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IMPACT OF VOCABULARY ACTIVITY SET ON THE VOCABULARY SKILLS

OF GRADE 4 LEARNERS WITH LANGUANGE LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

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Chapter 1

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Children learn new vocabulary with great agility and speed, but their learning is

dependent on the range of words they are exposed to. Being a second language, English in

whatever level gets by in school and social transactions regardless of structural slips.

Identifying scapegoats for the often-repeated “deterioration” of English offers no solution

at all. If the culprits of poor English, which means below standard English, include

educational fixtures such as the socio-cultural tolerance of English, bilingual education and

the status of English as a second language, then concerned individuals should pick up the

cudgels to restore English at a respectable level. Certainly, culprits cannot exclude non-

English teachers from English teachers, nor educational managers and textbook writers.

For Go (2005), the guiltiest party would be the students who refuse to learn by

themselves to improve their command of English as medium of their own learning.

Consequently, educators have to do something instead of parrying the bombardment on the

deterioration of English among our students who sooner or later become professionals as

teachers of English.

Richness in English vocabulary, adeptness in saying or expressing thoughts in

English through well-structured sentences, enough fluency in spoken English, and

confidence in speaking English almost characterize what is to be referred to as “good” in

English. In his site (http://www/wsu.educ/-brians/errors), Brians (2006) conducted a study

on errors in English. He argued based on his findings that the concept of language is

unclear.

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He focused his concern only with the deviations from the standard use of English

language. His study also found out that English language learners encounter errors in

learning the language especially in grammar, vocabulary and reading comprehension areas.

Alvaera, et al. (2009), in their research, believed that the insignificant relationship

of teaching approach with student achievement suggests that there is inefficiency or poor

quality of teaching in the public schools. Ghrib’s (2004) findings on the speaking

difficulties highlight that among the reasons, pronunciation ranked third, following

vocabulary and meaning and grammar, which, in fact, are closely related to verbalizing

one’s thoughts.

The National Reading Panel’s (NICHD, 2001) data that having students encounter

vocabulary words often, and in various ways, can have a significant effect on the

development of increased reading vocabulary (NICHD, 2001). Although not a surprising

finding, it does have direct implications for instruction. Students should not only repeat

vocabulary terms while learning them, but they should also learn words that frequently

appear in many texts and contexts (to reinforce the retention of these words’ meanings and

expand the value of time spent in vocabulary instruction).

Ideal vocabulary instruction will also have effects that carry over and benefit

students in the reading of materials that is new to them. Such instruction includes words

that students encounter frequently in language usage. Biemiller (2003) stated that “children

need this body of familiar words so that they can read new and even advanced text”.

According to literacy expert Beck, “vocabulary means learning meanings of new

words” and it can also mean “words that a reader recognizes in print” (Beck, McKeown,

& Kucan, 2008). Although these meanings are easy to grasp, delving into them a little

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deeper exposes some complexities. There may be gradations of word knowledge that range

from no knowledge to “rich decontextualized knowledge of a word” (p. 792), and to what

degree does word recognition extend to variations of a word or word parts?

To help address these important issues, literacy experts generally agree that a

systematic and multifaceted approach to vocabulary and word-building skill instruction is

necessary. Specific components include (a) providing students with direct instruction of

keywords and word-learning strategies, (b) exposing students to extensive and vocabulary-

rich reading, and (c) creating an environment that encourages students to develop a “word

consciousness,” described as interest in and curiosity about words (Graves, 2006; Yopp &

Yopp, 2007).

The single greatest reason that vocabulary and word-skill development is important

is because of its significant impact on comprehension. This is true in terms of general

vocabulary development as well as for the development of content or academic

vocabulary, which is word knowledge used with texts that are valued in school (Brozo &

Simpson, 2007) or the words “necessary to learn and talk about academic subjects”

(Kieffer & Lesaux, 2007).

Studies supporting the strong relationship between vocabulary and comprehension

are extensive and date back to the mid-1940s. Subsequent studies (Snow, Tabors,

Nicholson, & Kurland, 1995) confirm similar findings for very young children and go so

far as to suggest that kindergarten students’ vocabulary knowledge is also a powerful

predictor of students’ reading comprehension in later years. Some experts claim the

relationship holds as much as four years later (Wagner et al., 1997), whereas others believe

it may extend to high school years (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997). The strong

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relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension is reaffirmed by

the RAND Reading Study Group (2002) and leads other researchers to emphasize this

significance for content texts that expose students to new and specialized words (Harmon,

Hedrick, & Wood, 2005). In sum, students need general and specialized word knowledge

to support their comprehension, and ongoing instruction is necessary.

