Nowadays English is known as the language of the science, everyday communication and most widely used language in the world. Although it is a well-known fact that Mandarin Chinese is the most commonly spoken language on the planet, we should know that “while English does not have the most speakers, it is the official language of more countries than any other language” (Flamiejamie, 2008). English, also, is the language in which the sciences are most often discussed and presented. A study done in 1997 indicated that 95% of scientific publications and submissions, even at that time, were done in English (collegeofenglishmalta.com). Therefore, it seems that learning English is a need for everyone who wants to keep himself updated and in touch with real out world. In learning English, language skills and language components cannot be separated. Language components can complete the language skills. In order to learn English the students should be able to use suitable structures and master grammar and vocabulary. Vocabulary is an important language component for forming words and building English sentences. Harmer also claimed, “Language structures make up the skeleton of language and it is vocabulary that provides the vital organs and the flesh.” (Harmer, 1994 as cited in Baniabdelrahman, 2013) There is no doubt about the importance of vocabulary. “It is necessary in the sense that words are the basic building blocks of the language, the units of meaning from which larger structures such as sentences, paragraphs and whole text are formed” (Read, 2000, p 1). “Without a good working knowledge of words and their meanings, both written and verbal communication will be muddied or poorly understood” (wisegeek.com). Wilkins (1972) believed that, without learning grammar very little can be conveyed and without learning vocabulary, nothing at all can be conveyed. Researchers suggest that early elementary students’ word knowledge is a determinant of reading comprehension both in early elementary school and throughout their schooling (Hansen, 2009). Some research findings also disclose that students who have acquired more vocabulary items, they will be more likely to articulate and communicate the massage. Therefore, as a result their achievement in speaking skills is better than those who are short of vocabulary understanding or have acquired less vocabulary items. Since vocabulary is important in communication, the students should master it. In this regard, Hippner-page also believes that “vocabulary is the key component which guarantees acquiring a second language and becoming a functional and fluent reader and writer of a second language” (2000, p. 7).Baumann and Kameenui (1991) believed that we need to have a good vocabulary size to speak and write naturally and effectively. Students’ word knowledge is also linked strongly to their academic success (As cited in Baker, Simmons, & Kameenui, 2007). Moreover it is believed that “perhaps the greatest tools we can give students for succeeding, not only in their education but more generally in life, is a large, rich vocabulary and the skills for using those words” (Pikulski & Templeton, 2004). If we are not sure that Knowledge of this vocabulary will guarantee success, it will be clear that lack of knowledge of vocabulary can ensure failure (Biemiller, 1999 as cited in Jobrack, 2010).Some researchers (Harley, 1996; Yoshii, and Flaitz, 2002) point to vocabulary learning as a vital part of each student’s life, while other researchers though accept the importance of vocabulary acquisition in language proficiency and academic achievement; their ideas about how vocabulary should be learned have varied widely. (Ghabanchi & Anbarestani, 2008) Unfortunately, learning vocabulary is not easy for students and most of students believe memorizing and learning vocabulary is a difficult, boring, and tedious task. Moreover, what is hard to learn, is easy to forget. So finding ways to increase students’ vocabulary growth throughout the school years must become a major educational priority.Everyone remembers some words better than others, because of the nature of the words, the circumstances they are learnt under, and the methods of teaching (Ur, 1996). The attention drawn to the important role of vocabulary unveils the importance of vocabulary and the most effective ways to teach vocabulary. Here the teacher plays the most important role in creating the learning context and choosing methods used in the classroom. Especially in EFL contexts in which there is a little chance for the students to encounter English language out of the classroom. In addition, Hedge believes that “Although the teacher’s ultimate role may be to build independence in students by teaching them good strategies for vocabulary learning, s/he will frequently need to explain new words” (2008, p. 112). Books and materials developers provide teachers with different ways of presenting new words to the students such as using synonyms, antonyms, translation, minimal pairs, description, illustration, using context, association of ideas, examples, and many other ways, which usually demand qualified and knowledgeable teachers to put the most proper in practice. It was claimed that learners need to be given explicit instruction of vocabulary strategy in order to facilitate their awareness of vocabulary learning strategies that they can use to learn their own outside the classroom (Atay & Ozbulgan, 2007 as cited in Chen & Hsiao, 2009). Moreover, there is no doubt that “the teacher’s role in vocabulary development is critical” (Yopp, Yopp, & Bishop, 2010).As mentioned before, there are different techniques and strategies by which the teachers can teach a new vocabulary; but most of them are teacher-dependent and their practicality or impracticality is a function of teachers’ performance. Since different teachers have different abilities, capabilities, resources, personalities and characteristics teaching vocabularies by two or more teachers (known as co-teaching) sharing their knowledge and competence may be efficient and helpful in teaching vocabularies. Teaming can bring out the creative side of teachers. Woodrow Wilson once said, “I not only use all of the brains I have, but all I can borrow” (28th president of US, 1856 - 1924). His acknowledged reliance on others may fit our co-teaching context as well. This also shows the fact that "A community of peers is important not only in terms of support, but also as a crucial source of generating ideas and criticism" (Sykes, 1996, as cited in Jang, 2006).The very binging point of co-teaching was in 1975, in which Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act. This act stated that free and appropriate public education (FAPE) must be provided for all children (Right, 2010). After that, a very important project (No-Child Left behind) in USA was applied in which they tried to provide a better teaching context for students with disabilities (either physical or mental) and facilitate their learning by using two teachers in the classroom. In those classes, they