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浅谈中学生英语单词记忆方法


浅谈中学生英语单词记忆方法

(福建省福安市第九中学 陈苗玉 355015) 摘 要 学生词汇量的多少直接关系到英语语言能力的提高。 由于缺乏语 言环境对学生记忆单词产生了消极的影响, 学生普遍觉得记忆单 词很困难。本文针对这些问题,通过分析传统词汇教学弊端,提 出了中学生对单词记忆的有效方法。 这些有效的记忆方法不仅可 以激发学生的学习兴趣, 而且还可以提高学生的学习效率。 因此, 如何让学生有效、 快速的记忆单词并扩大学生的词汇量成为重中 之重。 关键词 单词记忆;方法;英语教学

Some Methods of Memorizing English Words for Middle School Students
Abstract The amount of vocabulary has a direct effect on the improvement of students’ English ability. Because of lacking of language environment, students generally feel that it is difficult to memorize words. Focusing on the problems, the author puts forward the effective methods of memorizing words of middle school students through analyzing the disadvantages of the traditional vocabulary teaching. These effective memorizing methods motivate students’ learning interest and improve students’ learning efficiency. Thus, how to enable students to be effective and positive remembering words and enlarge their vocabulary becomes the most important thing.

Key words memorizing words; method; English teaching

1. Introduction
Having a large number of vocabulary is one of the keys to learn English. But the vocabulary is difficult for students to learn language. In terms of teaching, how to improve students’ word memory will become the most important things in English teaching. And according to the students’ psychological characteristics, teachers can not only train students’ ability about word memory and they can use the scientific methods and techniques to improve their English vocabulary learning efficiency, but also focus on teaching strategies. So that vocabulary teaching has become more vivid and makes students understand and remember vocabularies easily. Therefore, learning English can be more relaxed, and these methods can stimulate interest in study.

2. The Problem of Students Memorizing Vocabulary

2.1 The neglect of students’ understanding ability An English word may have some different kinds of meanings. Since a word can be used in different situation, its meaning changes from time to time. In English vocabulary teaching, some teachers only teach the concept meaning, not the other meaning in the English lesson. As a result, the students are not able to understand the whole meaning of the word. Thus, when the word is appeared in another context, they cannot understand it well enough. Some teachers ignore the presentation; the presentation can affect the students’ understanding and the use of the word.

2.2 The unconscious memory of words Many students are not strong about the word memories. It is difficult for them to expand vocabulary. The reason is not that they do not study hard, but they don’t have

a better way to learn and memorize words. Some students only depend on rote, and they feel tired and cannot remember words well. However, students don’t use words accurately. With the advancement of the lesson, students need to memorize and master more and more words. Accordingly the rote method will make a lot of students get embarrassed burden. And before long the students will lose interest in learning English. Once they lack of interest, they will not read and memorize the words any more.Therefore, possessing effective ways to read and memorize words is very important for students to learn English. And during my practice, from those poor students, I found that their English performance formed a chain in the learning process when they lost their interest to learn English, such as “not a good learning method----they are very tired----they refuse to exercise----the poor academic performance in English.”(Xie Jun, 2001)

2.3 The disadvantages of several traditional vocabulary teaching method The traditional vocabulary teaching is lack of scientific method in vocabulary teaching. On the one hand, it lets students memorize English words in isolation. On the other hand, it seldom links the vocabulary teaching to the students’ linguistic competence and their actual needs. It is boring and tiresome to students. What’s more, the traditional vocabulary teaching is failing to follow the memory rule. There are two types of memory process, one is short-term memory, and the other one is long-term memory. Short-term memory means that the store of input only stay in your memory temporarily; while the long-term memory means in the store of input can stay in your memory for more than 10 days, even for the whole life(ZhouNing zuo 1991:91). As a matter of fact, memory process is a recycling process. According to the survey of linguist called Felicity O’Dell, “the more times the word is used, the better you remember it.” (Felicity O’Dell, 1986). But there are still many teachers emphasizing the function of short-memory. They seem to care about the amount of vocabulary input than those actually staying in students’ memory. Students are forced to remember a large amount of vocabularies in this way, and they are treated as if they were criminals. In appearance they take in thousands of new

words, but in practice only a few which are frequently used really stay in their store and can be put to use it. However, students remember little word. Many teachers always put all the blame to the students’ laziness. And they explain for themselves that those students are too lazy to enlarge vocabularies. In addition, there might be some teachers seeing the long-term memory rule. However, they were never succeeding in applying the memory rule in classroom. The claim is that the time of the each period of class is limited so that they can’t spend so much time on the repetition of vocabulary teaching. As far as I know, I don’t think their excuses make any sense. Thus, it is not only making students tired, but also cannot help students enlarge vocabulary.

