Arab World English Journal
Volume. 1 Number. 1 Oct. 2010                                                                  PP.80-106

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Strategies for Learning Vocabulary
Employed by Science-Oriented Students: A Qualitative Perspective

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Channarong Intaraprasert
School of English Institute of Social Technology
Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand


Vocabulary learning strategies for the present investigation have been defined as any set of techniques or learning behaviors, which science-oriented students reported using in order to discover the meaning, and to retain the knowledge of newly-learned words. The present investigation has been designed to explore vocabulary learning strategies reported to be employed by science-oriented university students in Northeast Thailand. The subjects of the study were 133 science-oriented students sampled on the basis of convenience and availability. An open-ended strategy questionnaire and a semi-structured interview were used as the main methods for the data collection. The data obtained were analyzed qualitatively in response to the purpose of the investigation.
The findings of the research show that three different emergent categories have been reported which include 1) the strategies to discover the meaning of new vocabulary items; 2) the strategies to retain the knowledge of newly-learned vocabulary items; and 3) the strategies to enhance their learning vocabulary items or to expand their knowledge of vocabulary. However, for the purpose of this paper, only the first two categories have been taken into consideration. Lastly, the implications of the research findings for the teaching and learning of English for science-oriented students are also discussed.

Keywords: Vocabulary learning strategies, Science-oriented students