Foundations for the Future: Focus on Vocabulary

This is the fourth volume in the “Foundations for the Future” General Education series from the HCT Press. Once again, it follows on from a highly successful conference, held annually at the HCT’s Centre of Excellence for English at the Al Ain Higher Colleges of Technology. The theme of the April 2010 conference was centred on vocabulary teaching and learning, and brought together a large number of professionals working in English language teaching. As with previous volumes, which explored graduate outcomes, leading, and writing, the articles presented here are focused specifically on how theory, pedagogy and practice relate to adult Arab learners, and are written by HCT faculty, and by researchers and practitioners from other institutions in the region and internationally. I am delighted that HCT is continuing to take a lead in this valuable and exciting field where there is limited literature specific to the learning conditions in the Gulf region. Developing vocabulary is clearly a critical component of every English language classroom, but enriching the vocabulary of our students is also a key function of all teachers in all subjects. Words are the building blocks of any language. While grammar may hold the words together, it is the words themselves that are the driving force behind the communication of meaning. A few letters (or sounds) arranged in a particular order can represent a rich and complex tool that can broaden and shape our understanding of the world. Take, for example, the word, ‘culture.’ At one basic level, this word can simply mean ‘traditions,’ but with further exploration of the complex array of concepts and viewpoints within which this word is embedded, this short word can lead us to a profound understanding of the shared knowledge and values that bind a specific group of people together.

Articles

Foreword

This is the fourth volume in the “Foundations for the Future” General Education series from the HCT Press. Once again, it …


Introduction: Emerging Theory and Practice for Adult Arab Learners

The word emerging in the title of this volume indicates that research into vocabulary learning, teaching and assessment is still at …


Measuring the Effectiveness of a Vocabulary Programme

As with most courses preparing students for academic study, the previously existing Higher Foundations English course at Dubai Women’s College included …


The Impact of Explicitly Teaching Vocabulary on Students’ Vocabulary Learning

Vocabulary is the cornerstone of language learning, but it is an area that is often regarded as not being as …


Using Microsoft OneNote for Collaborative Vocabulary Notebooks in the Academic English Classroom

New technologies offer new interfaces and visual designs and at times opportunities to explore new pedagogical approaches to familiar learning targets. …


Creative Writing and Vocabulary Acquisition: A Study of Emirati College Students

Does creative writing improve vocabulary acquisition? A 2009 case study exploring creative writing and Emirati student motivation had one survey question …


Bilingual Reading Texts and Vocabulary Proficiency: Practice, Methodology and Linguistic Issues

constitutes a major part of the syllabus for students who will eventually proceed to studies at the undergraduate level. Whatever a …


Spelling it out! Accounting for Spelling Difficulties for Arab Learners of English

The irony of this quotation is rich. Teachers of English in the Gulf can be frustrated by the poverty of their …


To Stress or not to Stress?

According to Dalton and Seidlhofer, “The smallest domain in which the contrast between
stressed and unstressed syllables surfaces is the word. …


Assessing Vocabulary in the Language Classroom

Vocabulary is an essential building block of language and it makes sense to be able to measure learners’ knowledge and use …


Beef and Lamb, Chicken and H** Censorship and Vocabulary Teaching in Arabia

Most English teachers working in the countries of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council, comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia …