Non-English Major Freshmen’s Perception and Practice of the Vocabulary Notebook as their Vocabulary Learning Strategy

Chin-Wen Chien


Freshmen English is one of the compulsory courses in universities in Taiwan. Vocabulary notebooks are frequently advocated as a way for students to take control of their vocabulary learning (Fowle, 2002). This study focuses on the perception and practice of 157 freshmen, who were all non-English majors, of the vocabulary notebook as their vocabulary learning strategy. The major data in this study included vocabulary notebooks, self-evaluation of keeping vocabulary notebooks, and instructional PowerPoint files. The freshmen in this study had a positive attitude toward vocabulary notebooks, because vocabulary notebooks helped them learn English words and increase their word knowledge, particularly of word families. They used the vocabulary notebooks to review the lessons and prepare for the exams. One interesting finding was that participants in this study preferred making their vocabulary notebooks in hard copy on paper because they could easily carry the notebooks around and review the lessons. Moreover, of all the required elements of the vocabulary notebooks, the learners found that word families were the most useful, because they could memorize word families and use them to make sentences. Suggestions are provided for how to make vocabulary notebooks an effective vocabulary learning strategy.

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