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Above of all, the writer would like to express the greatest gratitude to the Almighty
God, Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa for the blessing so that the writer could finish working
with this thesis and submitted in time.
Thanks to the lecture who has given this course so that we can improve our
knowledge of vocabulary technique teaching besides applying it in teaching our students.
The participation of all people that not mentioned above has brought great
contribution to the accomplishment of this paper. Without them, this writing would never
come to its end.
The writer does hope that this thesis can be useful and beneficial for the readers.
Therefore, critics and suggestion for the improvement of this thesis are most welcomed.

Singaraja, April 2014

The writer

1. Introduction
In learning English, the students must be able to master four basic skills of English as
the basic competency of learning English itself, those are listening, speaking, reading and
writing. These four language skills have important role in learning English and make a
chain that has a tight relationship each other. However, those skills will not be mastered
without having enough vocabulary. According to Huyen & Nga (2003), they state that in
learning foreign language, vocabulary plays an important role in connecting the four of
language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing all together. For example in
reading skill, to understand several meaning in the text, the students require some
vocabulary before they can recognize the text very well. It is also similar in listening, to
recognize the speech the students should have enough vocabulary, as well as in the other
skills. It is clear enough that everybody, who learns a language as a foreign language, is
expected to know and to master the vocabulary in improving the language skills. Then, it
needs an innovative treatment to improve the students vocabulary.
In teaching vocabulary in particular, a teacher should find out the approach, strategy,
method or the way how to improve students vocabulary. Communicative Language
Teaching (CLT) approach can be used as a tool that allows a speaker and listener
negotiate meaning. CLT also emphasizes listening, speaking, reading and writing skill to
help the learner developing their vocabulary meaning through producing or receiving
(Littlewood, 2013). Thus, in implementing CLT, there are some activities or strategies
which can lead the learners to gain their new words. One of the communicative activities
is role play, it provides a meaningful context for the learner to recognize new vocabulary.
It is also supported by Hackman (2008) that role play can be used to support the learners
vocabulary and it is a best way to develop not only their reading skill but also their
speaking skill.

