For most students the ultimate goal of learning is the ability to communicate in a target language. The possession of a common lexicon, which is well used, for example, in colloquial speech is not only important but a crucial role in a foreign surroundings.
An experienced second language teacher and researcher Keith Folse, studied the widespread myths about the vocabulary. The very first of these myths is: “When learning a foreign language, vocabulary is less important than grammar or other aspects” (Folse, 2004). Debunking this very common misconception, Folse emphasizes that all his worst communicative moments occurred when he did not possess the necessary vocabulary. There is an explanation for why we travel with a dictionary, and not with grammar. Here’s how it is formulated by the British linguist David A. Wilkins (1972) states that not knowing the grammar can be reported quite little.
Without knowing the vocabulary, you can not say anything at all. Leading researcher-linguist Paul Nation claimes that vocabulary is not an end in itself. Thanks to the vast vocabulary, listening, speaking, reading and writing skills are easier to create. When working memory is not loaded with doubts about the correct spelling, pronunciation and context of using words, you can fully concentrate on higher levels of the language, for example, using sentence structures or expressions suitable for a particular type of dialogue.In general, it would be more useful to consider vocabulary as a solid foundation for language proficiency, not opposing it to other language skills.The vocabulary is taught in the course of purposeful conscious lessons, but more often still its memorization occurs indirectly by listening, reading and figuring out the meaning of new words from the context. However, this kind of informal learning is only possible when a small number of unfamiliar words (Nation, 1990). In other words, to be able to learn new words from the context, you need to already possess a considerable vocabulary.
This obviously demonstrates the disadvantage for students with a smaller vocabulary, but also mean that “students, owning a large amount of vocabulary, can use the already known words to memorize new ones.” (Folse, 2004)This article focuses on the evaluation of the vocabulary exercises for pupils at secondary Ukrainian school. Age of a learners are 14-16 years. Tasks are taken from three textbooks for level B1+.
The first textbook “Solutions” is written by Tim Falla and Paul A Davies and was first published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. The Solutions intermediate student’s book presents three editions and I am focuses on the second edition. The Solutions was first published in 2009.
Every textbook of thee editions include the student?s book, teacher’s book with CDs in which answers and recommendations, class audio CD`s, workbook with CDs for self-study at home, iTools software for interactive board and test bank MultiRom with tests.On the top of the cover on a purple background is written in white colour Solutions. In the middle, not bright picture, that not much will interest the learner, but on the right it is a small picture of a smartphone and the words app. Solutions contains 136 pages. The textbook absence any introduction from the author, but notify learners and teachers about the content in a form of multicolored table, which outlines how to work with the textbook.
The content of the textbook consists of ten units and seven topics: vocabulary and listening, culture, reading, speaking, writting and two grammar topics. As for the organizing the content, the areas of study is shown by different colour, which assists with orienting in the table. Grammar and a vocabulary builder sections are at the back of the student’s book. The vocabulary builder section leads to expanded students vocabulary about the topics relating to the main units. This section have good addition material for stronger or quick students’.
Nearly every page includes more than one picture that looks funny and fulfills their features to involve the learners. Thanks to the pictures, the activities and exercises seems authentic and suitable to pupils’ age. The pictures used to assist the understanding of the text and like parts of exercises as well.”Straightforward” is a series of interactive textbooks that consist of two editions. They are designed for students of secondary schools. Straightforward published by the Macmillan Education and the second edition was published in 2011. The Macmillan Education is based in London, UK.
The whole textbook package Straightforward consists of the student’s book which is further evaluated. Also teacher’s book, Straightforward Digital and class CD.At the first sight, the textbook attracts the pupils with the bright cover and a photograph of a red apple. The black symbol B1+ which pictured in the cover page shows the level of English. As is typical for learning in Ukrainian schools, the textbooks of English used only English language for any level, even elementary.
The textbook is consistently structured and already from the beginning the teachers and students discover the way to work with this book. Regarding the table of content, it can be seen at the second page, also dedicated to orientation in the textbook. The structure of the content contains of eight units: Lesson, Grammar, Vocabulary, Functional language, Pronunciation, Reading and listening,Speaking and Writing. Straightforward textbook of A4 format and contains 159 pages.The third textbook “New English File” is written by Clive Oxender and Christina Latham-Koenig. Published in 2006 by Oxford University Press.The content of the textbook is structured in such a way that attention is paid to all the most important aspects of the language – reading, listening, writing, speaking.
Each Unit consists of three – four subunits at the end of which a repetition of the material is followed. Each unit has a link to the end of the textbook, namely a grammatical or lexical page with theory and practice. At the end of the tutorial, you can find scripts of all audio records (except those that are in units – repetitions), so each student is comfortable working independently on understanding English speech.Student’s book is accompanied by a Work Book (a notebook for working out the material, based on the main textbook).