The studies conducted by Brians (2006) and Ghrib’s (2004) directly indicated that

vocabulary was one of the difficulties of the students. Similarly, the present research will

tackle vocabulary skills as the main variable and will explore the effectiveness of an

activity set in improving the skills of the students. On the other hand, the work of Alvaera,

et al. (2009) focused on the relationship of teaching approach with student achievement.

The present research will not try to establish relationship between vocabulary skills and

teaching performance.

In the San Julian Elementary School, many students have not developed the genuine

desire to be good English speakers. As per the first periodic test, results indicated that

Grade 4 students averaged 18.26. Averaging 37.37%, students are categorized as

“beginning” as per the K to 12 grading system in their test scores. Meanwhile, their average

grades for the first quarter indicate that they had “approaching proficiency” performance.

Being an English teacher, the researcher takes into consideration the attention that should

be given to the low-performing students who registered the lowest performances in test

scores and quarterly grades. His observations and experiences with the students suggest

that their performance in written tests, quality of their outputs, and performance during

class discussions are affected by their ability to use English vocabulary. These premises

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prompted the researcher to conduct this action research which aims to address the

vocabulary skills of Grade 5 students.

Accordingly, numerous types of approaches, techniques, exercises and practice

have been introduced into the field to teach vocabulary. Moreover, Nation (2001) makes

clear that vocabulary learning strategies are one part of language learning strategies which

in turn are part of general learning strategies. As well, Oxford (1990) observes that

language learning strategies encourage greater overall self-direction for learners. Self-

directed learners are independent learners who are able to assume responsibility for their

own learning and gradually gaining confidence, involvement and proficiency. Thus,

students need training in the vocabulary learning strategies they need most. Research has

shown that many learners do use more strategies to learn vocabulary, especially when

compared to such integrated tasks such as listening and speaking.

Yet Schmitt (1997) claims that they are mostly inclined to use basic vocabulary

learning strategies. This in turn makes strategy instruction an essential part of any foreign

or second language program. However, a greater knowledge of vocabulary learning

strategies could be very useful in supporting teachers to plan their lessons more effectively

and give guidance to students in adopting successful strategies. Over the decades, many

researchers have made an effort not only to classify, but also gather, these strategies in

order to support learners’ learning.

According to Berrabah (2014), the importance of vocabulary in language

acquisition goes uncontested. It is evident that vocabulary is indispensable for successful

(understanding and interacting) communication in any language. However, the evolution

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towards recognition of the importance of lexical competence within second and /or foreign

language learning has gained interest.

Proficiency in reading is fundamental to success in school and in society.However,

national literacy rates are not keeping up with increasing demands for competence in

literacy skills (Britto et al., 2006). The goal of reading instruction is for children to become

self-regulating monitors of what they read.

Numerous instructional factors influence whether or not children are able to

comprehend text. Explicitly teaching children to use comprehension strategies has been

shown to improve text comprehension. Explicitly teaching word meanings has also been

demonstrated to mediate reading comprehension. Based on expectations for levels of

proficiency on standardized assessments that evaluate what children know and can do with

grade level text, in addition to jobs that require sophisticated knowledge to complete job

related tasks, it has become increasingly important to address reading comprehension

earlier than when children reach the upper elementary grades. In conjunction with

addressing reading comprehension, it is important to investigate factors that influence

comprehension, such as vocabulary.

Vocabulary instruction has been identified as an essential element of reading

instruction (NRP, 2000). Like comprehension instruction for children in primary grades,

vocabulary instruction has not received attention the way other reading instructional

methods have (Biemiller & Slonim, 2001), despite its influence on reading comprehension.

Readers must understand words in order to comprehend text. Some interventions with

children in both primary and elementary grades have shown that vocabulary instruction

increases word knowledge (Biemiller, 1999; Brett et al., 1996; Coyne et al., 2004).

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Traditional methods of instruction, such as copying definitions from a dictionary or

attempting to use a new word in a meaningful sentence have been demonstrated to be

ineffective in promoting vocabulary growth (Nagy, 1988). Superficial learning of word

meanings also contributes little to text comprehension (Beck & McKeown, 1991; Nagy,

1988). Several effective methods have been developed for teaching word meanings and,

more importantly, for promoting deeper understanding of words. Direct instruction of word

meanings and word learning from storybooks will be discussed in the following sections.