2. Literature Review
2.1. Definition of Vocabulary
Seeing the facts above, vocabulary is the main element of language. It plays
important role in language learning because it appears in every language skill.
Therefore, learning a language cannot be separated form learning vocabulary.
According to Macounov (2007), vocabulary is all the words known and used by a
particular person. Meanwhile, according to Neuman & Dweyer (2009) vocabulary is
defined as the words we must know to communicate effectively: words in speaking
(expressive vocabulary) and words in listening (receptive vocabulary). From the
definitions above, it can be concluded that vocabulary is a list of words that
everybody has and uses to communicate with each other.
In addition, according to Hiebert & Kamil (2005), vocabulary is the
knowledge of meanings of words. The knowledge of words comes from at least two
forms, such as; receptive and productive.
Receptive vocabulary is a list of words that the individual can understand
when listening or reading words but it is not used in the spoken or written
expressions. These words are often less well-known to student, and less frequent in
use. Meanwhile, productive vocabulary is a list of words which are not only
understood, but also used meaningfully in writing or speaking when creating new
sentences. These words are well-known, familiar, and used frequently. It can be said
that passive vocabulary naturally larger than active vocabulary. The term passive
(for listening and reading) and active (for speaking and writing) are often used as
synonym for receptive and productive (Nation, 2001). Strange words might often
discover from listening and reading, but if these words are understood and used
frequently, soon it will become active vocabularies.
The term receptive and passive apply to a variety of kinds of language
knowledge and use (Nation, 2001). When receptive and productive apply to
vocabulary, these terms cover all the aspects of what is involved in knowing a word.
Generally, knowing a word involves form, meaning, and use. According to
Nation (2001), forms of words involves pronunciation (spoken form), spelling
(written form), and any word parts.
a) pronunciation (speaking form). It is the early stages of language
learning for teacher to teach amount of pronunciation, practice of new
words for the learner to help them acquire the correct stress pattern of
b) Second, spelling (written form), after the teacher clarify how to
pronounce the words very well, the teacher can introduce the learner
how to write the word.
c) Finally, words parts (a prefix, root, and suffix) concern with part of
speech of word. Students need to know part of speech of the
vocabulary, such as it is verb, noun or adjective, in order to use it
effectively. In addition, students have to study about the affixes (the
prefixes and suffixes) because it may indicate about the meaning. An
example of word parts can be seen with the word uncommunicative.
Which the prefix un- means negative or opposite, communicate is
the root word, and ive is a suffix which means someone or
something is able to do something.
Moreover, Nation (2001) states that meaning of words involves the way that
form and meaning work together, concept from item, and association that created by
the learner when think about specific word.
a) Form and meaning involves the learner how to be able to use the forms
of word (speaking and written form) and know its meaning. For
example; from the word brunch the learner are not only able to
pronounce and write it very well but also understand what the meaning
of brunch is.
b) Concept can be defined as knowledge about semantic values of the
word. A word may contain different meaning that depends on any
context. For example: the word bank we may find the bank of a river
or the national bank.
c) Association can be defined as knowledge about semantic relationship
of the word. Some words may contain same meaning or closely related
that depends on any context. For example; a synonym word beautiful
= pretty and association words animal four-legged cat,
dog, and etc.
The last, the aspect of use involves the grammatical function of the words,
collocation from those words, constraints on use.
a) Grammatical functions are involved with the knowledge of what part
of speech a word is and how it can be fitted into which grammatical
functions. In the other word, knowing a word involves knowing how
to use it in sentences.
b) Collocations is a combination of two or more words that are
commonly used together, in a way that sounds natural to a native
English speaker. For example; French or Spanish learner might say
the room of the hotel that sounds odd to an English speaker. The
natural English combination is hotel room.
c) Constraints on use refer to the learner or speakers understanding of
which contexts are appropriate for a certain word and are used
properly. For example: using word sorry when in informal situation
and apologize in formal situation.

