it is more effective if the teacher uses media. Uberman (1998) stated that, “teacher must make sure that students have understood the new words. They will remember longer if a teacher will use an appropriate method in teaching them.” Based on the statements above, the researchers want to introduce nursery rhymes as the medium in teaching vocabulary. Nursery rhymes are short songs and verses that adults usually sung or read to children. Nursery rhyme became a part of children’s literature where it varies in style, subject, tone and theme. It also uses rhythm and rhyme for the children to remember the song easily. Nursery rhymes became also a part of nation’s tradition especially in their folklore that is shared by adults and children. Nursery rhyme is a great tool in helping the children not only to be entertained but also to gain knowledge (Galway, 2018).Nursery rhymes are important for language acquisition and support speech development. They help children develop auditory skills such as discriminating between sounds and accustom the ear for the music of words. They are a fun way to teach number and mathematical concepts. Nursery rhymes help children to develop physical, creative, social and emotional skills. With the use of nursery rhymes, the child’s communication and literary skills will develop in an early age. Teaching vocabulary through nursery rhymes is one of the appropriate techniques to get the interest of elementary students in learning vocabulary. By using nursery rhymes as an alternative technique in teaching vocabulary, elementary students are given something new and different from what they usually get in class. With the use of nursery rhymes as springboard to improve the students’ vocabulary, students will definitely enjoy and participate in the discussion because of the fun learning environment.The researchers conducted this study to determine the improvement of the students’ vocabulary using nursery rhymes as springboard during the vocabulary instruction.Theoretical Framework The researchers came up with the selected theories that will help the study to be more productive, substantial, and helpful for the future researchers that will use this study.Three Tiers of Vocabulary Development Theory In the theory entitled “Three Tiers of Vocabulary Development Theory” by Bek et. Al, (2002), they stated that vocabulary can be classified into three. First is Tier 1 also called as “Common words or Known words”. The words under this are basic or every day words that are part of most children’s vocabulary. These words are used every day in conversation and most of them are learned by hearing from family, peers, and teachers when speaking. Second is Tier 2 or High Frequency words also known as “Cross-Curricular words Vocabulary.” This tier consists of words that are used across the content areas and are important for students to know and understand. These words occur often in mature situations such as adult conversation and literature. Lastly, Tier 3 or Low-Frequency words also known as “Domain-Specific words”. These words are often defined in textbooks or glossaries. Words in this category are low-frequency, specialized words that appear in Specific fields or content areas. In this study the researchers adapted the Three Tiers of Vocabulary Development Theory specifically the Tier 1. It is also called as “Common words or Known words”. The words under this are basic or every day words that are part of most children’s vocabulary. These words are used every day in conversation and most of them are learned by hearing from family, peers, and teachers when speaking. In this study the researchers used the basic words in teaching vocabulary using nursery rhymes to grade three students.Comprehensible Input Hypothesis in Krashen’s Acquistion of Second Language Theory According to Krashen’s Acquistion of Second Language Theory on Input Hypothesis, the input hypothesis is an explanation of how second language is acquired by the learners. He stated that for learning to take place, learners must receive interesting linguistic content or slightly above “comprehensible input (i+1)”. Dividing language into smaller comprehensible parts can assist language learning. According to this hypothesis, the input must be comprehensible for language learners to retain the information. This Input Hypothesis provides an ideal framework for this study because in order to create meaningful output, students need to expose themselves to enough input like reading, singing and listening to nursery rhymes. For material to be comprehensible, it needs to be slightly beyond the students’ level of competence. Nursery rhymes are good example of materials that appeal to the students’ interests. With the help of this input the learners in this study will be given challenging nursery rhymes but not the difficult ones that they will be frustrated or the easy ones that they will get bored. Learning vocabulary using nursery rhymes slightly above their level encourages the grade three students to use learning strategies such as guessing words from context and inferring meaning.Affective Filter Hypothesis in Krashen’s Acquistion of Second Language Theory According to Krashen’s Acquistion of Second Language on Theory Affective Filter Hypothesis, there are affective variables that play a facilitative, but non-casual, role in second language acquisition. These variables include: motivation, self-confidence and anxiety. Krashen claims that learners with high motivation, self-confidence, a good self-image, and a low level of anxiety are better equipped for success in second language acquisition. Low motivation, low self-esteem, and debilitating anxiety can combine to ‘raise’ the affective filter and form a mental block that presents comprehensible input from being used for acquisition. In other words, when the filter is ‘up’ it impedes language acquisition. On the other hand, positive affect is necessary, but not sufficient on its own, for acquisition to take place.This Affective Filter Hypothesis provides an ideal framework for this study because nursery rhymes are used to improve the vocabulary of the grade three students. With the use of nursery rhymes the students learn vocabulary without being pressured. Learning vocabulary through nursery rhymes provides a non-threatening atmosphere to the students. At the same time, the students enjoy the fun learning environment in teaching vocabulary with the help of nursery rhymes.Schmitt’s Taxonomy of Vocabulary Learning Strategies One of the most famous taxonomy of vocabulary learning strategies is Schmitt’s (1997) taxonomy. In this taxonomy, there are two main types of strategies: discovery strategies and consolidation strategies. Discovery strategies include determination strategies and social strategies while consolidation strategies consist of social strategies, memory strategies, cognitive strategies and metacognitive strategies. In this study, the researchers used consolidation strategies in teaching vocabulary to grade three students. The researchers used nursery rhymes as instructional material in improving the vocabulary of the grade three students. With the use of nursery rhymes, the grade three students achieved social interaction with others. Additionally, the grade three students are able to ask their teachers and peers, for the synonyms, definition or example sentences of a particular unfamiliar word. With