According to Stahl and Fairbanks (1986), direct instruction of vocabulary has

demonstrable effects on vocabulary learning and comprehension. However, they maintain

that vocabulary instruction should include more than definitions in order to improve

reading comprehension. Dictionary definitions provide inadequate explanations of word

meanings (McKeown, 1993). Beck, McKeown, and Kucan (2002)argue that the teachers

should carefully select appropriate words to teach students in order to contribute to

students’ vocabulary development. According to Beck et al. (2002), the primary

consideration in choosing words should be “the nature of the words themselves.” They

suggest that words “should be selected from the portion of word stock that comprises

sophisticated words of high utility for mature language users and that are characteristic of

written language” (p. 253, Beck & McKeown, 2007).

In academic circles, the place of vocabulary in language learning has been

significantly revised over the last decade and current academic thinking is very much at

odds with much classroom and textbook practice. Far from being an element which is

merely incidental to language learning, current thinking advocates that vocabulary may be

crucial to the development of language performance overall. In a recent version of

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generative grammar, the Minimalist Program (Chomsky, 1995), the differences between

languages are seen to be mainly lexical in nature and this leads Cook (1998) to suggest that

the Minimalist Program is lexically-driven.

The properties of the lexical items shape the sentence rather than lexical items being

slotted into pre-existent structures. The task the language learner faces, therefore, is

principally one of learning the vocabulary of the foreign language. The acquisition of

vocabulary items in sufficient quantity triggers the setting of universal grammatical

parameters. This approach is reflected in the Lexical Learning Hypothesis (Ellis, 1997)

according to which vocabulary knowledge is indispensable to the acquisition of grammar.

One of the outcomes of the recent academic interest in vocabulary has been the

development of ways for describing and testing vocabulary knowledge, which are both

principled and systematic. Recently developed methods allow normalized data to be

produced so the growth of a foreign language lexicon over the course of learning can be

modelled. With this information it becomes possible to measure the contribution of

vocabulary knowledge to language development and confirm whether the close

relationship between vocabulary growth and language level exists in practice.

The relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension is

consistently strong and has been recognized as a contributing factor for academic success

through studies going back to the 1920s (NICHD Report of the National Reading Panel

2000; RAND Reading Study Group 2002; Whipple 1925). It is both a major component of

a language development program for students who are learning English as another

language (Nation 2001) and a major stumbling block for those learning how to talk, write,

and read in the language used in schools and books (Cummins 2000; Scarcella, 2002).

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Riankamol (2008) investigated English vocabulary learning strategies adopted by

English gifted students of Triam Udomsuksa School in the first semesterof the academic

year 2008. The subjects were twenty seven students who was studying in English gifted

program at Triam Udomsuksa School. The purpose of the survey is to find most and least

frequently used vocabulary learning strategies usedby the English gifted students. An

instrument used in this survey study was a 25-item questionnaire adapted from Schmitt’s

taxonomy for vocabulary learning strategies. The data was analyzed by using frequency,

percentages, and means. The mean score indicated that the use of Metacognitive strategies

are most frequently used by English gifted students who are considered high proficient

students in English. And the least frequently used vocabulary strategy was “I learn words

by listening to vocabulary CDs.” in Cognitive strategies. However, the findings will be

advantageous to teachers to develop effective vocabulary teaching and to provide students

with successful vocabulary learning strategies.

Butler (2007) examined the effects of vocabulary-focused instruction and

strategies-focused instruction on the vocabulary development and comprehension skills of

students in primary grades who are adequate decoders, but non-proficient comprehenders.

Vygotsky’s theory of learning and development, Pearson and Gallagher’s gradual release

of responsibility model, metacognition, and Stanovich’s interactive-compensatory model

of reading served as theoretical guides for this study. A pretest-posttest design was

employed. Second and third grade students (N = 60) in two groups received 32 sessions

over eight weeks, of either vocabulary-focused instruction or strategies-focused

instruction. Students in the vocabulary-focused group received instruction similar to Text

Talk, and students in the strategies-focused group received instruction similar to reciprocal

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teaching. A series of analyses of covariance revealed no statistically significant differences

between groups on measures of expressive vocabulary, receptive vocabulary, reading

comprehension, listening comprehension, and on a researcher-created target vocabulary

measure. An analysis of covariance did reveal a statistically significant difference between

groups on a passage comprehension measure, favoring the vocabulary-focused group.

