2.3.2. The classification of vocabulary learning action plans for students
The strategies for vocabulary learning has received various development. For instance, Gu and Johnson (1996 in Nationa, 2001) initiated a similar classification from their comprehensive study in Chinese studies in which they supplied a list of VLS that is based on the separation into cultural norms about VLS, strategies of, dictionary use, opinionated, repetition, memory, and note-taking. Besides, metacognitive enforcement, frameworks for encrypting memories as well as operative concepts.
A recent publication by Gu (2003) highlights two significant elements that could be applied in the separation of lexical words study ideas, that is through individual and activities. For a business-oriented strategy, operated by learners, regarding the different proportions of the events. Also, the concepts developed by students like taking notes, dictionary schemes, guessing or even repetition performances. Moreover, Gu adds that there are crucial areas of concern when referring to interpreting of words, that is the use of memory, structure, explanation and application.
About the most modern concept, mnemonics or reminiscence concept takes the lead and more so because of the belief that mnemonic techniques are best applied due to their capability to reinforce memory and important as vocabulary is primarily based on real memory (Gu, 2003). Nevertheless, mnemonics suffer equally on the downside as discussed by Gu (2003): the strategic aim for retaining involves only paired-associates. Thus, new words of a second language learner have a potential for the gathering of pairs of words like L1 – L2. The concept of mnemonics to lexical items highlights a one-to-one link between structure and explanation, and hence, ignore the various degree of meanings. In essence, mnemonic devices are best suited for contingencies as opposed to substituting other frameworks involved in vocabulary studies.
Semantic is also a very attractive field associated with VLS and in details more about meanings. Here the semantic connection is perceived as a psychological control of vocabularies as well as disseminate the implications and figure out their relationships.
In addition to these strategies, Gu (2003) reveals two more strategies linked to the hard lexical words: awareness and retention concepts and this forms part of the individual-dependent learning frameworks of vocabulary. Usually, there are personal variations regarding the factors that affect the selection of a strategy, to illustrate this, there are learning history and technique, gender, encouragement, and self-efficacy. Therefore, Schimitt (1997) developed a classification of VLS that featured the following components: Memory (MEM), Compensation (COM), cognitive (COG), Social (SOC), affective and metacognitive (MET). On the other hand, Gu (2003) described VLS as inclusive of the following key steps:
1. There are sources of experiencing vocabulary
2. Provide clarity on the structure of new words
3. Understand the meaning of vocabulary
4. Maintain a high memory link between the explanation and structure of words.
5. Apply vocabularies.
2.3.3. Studies on vocabulary building strategies
According to Nation (2005) effort has been invested in researching on the adjustments learners make to endure the language learning challenges. However, most authors have found that the outcome of these studies has various learning concepts, but the inventory of VLS include somewhat similar classifications. For example, Oxford (1990) recommended that applying a concept on average indicated that learners are knowledgeable of the idea, but they require encouragement for continued use during studies. For example, repetitive methods can be encouraged to students to learn new words.
Nation (2005) notes that studies on VLS in learning English as a foreign language (ELF) have been very general studies for decades. Nevertheless, the characteristics of some studies are exploratory that focuses on particular VLS while others are comparative research which attempts to elaborate to ELF learners about VLS.
According to Tuan (2011) the establishment of VLS application in Chinese institution of higher learning, with students of English and the link between their action plans and results in learning English, indicates that there is a widespread use of metacognitive concepts of vocabulary. Similarly, it was observed that psycholinguistic and metacognitive action plans have been in play to most learners with high vocabulary mastery (Celik & Toptas, 2010).
An investigative research conducted by Wu (2005) on VLS usage by ELF learners from Taiwan, highlighted that majority of the students applied discovery programs such as the use of bilingual dictionaries, asking fellow students, and guessing from the context. Whereas, strategies for consolidation observed among learners were studying phonetics of words and word structure repetition. Ideally, there are correlations between different VLS applied by students and consistent results from researchers as well.
