TEACHING VOCABULARY THROUGH POETRY IN AN EFL CLASSROOM

Baki Özen, Behbood Mohammadzadeh

Abstract


This study has been conducted to investigate the effectiveness of using poetry to teach vocabulary in a foreign language classroom. It aims to find answers to two research questions (1) “Do the learners enhance more extensive vocabulary knowledge by means of poetry-based vocabulary teaching activities than the traditional coursebook activities?” (2) “Is there a statistically significant difference between male and female students in the experimental group considering the vocabulary test?” (3) “Do the learners enhance more extensive grammar knowledge by means of poetry-based vocabulary teaching activities than the traditional coursebook activities?”. This experimental study took place in Çorlu Private Trakya College. In order to test the above given two hypotheses, two groups were selected, an experimental group and a control group. Totally forty-eight pre-intermediate level 7th grade students participated in the study, twenty-four of them were in the experimental group and the other twenty-four were in the control group. Before carrying out this experimental study, a pre-test was applied to both the experimental group and the control group to determine their knowledge of the target vocabulary items and English grammar. The target vocabulary items were taught through poetry-based vocabulary teaching activities to the students in the experimental group, and the same vocabulary items were taught through the traditional activities stated in the coursebook to the students in the control group. After the treatment, in order to measure the students’ vocabulary and grammar expansion in both groups, the same pre-test was applied to both groups as a post-test. Data analysis results revealed a significant difference between the pre-test and post-test scores of the experimental group students receiving vocabulary instruction through the poems. In addition, the experimental group had higher scores of posttest than control group especially in terms of vocabulary knowledge. Furthermore, at the end of the study it was observed that the posttest scores of students in the experimental group were higher than the posttest scores of students in the control group even though they were equal before the study. Based on these findings, the current study shows that it is possible to use poetry-based vocabulary teaching activities instead of vocabulary activities in the coursebooks used in the EFL classrooms.

Keywords: vocabulary teaching, poetry, poetry-based vocabulary teaching activities.


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