Pearson product moment correlation coefficients revealed moderate to robust correlations

of the measures.

Schatschneider, Buck, Torgesen, Wagner, Hassler, Hecht, and Powell-Smith

(2003) conducted a study to identify the major reading, cognitive, and linguistic skills that

contribute to individual differences in performance on the reading portion of the Florida

Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) at third, seventh, and tenth grades. Two hundred

participants were administered tests that measurea variety of reading, language, and

cognitive skills. Results indicated that in third grade, reading fluency was the dominant

factor in explaining variability in test performance. In seventh grade, reading fluency and

verbal knowledge similarly explained variability in test performance individual

differences. However, by 10thgrade, verbal knowledge and reasoning was clearly

dominant factor in explaining variability in test performance on the FCAT.

Marulis, et al. (2000) conducted a meta-analysis which examined the effects of

vocabulary interventions on pre-K and kindergarten children‘s oral language development.

The authors quantitatively reviewed 67 studies and 216 effect sizes to better understand the

impact of training on word learning. Results indicated an overall effect size of .88,

demonstrating on average, a gain of nearly one standard deviation on vocabulary measures.

Moderator analyses reported greater effects for trained adults in providing the treatment,

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combined pedagogical strategies that included explicit and implicit instruction, and author-

created measures compared to standardized measures. Middle and upper-income at-risk

children were significantly more likely to benefit from vocabulary intervention than those

students also at risk and poor. These results indicate that although they might improve oral

language skills, vocabulary interventions are not sufficiently powerful to close the gap—

even in the preschool and kindergarten years.

Mamaradlo (2011) proposed the use of module-based review sessions in improving

the test performance of the Grade VI pupils in Science 6. Pre-test and post-test results

showed that majority of the pupils were “poor” in their test performance in Science 6. The

post-test results of the Grade VI pupils showed that on general, majority of the pupils

progressed in their test performance. The computed t (0.40667) being less than the critical

value for t (1.66) at df = 96 for a one-tailed (directional) t-test with a α = 0.05 suggested

that the module-based review sessions are effective in improving the test performance of

the Grade VI pupils in Science 6 in the three (3) least-learned skills.

The researcher (Gamboa, 2015) proposed the use of a learning material to improve

the reading comprehension of Grade 8 students. Results revealed that show that there is a

significant difference between the pre-test scores (M = 9.779, SD = 3.4.239) and the post-

test scores (M = 27.307, SD = 7.175) of the students in the reading comprehension skill

test; t(139) = -28.420, p = 0.000. These results suggest that the students perform much

better in the post-test than that of the pre-test. Thus, the program use of the learning material

is very much effective in improving the reading comprehension skills of the students as

substantiated by a very high negative mean difference (MD = -17.529). This finding points

out that the use of the learning material contributed to the improvement in reading

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comprehension skills of the Grade 8 students. The learning material covered eight (8) skills

which were selected by the researcher based on the least-learned skills in English 8 as

indicated by the students’ test scores.

Conceptual Framework

This action research established the effectiveness of an activity set in vocabulary

development in improving the vocabulary skills of selected Grade 4 students.

Figure 1. Paradigm of the Study

It described the level of vocabulary skills of the Grade 4 students with the use of a

50-item pre-test which covered 9 vocabulary skills. The researcher also attempted to

establish if there is a significant difference in the performance between control and

experimental groups.

The research involved a total of fifty-six (56) Grade 4 students where twenty eight

(28) belonged to the control group while the remaining 28 composed the experimental

group. The study made use of a fifty-item pre-test and post-test and an activity set which

were designed by the researcher.

Statement of the Problem

This action research established the effectiveness of an activity set in vocabulary

development in improving the vocabulary skills of selected Grade 4 students.

Specifically, this research sought answers to the following questions:

1. How may the level of vocabulary skills of the Grade 4 students described?

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2. Is there a significant difference in the performance between control and

experimental groups?

Research Hypothesis

Aside from the research questions, the researcher also tested the following null

hypothesis setting the level of significance at 0.05:

1. There is no significant difference between the pretest results of the control and

experimental groups.

2. There is no significant difference between the pretest and posttest results of the

experimental group.

3. There is no significant difference between the posttest results of the control and

experimental groups.

Significance of the Study

The conduct and findings of the study are hoped to benefit the following

individuals:

The students would be benefited from the result of this study through the skills they

would attain with the help of the prepared activity set in vocabulary development. As a

result of learning vocabulary development skills, they would improve in their performance

in English.