3. Some Methods of Memorizing English Words

3.1 Memorizing words in grouping In middle school, many textbooks present vocabulary items in random order. Some books have alphabetical lists of new words. In any case, new words may go a step further grouped to point out similarities and differences among them. Such as bright students do this automatically, but some time the slower students run into difficulty precisely, because they don’t notice the obvious grouping.However, the teacher can prepare expositions of group words for helping students to remember the words easily and quickly.Such as :“Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and so forth”. Using the method, it can help students to memorize words. And more examples are as the following. A. Nouns: nouns can be grouped in families. a. Fruits: orange, banana, apple, melon, lemon and so on. b. color: red, green, yellow, blue, pink, black and so on. B. Verbs: verbs can be grouped by its usage and collocation a. enjoy, avoid, finish+doing.

b. go. v; go about: perform. go for: attack. go against for: oppose. We can memorize the phrase about the word “go” by comparing their difference. C. Adjectives: adjectives can be grouped in terms of the way they are used. -ful: wonderful, beautiful, and useful -ive: active, passive, comparative -ous: famous, generous, and dangerous According to memorizing words in grouping, it is easy for students to remember words in learning English.

3.2 Memorizing words in association In Soviet Union, the famous physiologist Pavlov said: “memory to rely on the association, their association is the basis of memory” (LuXiaoli, 2008, 6). Imaginative memory word is the full use of divergent thinking to start their association. They could learn a word associating with other words.Through the method, it will make students memorize words and students won’t forget it easily. 3.2.1 Natural concept association The human brain is easy to engender association. Using the rule, teachers can guide and help students learn vocabulary by linking it. In nature imagination, it not only gives top priority to receive, but also help students improve the ability of memory. Such as the nature association, when you see a pencil you are very easy to remember the eraser. In addition, when you are playing ball, you canremember some words. Such as “ball, (play) football, playground.” Therefore, the students can

accumulate words for a long time by the way. And you can memorize more and more words, and they will difficult to forget it. 3.2.2 Drawing association Drawings illustrating vocabulary may be hung around the classroom. These are especially effective if they illustrate points where learning problems tend to association. Therefore, using drawing of method, it can easy to remember words. Adopting drawing imagination to remember words, it can help students get the information regularly (Tian Wenxiang, 2005). For example, when we talk about the word “head”, students can make a drawing and try to think of other word about body parts. Through drawing, students can remember the words easily and enlarge students’ vocabulary. The following picture can make people understand the function of drawing association.

(田文祥,单词记忆方法谈[J].<<教学经纬>> 2005, 7 期 ).

3.3 Memorizing words in pronunciation We have already learned the phonetics, so we always meet the general sounds of certain alphabets or combinations. In order to make it sure to know the relations

between alphabets and the sounds are good for remembering words. In terms of the sounds, you can try to read it. 3.3.1 Using the rules of pronunciation Large numbers of English words’ pronunciation has its rule. For example, the pronunciation of the letter “a” reads /ei/ in “make, wake, take”, while /-- / in “bad, hat” if the students know that “ar”read /-- /, they can remember the words “army, cart, harm, art” easily. 3.3.2 Using the relations of pronunciation Some English words composed of letters, numbers and pronunciation are the same basically, but the letter is different order slightly (HuZhi yong 2002.10). However, the students often confuse the pronunciation, which causes the errors in reading and writing. Because of the relations of pronunciation, words such as “company” or “accompany” can add or substitute the alphabets. For example, art-smart, cross-across, make-take, flesh-fresh, and so on. It used to remind students to know from it and to help them identify and remember the words. 3.3.3 Using the same pronunciation Some words have the same sounds; as long as we master the phonogram neatly, you can use it to remember a large number of words. Such as the pronunciation of word is /rait/, we know both the the pronunciation we of /wr/ and the /r/ is two /r/. Such as “right” and “write” two words “write” and “right” through words. So can remember

pronunciation. For example,

our-hour,

here-hear, see-sea, no-know and so forth. In addition, some words have different meaning but the same spelling and sound. For example, the words “lie” a. He lies down on the ground. b. he always lies; I think he is not a good student. Through the method, it can not only encourage students to remember other same sound words, but also improve students’ words memory in English learning.

3.4 Memorizing words in context

Context is the only element of the semantic decision. Therefore, it’s meaningless to speak. InEnglish vocabulary teaching, teachers should be in accordance with the context for getting the meaning of words. And the same word can have kinds of meanings in different contexts. To convey the meaning of a new word exactly, it is better to present the words in the sentence or in the text.There are some advantages of memorizing vocabulary in context. First of all, assessing the meaning of a word in context, and it can force the students to develop strategies, such as anticipating and inference, which become increasingly profitable as learning progresses. Since students were infused an attitude of self-reliance that is the trait of proficiency. Secondly, systematically meeting new words in context underlines the fact that words are sure used in discourse for purposes of communication (CangXue yun, 2006:19). Thus, students can easy to remember the words. At last, context provides an indicative way to the words memorized. So context can give the deep impression to students. If they see that word from now on and as long as they think of the context once appeared, the meaning is easy to be gotten. For example, let us look at the following passage: “John is a very diligent student. He gets up early in the morning. He reads a lot of books and studies very hard. This year he gets the school prize.” When teaching the word “diligent”, teacher can present the above context so that students can guess its meaning by the following information and set up a relationship between “diligent”, “early”,“read books”, “study hard”, and “school prize”. The method of teaching not only help students to understand and remember the exact meaning of new words, but let them have an idea about the group of vocabularies that often appear in harmony simultaneously.

