The Effect of Teaching English Synonyms through Data-Driven Learning (DDL) on Thai EFL Students’ Vocabulary Learning
This paper examines to what extent paper-based data-driven learning (DDL) activities can improve Thai EFL students’ vocabulary learning concerning three English synonymous adjectives, which are naughty, disobedient and rebellious, and explores the attitudes of the participants towards learning through the DDL activities. This study was a one-group pre-test post-test design conducted over a four-week period. The convenience-sampled participants were 30 Thai EFL students studying in the Faculty of Education, majoring in English. There were three research instruments in this study including pre/post-test, Thai version of attitudes questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The instructional treatment, the paper-based DDL materials, was designed based on the criteria of meanings, collocations, formality and grammatical patterns. The corpus data representing each synonymous adjective was drawn from The British National Corpus (BNC) with the assistance of the online tool Sketch Engine (SkE). Using paired-sample t-test, the results indicate a statistically significant difference in the mean scores (p < 0.001) suggesting that their vocabulary knowledge had been developed after learning through DDL activities. Furthermore, the participants had positive attitudes towards learning through DDL as they found it enjoyable and effective in learning English. Thus, the findings of the study have a profound impact in the fields of English language teaching as it is clearly seen that corpus data serves as a useful tool to explore the authentic language patterns and help enhance learners’ metalinguistic awareness.
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