Language and Speech Laboratory

Should EFL teachers present vocabulary in semantically related sets?

Amparo Lázaro Ibarrola, María Ángeles Hidalgo Gordo.

Porta Linguarum      volume:23:25-40.

Teaching vocabulary in semantically related sets is common practice among EFL teachers. The present study tests the effectiveness of this method by comparing it to the alternative technique: presenting vocabulary in an unrelated way. In the study two intact classes of Spanish learners of English in high-school were presented with a set of unrelated and related words and were then asked to complete a post-test to measure the impact of both techniques on learning. The results indicate that, while both techniques successfully help the learners to acquire new words, presenting words in unrelated sets seems to be more effective.