ENGLISH VOCABULARY LIMITS ME:WHAT LEARNERS HAVE TO SAY
Abstract - There appear to be adequate provisions and guidance for balancing classroom teaching methods and autonomous learning modes aiming to improve low English language proficiency in schools. However, less attention is paid to the influence of vocabulary in English second language learning. This paper is prompted by learners’ limited English vocabulary and the fact that in various countries, English is a developed and contextualized language. The paper presents a qualitative case study conducted in two selected secondary schools in the Eastern Cape primarily to examine learners’ views about the challenges of having limited vocabulary and seeks to highlight strategies that can assist learners’ vocabulary learning and to improve their English language proficiency that may translate to adequate performance. Interviews were used to solicit data from 10 learners from both schools. The constructivist approach was used as the lens of the study. The finding revealed that insufficient vocabulary knowledge make learners to be challenged in participating in conversations, and have poor writing and reading comprehension skills and that also obstructs the learner’s overall achievement. The findings also revealed English teachers that are not subject specialists, and the learners’ lack of exposure to reading material as contributing immensely to learners’ limited English vocabulary. The study recommends the appointment of teachers with English as their specialization. The study suggests that the schools provide learners with resources and ensure that they are exposed to the English language.
Keywords - Achievement; Contextualized; Knowledge; Proficiency, Vocabulary