3.5 Memorizing words in recycling

Many students spend much time learning vocabulary, but most of them still complain that their vocabulary is not enough, and they cannot avoid forgetting the words. It is easier for students to recognize the words than to consolidate and remember the words.“Initial word knowledge is very fragile and memories of new words that are not met again and soon are lost.” Rob Waring said, brains are designed to forget, not to remember (Rob Waring, 2002). If a student has just learned 10 new words, it is normal for most of them to be forgotten for a few days, and maybe only one or two will be remained in the medium or long term, this is called the “forgetting curve” ( Xie Jun,2001 ). However, in middle school of English teaching, there is very low recycling of vocabulary in course books. And most words, which are learned before seldom appear in another exercise, or even in the same text book. And then, the words cannot be consolidated in time. So they are forgotten quickly. From these, we know word memory in recycling is so important for students learn English. In middle school, by giving the students opportunities to revise vocabulary in the classroom, it can help students remember it. This can be done at the end of a lesson with a quick warmer. Getting students to keep a blank of cards is a great idea. Teacher can divide the class into groups of four or five and give a set of blank cards to each group. At the end of the lesson, teacher writes all the words onto the board and asks each group to write the words onto their cards. Teachers can bring the cards back every week, and enable the students to test each other in groups. Teacher can put the words into categories and justify their choices, and even build a story by sharing the cards and adding sentences using a word on a card. Teachers can encourage the students to retrieve the words, in subsequent lessons and repeatedly re-expose them to what has been presented, which is able to counteract the effects of forgetting.

3.6 Memorizing words in games In the secondary stage, the memory of English words is difficult for

students. In English teaching, the teacher can introduce words in a variety to help students memorize words. For example, look at the following game:

Dismantle the word game: Such as the changing weather, teacher should let the students spell the words through the seven letters of the words “weather” to learn and remember it. And then, teacher can divide students into three or four groups and in the limits of time, each group of students spell a lot of words through the seven letters. Thus, in the limit period of time, as long as one group of students spells the most words in the class, they will win the game. It can make students effectively adjust the atmosphere of English vocabulary learning and motivate students to remember the words with a positive attitude.

4. Organizing Words Memory Effectively
There is evidence that if information is stored in special ways. For example, the relevant information is stored together or new information is related to previously stored information, it is more likely to be remembered and easy to be remembered and easy to retrieve. Considering the large numbers of English vocabulary, I think it is necessary for the teacher to guide students to organize the words they encounter. And teacher can use some effective ways to improve students’ words memory. With a conscious attempt at vocabulary organization, it is likely that a student’s word store will increase significantly. In addition, whichever way students choose to memorize words, the most important thing is that students can organize the memory of word effectively. And having a large amount vocabulary, students can use words to make sentences and send messages. If they can use the words to express their own opinions freely, they will memorize words for a long time, and

5. Conclusion
The method of vocabulary memory is the important part in English study. And the key point is to pick up the most effective ways to remember words and avoid forgetting it. However, although much of the work of vocabulary memory is the responsibility of the students, teachers’ guidance and help are invaluable. Therefore, teachers should cultivate students’ ability of observation and

imagination. Thus, students’ mind will be opened. In addition, teachers also should ask students to speak more, read more and write more, then students can have a long-term memory of words. To sum up, we should take the teaching about the vocabulary memory as the medium of instruction focused on teaching and improve students’ English level.

Reference
[1] Felicity O’Dell, English As a Foreign Language [M].Longman Group Limited, 1986 [2] Rob Waring, Basic Principles and Practice in

Vocabulary Instruction [M]. Notre Dame Seishin University Okayama. The Language Teacher 2002 [3] 臧学运,石磊,黄迎. 英语词汇学习策略与实践[M]. 济南:齐鲁 书社,2006. [4] 胡智勇, 崔秀敏. 浅谈英语单词的联想记忆[J]. 承德民族师专 学报 2002,22(4) [5] 卢晓丽,柯建华.教育心理学理论对英语教学的启示 [J]. 《理 论月刊》2008,第 6 期 [6] 田文祥,单词记忆方法谈[J].2005,第 7 期 [7] 谢 军 , 浅 析 英 语 单 词 记 忆 方 法 [J]. 菏 泽 医 学 专 科 学 校 学 报 2001 年 第 13 期 [8] 张维友,英语词汇学[M].外语教学出版社,1997.

[9] 周凝祚, 心理学[M]. 青岛: 青岛海洋大学出版社, 1991. [10]http://www.xizuo.com/yingyujiaoshibokejingxuan/yingyuyuedu/8617.html


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