nursery rhymes, the grade three students memorized the songs or poems without being pressured. With nursery rhymes the grade three students achieve to have cognitive skills because they were able to comprehend the songs and poems that have discussed at the same time they can do spoken repetition of the nursery rhymes. Lastly, with the used of nursery rhymes the students can achieve metacognitive skills.Social Constructivism TheoryThe theory of Social Constructivism by Vygotsky (1978) provides an ideal framework for understanding how learning occurs during early childhood activities such as learning and reciting nursery rhymes. According to Vygotsky’s theory, children internalize new knowledge and skills through their mediated interactions with peers and adults.In this study, the vocabulary learning process involved the students to observe the researchers that will serve as their teacher for vocabulary, interact with others and sing the nursery rhymes with full body movements. Moreover, the grade three students will be able to learn better in vocabulary using nursery rhyme as instructional tool when they were assisted by an adult, or more competent peers.Conceptual Framework Conceptual Framework of this study is based on Pre-test-Post-Test system approach which serves as the researcher’s guide while undergoing the study.The research paradigm of the study was divided into two stages: Stage 1 and Stage 2.The Stage 1 on the following page shows the population, the pre-test, the intervention and the post-test used.The first box contains the population of the study, wherein 35 grade three students from Masagana Elementary School are the participants. The second box presents the pre-test that was administered to the grade three students of Masagana Elementary School. The pre-test went through face validation coming from three experts to make sure that it is suitable to the respondents of the study. It is composed of 40 questions that were classified into animals, values, color and food. It used fill in the blanks, classification of words, matching type and identification as a type of questions. Thirdly, the intervention box shows the process in which the researchers conducted an observation and teaching strategies were used to teach nursery rhymes as springboard to improve the grade three students’ vocabulary. Ten sessions were used to teach the grade three students. Thus, there were ten nursery rhymes used in the study. The fourth box presents the post-test that was administered to the grade three students of Masagana Elementary School after the ten sessions of teaching. The post-test went through faced validation coming from three experts to make sure that it is suitable to the respondents of the study. It is composed of 40 questions that were classified into animals, values, color and food. It used fill in the blanks, classification of words, matching type and identification as a type of questions. Several changes were made to measure the students’ ability to answer the questions and to maintain the validity of the questionnaire. The arrows signify that the undertaking is linear from the population to the pre-test to the intervention to the post-test.The Stage 2 of this research as shown on the following page tells the testing that was done to check on the significant difference between the pre-test and post-test results.Stage 1 Stage 2Statement of the Problem The purpose of this study was to utilize nursery rhymes as springboard to improve the students’ vocabulary of grade 3 students in Masagana Elementary School in Pandi Bulacan. The study aimed to know the improvement of the students’ vocabulary after using nursery rhymes as a learning tool.The following specific research questions guided the present study:1. What is the respondents’ level of vocabulary skills based on the result of the pre-test?2. What is the respondents’ level of vocabulary skills based on the result of the post-test?3. Is there a significant difference between the pre-test and post-test results after the intervention had been applied?Null HypothesisThere is no significant difference between the pre-test ant post-test results after the intervention had been applied.Scope and Limitations of the Study The study focused on the grade three students of Masagana Elementary School. There were only 54 students which included 24 females and 27 males. There were only two sections of grade three level were involved in the study. The study covered the improvement of grade three students using nursery rhymes as instructional material. The pre-test and post-test were the research instruments of the study and served as a basis for improvement of the students’ vocabulary. There were ten sessions of teaching and each session composed of forty minutes of teaching. There were two sessions conducted per week. Each session has one nursery rhyme being taught by the two researchers/teachers. Each session has theme of nursery rhymes discussed. Ten nursery rhymes were selected from the grade three book of the students entitled “Let’s get better in English” by Ponciano et, al.Significance of the Study Some teachers are not aware of using some teaching strategies in their classes such as nursery rhymes. The researchers believe that nursery rhyme is an effective strategy to improve the vocabulary of the students. Teaching vocabulary to the grade three students using nursery rhymes as instructional material is the highlight of the study. The significances of this research were the following: Students: If the results of the study will be proven positive, it will help the students to improve their vocabulary using nursery rhymes as springboard to vocabulary. This study will help the students to enjoy the process of learning in vocabulary. Teachers: If the results of the study will be proven positive, it will help the teachers to find strategies that will help them to enhance or improve the students’ vocabulary skills. It can also widen a ray of vocabulary among their students in a way that the students will enjoy the effective learning environment in the light of using nursery rhymes. Parents: If the results of the study will be proven positive, the parents could use this to teach their children at home vocabulary indirectly. With the use of nursery rhymes, the vocabulary of their child will definitely improve.Definition of Terms The researchers defined the list of terms used in this study in order to better understand it. Some of those terms were the following:Vocabulary- is a set of words within a language that are familiar to a particular person (Solopress, 2015).Nursery Rhymes- are short songs, little poems and verses that adults usually sung or read to children (Galway, 2018).Springboard- is something that provides you either with the opportunity to follow a particular plan or action, or the encouragement that is needed to make it successful (Cambridge Dictionary).Indirect Instruction- is a teaching approach that uses inquiry and encourages higher order thinking skills in an environment that encourage problem-solving and or project based learning. Indirect instruction is based on the philosophy of constructivism, which states that people derive meaning from their own experiences (Darrin, 2014).Instructional Materials- are the tools used in educational lessons, which includes active learning and assessment (Janovsky, 2018).

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