2.4 Learner Autonomy
2.4.1. Definition of student autonomy
The idea of learner autonomy (LA) is a critical theoretical establishment in language acquisition. Also, it remains a significant component as referenced in the teaching of English language (Feng, 2015). Apparently, many instructors consider LA as a framework that has beneficial implications for learners, particularly EFL students. Furthermore, as supported by Borg and Al-Busaidi (2012), autonomous students are associated with a high ability in decision making about their studies.
Tuan (2011) suggests that scholars and researchers have done great effort to explain learner autonomy and its values. For example, David Little (1991) sees LA as “the potential for objectivity, making a decision, analytical reflection, and independent work”. He proposes that LA provides development of some mental link to the learning process and context of the learner. However, Holec (1981) demonstrated the idea of LA as “the capability to be responsible for individual learning” (p.3). Being a founder in LA of teaching second and foreign languages, he identifies that “it can acquire and control the power of every learning decision made”. Moreover, Feng (2015) indicates that between the late 1980s and the beginning of the 2000s, the popularity of learner autonomy has increasingly led to a creation of new definitions such as intrinsic inducement, learner-oriented and self-led learner.
Holec (1981) proposes that there are different dimensions of self-led learning that could be linked to a range of autonomy levels. In that regard, he lists various items to mean an exclusive self-controlled studying; these include the following:
1.Interpretation of content and development
2.Determining what talent and procedures to use
3.Evaluation of what has been learned
Therefore, as Holec outlines the above items, they are effective strategies for studying because of their comprehensive nature. It is important that an independent learner goes through appropriate guidelines in language learning, whereby they can decide on the goals for education, choosing the preferred mastery, observing acquisition and assessment of experience (Scharle & Szabo, 2000).
2.4.2. Learner Autonomy
According to Feng (2015), learner autonomy has rapidly shifted into a new stage that is different from the notion that learners need to manage the responsibility pertaining their decisions. However, instructors are also encouraged to evolve capabilities and ideas of LA because their roles are mainly supportive. Accordingly, an independent learner can be described as perceived by Scharle and Szabo (2000) that it is one with adequate preparation to undertake a significant amount of control for his/her personal learning. And by so doing, the learner is required to engage in decision making concerning his/her individual studies, be in a position to establish goals, plan for work schedules, create new approaches for adjustments, make assessments of his/her outcome in learning (Borg and Al-Busaidi, 2012).
For better results in learning, learners should be motivated to be more autonomous by initiating appropriate action plans. Likewise, independent learners would collaborate, learn and reflect with peers on their studies. Borg and Al-Busaidi (2012) suggests that there are fundamental characteristics that define autonomous learners, for example:
1.Have knowledge about their techniques and concepts of learning
2.Apply a dynamic strategy to learning responsibilities
3.Are risk takers
4.Create language of interest as a different reference system, and able to adjust due to any changes discovered.
5.Are excellent guessers and focus on structure and also the content of words.
These attributes are valuable to a learner because they elevate the capability of the learner to gain more control in the process. Usually, in the progression of free learning, students need to initiate knowledge about the language and studying, just because autonomous acquisition demands understanding second language as well as able to learn it. According to Borg and Al-Busaidi (2012), insights of language is a major start to advance the knowledge and learning skills. Similarly, the attitude and perception of learners and their responsibilities in studying are integral to autonomy. Feng (2015) argues that a primary factor is an attitude of the learner-directed to personal duty to learn and secondary aspect is the learners’ perception towards their competence to study and execute learning roles. Many researchers agree that learners’ attitude has strong influences to motivation.
Contrary to a skill or talent, independent learning is an intrinsic element in a person that can be acquired by a learner. Therefore, learners should be autonomous by interests in LA. In spite of the factors affecting processes of learning like techniques, procedures and teachers involved, independent mastery requires compatibility with learners to acquire self-governance (Tuan, 2011).