The parents would also benefited by the result of this research by providing them a

clear line of communication regarding their child’s performance in school. With their

cooperation, the academic difficulties of their children would be properly addressed.

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The research would also provide substantial information to language teachers to

focus more on the vocabulary skills of the students. They may also develop activity sets

fitted to the level of their students to improve their vocabulary skills.

The study also hopes to provide the school administrator with additional research-

based data from which he/she could base decisions on instituting school-based policies in

the improvement of students’ vocabulary skills.

The future researchers would also find this material a reference in conducting

further studies on students’ vocabulary development.

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Chapter 2
METHODOLOGY

Research Design

The descriptive-experimental method of research was used in the study. With the

descriptive method, the nature of a situation existed at the time of the study and explore

the causes of a particular phenomenon can be described. The study was descriptive because

it described the level of vocabulary skills of the Grade 4 students.

The study is also two-group pre-test-post-test experimental design because it

established the effectiveness of a teacher-made activity set in improving the vocabulary

skills of Grade 4 students.

Sources of Data

A total of fifty-six (56) Grade 4 students where twenty-eight (28) belonged to the

control group while the remaining 28 composed the experimental group were involved in

the study. In the conduct of the study, the researcher used two (2) instruments, the 50-item

Pre-Test/Post-Test and the Activity Set in Vocabulary Development.

The 50-item Pre-Test/Post-Test is a teacher-made pen-and-paper test which covers

9 vocabulary skills based on learning competencies where the Grade 4 students are

unsatisfactory as evidenced by the results of their First Quarter Final Written Examination.

Following the objective type of test, it has been face-validated by the English teacher and

school head of the school. Items needing modification were either revised or changed.

Based on the identified skills where students are unsatisfactory, an Activity Set in

Vocabulary Development has been prepared by the researcher. Said set is composed of

group of activities for each of the 9 vocabulary skills included. The activities were lifted

from textbooks prescribed by the Department of Education (DepED), learning modules,

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and other references which are relevant and suited to the skills developed and to the level

of the students. The material was proofread and edited by the English teachers and school

head of the school. Suggestions, corrections and modifications were integrated into the

final copy prior to use for intervention.

Instrumentation and Data Collection

The draft of the action research was subjected to editing in both technical and

content aspects initially by the school head. It was further shown to three (3) of the

colleagues of the researcher for suggestions and comments. They were composed of an

English teacher, the Remedial Reading teacher, and a statistician.

After acceptance of conduct has been secured, the researcher reported to the school

head for the formal conduct of the experiment. The parents of the students were informed

by the researcher on the conduct of the experiment through a communication letter.

After securing the permission of the parents, the researcher proceeded to

administering the 50-item pre-test. A 10-day intervention followed which involved the 28

students under the experimental group and where the teacher used the activity set covering

9 vocabulary skills. The other 18 students under control group were taught the 9 vocabulary

skills handled by the Remedial Reading teacher. The researcher administered the posttest

to both groups after the intervention.

Tools for Data Analysis

The following statistical treatments were used per objective of the action research:

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The students’ performances were classified within their group employing the

Cumulative PPlot Method to normalize the scores. Thereinafter, z-test was used to decide

on the scales in classifying levels of performance within the group.

Said technique in classifying the performance level of the students was first used

by the researcher in his action research on students’ reading comprehension (Arce, 2014).

Table 1 shows the classification employed in this study:

Table 1. Classification of the Pre-Test Scores of the Students

Score Range Verbal Description


42-50 Outstanding
30-49 Above Average
17-29 Average
5-16 Below Average
0-4 Poor

Independent sample t-test, preliminary F-test for variances of the pretest result, and

paired-sample t-test were used to establish the effectiveness of the activity set in vocabulary

development.

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Chapter 4

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

Description of the Level of Vocabulary Skills of the Grade 4 Students

The level of vocabulary skills of the 28 students in the control group is presented

in Table 2.

Table 2. Levels of Vocabulary Skills of the Control Group (Pre-test)

Score Range Number of Students % Verbal Description Rank


42-50 0 0.00 Outstanding 4.5
30-49 0 0.00 Above Average 4.5
17-29 3 10.71 Average 2
5-16 24 85.71 Below Average 1
0-4 1 3.57 Poor 3
Totals 28 100
Mean 10.93 Below Average

Table 2 shows the levels of vocabulary skills of the 28 students under control group.