2.2. The Vocabulary of Teaching
2.2.1 Effective Teaching and Learning Vocabulary
In general, learning vocabulary is a matter of remembering words, unlike
learning grammar which is a system based mainly on rules (Thornbury, 2004). In
order to teach vocabulary effectively, it is important for teacher to know, how words
are remembered and stored in students minds and how long term memory is
According to Thornsbury (2004), vocabularies are stored and highly organized
in the mind and it is called as mental lexicon. Therefore, mental lexicon is the place
where the words are stored, categorized and interconnected in many ways according
to their features such as meaning (thesaurus-like), form (dictionary like), association,
and etc. For example; in a sentence I like fruits in red color. This sentence will
trigger our mental lexicon to search words in fruits category. Another example is
Name a fruit that begins with p this example is commonly used in an experiments.
Moreover, Thornbury (2004) lists several ways how to make vocabulary
teaching as effective as possible. This technique is also to support the process of
permanent or long-term remembering instead of short-term remembering.
a) First way is repetition. This technique will involve the students to speak the
new words repeatedly, then match the rhyme of those words and try to make
a sentences.
b) The second way is retrieval which is the act of retrieving a word from the
memory to make the learner recall it again later. This can be done with using
the new word in a sentence.
c) Third is spacing, which means learn the new words within a period of time.
For example; it is best to present first two or three vocabulary items, then go
back and test these, then present some more, then backtrack again and so on.
These will make each word becomes better learned.
d) Fourth is pacing, which means allowing the learner to do memory work or
remembering such as; reviewing their vocabulary silently and individually
while in vocabulary learning. This technique should be done because the
learner have different learning style and process data, so ideally they should
be given the opportunity to pace their own activities.
e) Fifth is imaging, which means visualizing a picture for a new word or link
abstract word with some mental image.
f) Sixth is mnemonics, which means making a clues from association with
similarly sounding word and its meaning.
g) The last is motivation. It can be said that the learner who has a strong
motivation will tend to spend more time to learn vocabulary instead of
unmotivated learner.
2.2.2 A Range of Activities for Vocabulary Learning
After knowing how teach vocabulary effectively, the teacher also need to
know what activities can be given to the learner in a classroom. According to
Nation (2001), from the aspect of vocabulary (form, meaning, use) some activities
can be created in knowing a word. These are several from many activities that can
be created;
a) Form
1) Spoken form
Pronounce a word
The teacher write down words on the blackboard that the learner
have met during the week. The teacher pronounce them and the
learner repeat after the teacher.
Read aloud
The learner read words aloud from a text.
2) Written form
Word and Sentence dictation
The learner write words and sentences that the teacher dictate to
3) Word Parts
Choosing the correct form
The learner are given sentences containing a blank and a word
stem in bracket. They have to change the stem to the appropriate
word. For example; I went to the doctor for a _____(consult)
b) Meaning
1) Form and Meaning
Matching words and definitions
The learner are given a list of definitions then they must match
them with a list of words.
Peer teaching
The learner work in pairs. One learner has to teach the
vocabulary that he already lists to the other learner. The learner
who acts as the teacher has the word and a picture illustrating its
2) Concept
Finding common meanings
The learner will be given some sentence from single word and
see what is similar in different uses of the word. For example; He
was expelled from school, They were expelled from their
villages, the breath was expelled from her body.
3) Associations
Finding substitutes
The learner choose word from a list to replace underlined words
in a text.
Making a word maps
The learner work in groups to make a semantic map based on a
target word.
c) Use
1) Grammar
Ordering words
The learner put words in order to make sentences.
2) Collocation
Matching collocates
The learner are given list of words to match. It may be possible to
make several pairs with the same words
3) Constraints on use
Identifying Constraints
The learner are asked to put a codes like F for formal, I for
informal, N for neutral in the list of vocabulary.

2.3. The Importance of Teaching Vocabulary
According to Thornsbury (2004), without grammar very little can be
conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed. Moreover, he also said
that, if we spend most of our time studying grammar, our English will not improve
very much. We will see most improvement if we learn more words and expressions.
We can say very little with grammar, but we can say almost everything with words.
These explanation may sum up the importance of vocabulary learning.
As stated by Thornsbury (2004), learning vocabulary is a matter of
remembering words, it means that learning vocabulary can be best understood while
reading. Poor readers often read less and it will also result poor vocabulary. Some of
the learner may have less initiative to read, and this is why direct instruction from
the teacher is needed. Direct instruction involves some teaching vocabulary
technique (Thornsbury, 2004), such as; repetition, imaging, mnemonics, etc. and
some vocabulary activity (Nation, 2001), such as read aloud, word and sentence
dictation, make a word map and etc.
Finally, according to Thornsbury (2004) teaching vocabulary can,
a) Improve their ability to read words accurately
b) Improve their ability to understand what they are reading
c) Improve their ability to spell the correct word
d) Improve their ability to write with a correct word and sentences

Hackman, S. (2008). Teaching Effective Vocabulary. Retrieved March 31, 2014, from,
Huyen, N.T.T. & Nga, K.T.T. (2003). The Effectiveness of Learning Vocabulary through
Games. Retrieved March 29, 2014, from,
Macounov, L. (2007). Teaching Vocabulary. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from,
Neuman, S. B. & Dweyer J. (2009). Missing in Action: Vocabulary Instruction in Pre-K.
Retrieved March 28, 2014, from, http://ici-bostonready-pd-2009-
Thornsburry, S. (2004). How to Teach Vocabulary. Retrieved March 29, 2014, from,
Littlewood, W. (2013). Developing a Context-Sensitive Pedagogy for Communication-
Oriented Language Teaching. Retrieved March 29, 2014, from,