used a pull out model in which these types of students; were pulled out by the second teacher and there they were taught individually and privately. A similar approach was used in classes in which most of the students were emigrants whose native language was something rather than English. In these classes one of the teachers was mainstream teacher (e.g. math, geology) and the second teacher was an English teacher who tried to eliminate the speaking and listening problems of the students. The setting of the classroom and the role of teachers in those classes shaped different models of co-teaching.Co-teaching has many benefits for both teachers and students; it can reduce the stigma often associated with being identified as having a disability. It creates a stronger system of support for effective instruction among the adults responsible for educating students (Friend, 2008 as cited in Mulgrew & Gentile, 2010). It also develops respect for differences, teamwork skills, and an appreciation for diversity(flexibility), it also provides peer models, empathetic skills, affirmation of individuality; beside that co-teaching enhances instructional knowledge base, increases ways of creatively addressing challenges, foster better peer relationship among students in the classroom and promotes a more rigorous curriculum, teachers will learn from each other’s expertise and expand the scope of their teaching capacity(Rosario, Coles, Redmon, & Strawbridge, 2010; Walther-Thomas, 1997; Leavitt, 2006; Nickelson, 2010) Cook and Friend (1996) described five forms of variations in co-teaching:(1) One teaching/one assisting: a technique in which one teacher takes an instructional lead while the other assists students when necessary.(2) Station teaching: dividing the class content and room arrangement, with each teacher working on a specified part of the curriculum and classroom, so that students rotate from one station to the other.(3) Parallel teaching: both teachers plan the instruction but divide the class into two halves, each taking responsibility for working with one-half of the class.(4) Alternative teaching: organizing a classroom into one large group and one small group, where one teacher is able to provide main instruction, the other to review a smaller group of students; and(5) Team teaching: teachers take turns in leading discussions or both playing roles in demonstrations.Among mentioned diversities of co-teaching, team-teaching has received special attention and if we go through the history of co-teaching this approach has been applied more (e.g. teaching ESP), which may be because of its advantages over the other approaches. Despite the potential for problems to arise through a lack of collaboration and cohesiveness within a team, there are potential pedagogical advantages for those willing to adopt this form of teaching. Historically, team teaching has been seen as a practice suited for gaining better control of large groups of students (Ivins, 1964 as cited in Wang, 2010). When team teaching is organized and carried out effectively, students, parents and school faculty feel positive effects. Research shows that students taught using a team teaching approach have higher levels of achievement. Additionally, schools that employ team teaching have teachers who are more satisfied with their job, resulting in an improved work climate (Flynn , 2010). Leavitt believes that “team-teaching boasts many pedagogical and intellectual advantages: it can help create a dynamic and interactive learning environment, provide instructors with a useful way of modeling thinking within or across disciplines, and inspire new research ideas and intellectual partnerships among faculty”. (2006, p.10)On the other hand, team teaching gives teachers the opportunity “to teach in a different way, and to learn in a different way" (Leavitt, 2006, p. 16). Poor teachers can also be observed, critiqued, and improved by the other team members in a nonthreatening, supportive context (stateuniversity.com).Team-teaching also allows teachers to respond effectively to different needs of their students, lower the teacher-student ratio, and empower teachers with a professional expertise that meets their students need. Team-teaching also aims to facilitate students’ understanding of concepts from a variety of viewpoints (Hanusch , Obijiofor, & Volcic, 2009).In team teaching classes, students can develop critical-thinking skills by synthesizing multiple perspectives and relating the information to a larger conceptual framework (Davis, 1995 as cited in Yanamandram & Noble, 2006). Students’ experience also benefits from team-taught course structures. For example, Wilson and Martin (1998) found that students who participated in team-taught classes reported improved teacher-student relationships.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
During last decades of English teaching, vocabulary has received little attention. Beside “grammar has always been at the center of attention in teaching English but vocabulary received little attention and mostly has been neglected in the literature of English language teaching and learning despite the fact that errors of vocabulary are potentially more misleading than those of grammar” (Hedge, 2000, p. 111). Nowadays the effect of vocabulary knowledge on the other areas of language learning has made it to gain its importance (e.g. “appears that teaching of lexis has been acknowledged or re-acknowledged to be important for improving students’ reading comprehension” ( Hyde, 2002, p. 7))To be a fluent and accurate speaker of English language you need to know a body of English words and vocabularies. According to statistics, “An Average educated speaker needs to know about 17,000 words” (Goulden, Nation, & Read 1990, as cited in Hedge, 2000, p. 111). Researchers have found that vocabulary knowledge in primary school can predict how well students will be able to comprehend the texts they read in high school (Biemiller, 2001). The importance of vocabulary achievement is so much that Wilkins (1974) believes that “Without grammar, very little can be conveyed. Without vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed”. This importance is much more brilliant in primary levels so that “the National Research Council (1998) concluded that vocabulary development is a fundamental goal for students in the early grades” (reading.uoregon.edu). Based on National Reading Panel (2000), vocabulary is one of the essential elements of reading. (Nikoopour & Amini Farsani, 2012). During the past 10 years, Jeanne Chall and his colleague (1989) focus on the study of vocabulary and how vocabulary growth might be encouraged. They had come to the conclusion that vocabulary growth was inadequately addressed in current educational curricula, especially in the elementary and preschool years and that more teacher-centered and planned curricula were needed. (1983, as cited in Biemiller, Teaching Vocabulary Early, direct, and sequential, 2000)تعداد صفحه : 121قیمت : 14000تومان
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