It could be gleaned from the data in the table that 24 or 85.71% scored 5 to 16, thus under

the category “below average”. This shows that majority of the students have “below

average” vocabulary skills as per their pre-test scores. This figure is corroborated by the

quality of their written outputs being done on daily basis where in general, they had

“unsatisfactory” scores. The teacher generally notes that the students cannot even translate

into English many English words, thus unsatisfactory answers in the comprehension

questions, say in the short stories being tackled. In addition, the students also have low

confidence and self-esteem during class discussions and recitations. When asked, the

students revealed that they “have the idea in their mind but have hard time expressing such

ideas into English, be it written or spoken”.

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A total of 3 or 10.71% registered scores from 17 to 29, thus have “average”

vocabulary skills. In the documentary analysis conducted, these students have “proficient”

academic grades and as observed by the teacher, have average class standing.

One (1) of the students had “poor” pre-test score. As per observations, this student

can hardly understand English words, thus have unsatisfactory written outputs and do not

participate during class discussions and other activities.

In general, the average mean of 10.93 suggests that the students have registered

“Below Average” pre-test scores. This shows that generally, the students in the control

group have below average vocabulary skills as shown by the pre-test scores.

Shown in Table 3 is the classification of the pre-test scores of the students under

the experimental group.

Table 3. Levels of Vocabulary Skills of the Experimental Group (Pre-test)

Score Range Number of Students % Verbal Description Rank


42-50 0 0.00 Outstanding 4.5
30-49 0 0.00 Above Average 4.5
17-29 4 14.29 Average 2
5-16 22 78.57 Below Average 1
0-4 2 7.14 Poor 3
Totals 28 100
Mean 11.39 Below Average

Table 3 shows the levels of vocabulary skills of the experimental group prior to the

use of the activity set in vocabulary development. A fifty-item test covering 9 skills in

vocabulary was administered to the students. Data show that 22 or 78.57% of the 28

students were “below average”, scoring 5 to 16. This figure shows that a large majority of

the students had unsatisfactory performance and competency in vocabulary development.

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According to the documentary analysis conducted by the researcher, it was revealed

that these students also attained unsatisfactory academic grades in the first and second

quarters. It was also found out that majority of these students belonged to Grade 4 section

B, where majority of the students incur behavioral and discipline problems and have

difficulties in having sound study habits, as per advisers’ observations.

Being their English teacher, the researcher also supports this figure by their

performance in their daily and final written outputs where many of the students prefer to

pass incomplete works and copy from their classmates. In a usual class scenario where the

teacher assigns outputs to be done, students keep on asking their teacher and classmates

for English translations of their sentences or statements before writing it into their

notebooks. As per observations, aside from the fact that the students had the difficulty of

verbalizing their thoughts in English, they also have problems in Filipino where they even

misspell and misuse the words. In the interviews, the students claimed that they lacked

support from their parents and preferred to play at times supposedly intended for them to

make their outputs and assignments at home. Because of the weak study habits of these

students, some of them were described by their teachers as troublesome and effortless in

improving themselves.

Scoring from 17-29, 4 or 14.29% of the students are categorized as “average”.

These students belonged to Grade 4-B where students are generally registering average

academic performance, as per observations of their class advisers. Although not performing

that very well, these students have generally “approaching proficiency” grades in the first

and second quarters.

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The rest of the data show that scoring from 0-4, 2 or 7.14% of the students were

“poor”. The students’ academic performance in the first two quarters corroborate with this

findings where they registered unsatisfactory, even failing grades. The teacher argues that

their serious problem in their studies could be traced to their inability of understanding

English vocabulary which hinder them from understanding their daily lessons not only in

English, considering the fact that majority of the learning areas are taught in English. Their

adviser further claimed that the students’ parents were “uncooperative and lacked support

to their children’s school activities” such that they failed to attend general and homeroom

PTA meetings and releasing of cards.

The table further shows that none of the students scored “outstanding” and“above

average” scores. This indicates that the Grade 9 students under the experimental group

were not able to attain a level of vocabulary skills sufficient for them to have satisfactory

reading skills and comprehension. The average score of 11.39 suggests that in general, the

28 students have “below average” performance in their pre-test.

In general, both groups have pre-test means registering at “below average” levels

(control=10.93; experimental=11.39).

