A pathological analysis of barriers to vocabulary learning and teaching

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Fahimeh Farjami


Learning a foreign or second language at different levels of proficiency involves the acquisition of a great number of words. Language learners look for effective ways to increase opportunities for retaining new words in long-term memory, but forgetting is a common problem. Language learners often complain that they forget new words soon after learning them. The importance of vocabulary learning also poses some challenges for teachers. They like to know in what ways instructional programs might foster the acquisition of so many words. Students face some obstacles when they try to assign the vocabularies to their long term memories. They also confront insumountable hurdles in the cognitive process of retrieval and recall. In this discussion, learners’ problems in vocabulary leaning are elaborated on and some guidelines are offered to ameliorate or even to remove them. It introduces language learning strategies that make vocabulary learning interesting and easy for learners. It also familiarizes teachers with useful techniques and activities for presentation. Ideas and viewpoints put forward by distinguished scholars such as Baker,Nation, Ausuble, Uberman, Thompson, Carter, Moras, Schmitt, Richards,Celce-Murcia, Chastain are utilized to substantiate the arguments. The purpose of this study is to present practical vocabulary learning strategies that can help learners and to offer influential teaching techniques and activities, which are of help to the teachers. A misconception analysis of teachers’ and students’ attitudes to vocabulary learning is carried out in terms of learning strategies, dictionary use, input, intake, output, affective variables, mnemonic devices, declarative and procedural memories. The relevant instructional points will be given to EFL teachers to enormously increase the efficiency of their teaching techniques and strategies in terms of students’ vocabulary learning and vocabulary expansion.

Keywords: vocabulary learning, forgetting, memory, mnemonic devices, input, intake, output


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Farjami, F. (2018). A pathological analysis of barriers to vocabulary learning and teaching. International Journal of Learning and Teaching, 10(4), 350-354. https://doi.org/10.18844/ijlt.v10i4.607