Significant Difference in the Performance Between Control and Experimental


Groups

To establish the effectiveness of the the activity set in improving the vocabulary

skills of the Grade 4 students, the post-test scores of the students in the experimental group

were classified.

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Meanwhile, t-tests were employed to establish the significant difference in the

performance between control and experimental groups. Table 4 shows the levels of

vocabulary skills of the experimental group (post-test).

Table 4. Levels of Vocabulary Skills of the Experimental Group (Post-test)

Score Range Number of Students % Verbal Description Rank


42-50 0 0.00 Outstanding
30-49 0 0.00 Above Average
17-29 16 57.14 Average 1
5-16 12 42.86 Below Average 2
0-4 0 0.00 Poor
Totals 28 100
Mean 16.96 Below Average

Table 4 shows the levels of vocabulary skills of the students as indicated by their

post-test scores. A total of 16 or 57% of the 28 students registered “average” scores from

17 to 29. This shows that majority of the students registered improved scores considering

the fact that in their pre-test, only 4 of them had “average” scores. The data gathered also

shows that from 22 or 79%, the number of students who registered “below average” scores

lowered to 12 or 43%. As indicated by their pre and post-test scores, students improved

from below average to average. Meanwhile, two students who had “poor” scores in thge

pre-test were able to at least attain “below average” scores. These figures show that

considering the number of students who improved from poor to average, the use of the

activity set in improving the vocabulary skills of the students is effective as shown by a

mean score of 16.96.

This following portion presents the computed data aimed at establishing the

significant difference in the performance between control and experimental groups, thus

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showing the effectiveness of the activity set in improving the vocabulary skills of the

students. Tables 5 to 7 show the results.

An independent sample t-test was utilized to determine the significant difference

between the pretest result of the experimental and control group. Result of the preliminary

F-test for Two-Samples for Variances suggest that the groups have unequal variances (see

Appendix B). The result of the t-test is shown in Table 5.

Table 5. t-test Between the Pretest Result of the Experimental and Control Groups

Groups m df t-value p-value Interpretation


Experimental 11.393
54 0.384 0.702 Not Significant
Control 10.929

The result of the statistical test suggest that there is no significant difference

between the mean pretest score of the experimental group (n = 28, m = 11.393) and the

control group (n = 28, m = 10.929) since the probability value p is not less than 0.05. Thus,

the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between the pretest results of the

control and experimental groups is accepted. This implies that the two groups are have the

same level of vocabulary skills at the baseline and prior to the use of the activity set in

vocabulary development. As shown in the classification of the pre-test scores of the

students, both groups have registered “below average” levels.

It could therefore be implied that both groups have the same level of entry

performance prior to the use of the activity set in vocabulary development.

To further show the effectiveness of the activity set in improving the vocabulary

skills of the Grade 4 students, paired-sample t-test was used to determine if there is a

significant difference between the mean pretest and post-test scores of the experimental

group. The result of the statistical test is shown in Table 5.

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Table 5. Paired-Sample t-test Between the Mean Pretest and Post-test Scores of the
Experimental Group

Groups m md df t-value p-value Interpretation


Pretest 11.393
5.571 27 6.738 0.000 Significant
Post Test 16.964

The data in Table 6 suggest that there is a significant difference between the mean

pretest score (m = 11.393) and the mean post test score (m = 16.96400) of the experimental

group since the probability value p (0.000) is less than 0.05. Based from the computed

data, the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between the pretest and post-

test results of the experimental group is rejected. This leads to an inference that the use of

the activity set is effective in improving the vocabulary skills of the Grade 4 students in the

experimental group as further suggested by the mean gain score of 5.571.

This further shows that the students registered significant improvement post-test

scores after the 2-week remedial sessions with the use of the activity set in vocabulary

development. This agrees with the number of students improving from poor to below

average and below average to average.

To further determine the effectiveness of the activity set, the mean post test scores

of the experimental and control group were compared. The statistical difference of the

mean post test score of the group was computed using the independent samples t-test. The

preliminary F-test suggests that the two groups have was assumed with equal variances

(Appedix B). The result of the statistical test was shown in Table 7.

Table 7. Independent Sample t-test Between the Mean Post test Scores of the
Experimental and Control Groups

Groups m df t-value p-value Interpretation


Experimental 16.964
54 2.675 0.009 Significant
Control 14.464

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The data suggest that there is a significant difference between the mean post-test

score of the experimental group (n = 28, m = 16.964) and the control group (n = 28, m =

14.464) since the probability value p (0.009) is less than 0.05.

Thus, the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between the posttest

results of the control and experimental groups is rejected. This suggests that the

performance of the experimental group is higher than that of the control group. The mean

gain score of 2.500 suggests that the the use of the activity set helped the Grade 4 students

in improving their vocabulary skills.

The generally significant improvements registered by the students because of the

use of the activity set in vocabulary development as shown by the computed data could be

attributed to a number of factors.

As per observations of the researcher, the activities included per skill helped the

students develop vocabulary skills necessary for them to improve their reading skills. The

students were able to relate into the activities because such were based from DepED-

prescribed materials. Some activities were also lifted from materials fit to the learning

levels of the students, thus further improving their study and reading habits. As for instance,

assignments were also given to students where they have to read stories and answer the

activity in the set.

With the purpose of closely looking at the progress of the students, the regular

remedial classes where the activity set was used also contributed to the improvements

registered the the students. The observations conducted by the school head and suggestions

of the English teachers also gave the teacher-researcher better ideas in employing strategies

to help students improve their vocabulary skills.

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As shown by the number of students who improved in their vocabulary skills and t-test of

the pre and post-test scores, the use of the activity set in improving the vocabulary skills

was found effective.

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Chapter 4

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS


Summary
The following are the highlight findings of the study:

The pre-test scores of the control group, a total of 24 or 85.71% scored 5 to 16, thus

under the category “below average” while 3 or 10.71% registered scores from 17 to 29,

thus have “average” vocabulary skills. The pre-test scores of the experimental group

reveals that a total of 22 or 78.57% of the 28 students were “below average”, scoring 5 to

16. Scoring from 17-29, 4 or 14.29% of the students are categorized as “average” while 2

or 7.14% of the students were “poor”.

Post-test results of the experimental group show that total of 16 or 57% of the 28

students registered “average” scores from 17 to 29. From 22 or 79%, the number of students

who registered “below average” scores lowered to 12 or 43%.

The t-test between the pretest result of the experimental and control groups reveals

that there is no significant difference between the mean pretest score of the experimental

group (n = 28, m = 11.393) and the control group (n = 28, m = 10.929) since the probability

value p is not less than 0.05. Thus, the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference

between the pretest results of the control and experimental groups is accepted. The paired-

sample t-test between the mean pretest and post-test scores of the experimental group

suggest that there is a significant difference between the mean pretest score (m = 11.393)

and the mean post test score (m = 16.96400) of the experimental group since the probability

value p (0.000) is less than 0.05. Based from the computed data, the null hypothesis that

there is no significant difference between the pretest and posttest results of the experimental

group is rejected. The independent sample t-test between the mean post test scores of the

28
experimental and control groups suggest that there is a significant difference between the

mean posttest score of the experimental group (n = 28, m = 16.964) and the control group

(n = 28, m = 14.464) since the probability value p (0.009) is less than 0.05. Thus, the null

hypothesis that there is no significant difference between the posttest results of the control

and experimental groups is rejected.

Conclusions

The following conclusions were formulated on the basis of the findings of the study.

1. Majority of the students in the control group performed on below average while. In

like manner, majority of the students in the experimental group performed on below

average.

2. Post-test results of the experimental group show that majority performed on the

average.

3. Based on the t-test between the pretest result of the experimental and control

groups, it could be inferred that both group of students have the same level of

vocabulary skills prior to the use of the activity set. Meanwhile, the paired-sample

t-test between the mean pretest and post-test scores of the experimental and

independent sample t-test between the mean post test scores of the experimental

and control groups suggest generally suggest that the use of the activity set in

vocabulary development has helped the students significant improvements in their

vocabulary skills..

Recommendations

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On the basis of the findings and conclusions of the study, the following

recommendations are offered:

1. Students’ reading and vocabulary skills/levels shall be properly identified as early

as Grade 1. Once identified, a functional and regularized reading remediation

program may be implemented with the initiative of the English teachers.

2. The use of teacher-made instructional or learning materials, activity sets, and

modules is encouraged. The activity set herein used is recommended as a

supplementary learning material in the school’s Reading Remediation Program.

Meanwhile, teachers may further hone their skills in module-writing through

school-based In-Service Trainings (INSETs) and School Learning Action Cell

(SLAC) sessions.

3. A copy of this action research may be provided to the Division Office for evaluation

and as a possible reference for policy formulation.

4. Further conduct of studies on students’ reading difficulties particularly o their

vocabulary development is suggested.

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