According to Manser (1995: 461), Vocabulary is the total number of words in a language. While Morales (2004-2005) stated that vocabulary is a listing of the words used in some enterprise. Furthermore, Ur in Hidayati (2007: 7) stated that vocabularies are the words that are taught in the foreign language. From the opinions above, we can conclude that vocabulary is a listing of all words that are taught in the foreign language. Vocabulary refers to the words we must understand to communicate effectively.
Many compelling reasons for providing students with instruction to build vocabulary, none is more important than the contribution of vocabulary knowledge to reading comprehension. Indeed, one of the most enduring findings in reading research is the extent to which students’ vocabulary knowledge relates to their reading comprehension. Most recently, the National Reading Panel (2000) concluded that comprehension development cannot be understood without a critical examination of the role played by vocabulary knowledge. Given that students’ success in school and beyond depends in great measure upon their ability to read with comprehension, there is urgency to providing instruction that equips students with the skills and strategies necessary for lifelong vocabulary development.
One of the most persistent findings in reading research is that the extent of students’ vocabulary knowledge relates strongly to their reading comprehension and overall academic success. This relationship seems logical; to get meaning from what they read, students need both a great many words in their vocabularies and the ability to use various strategies to establish the meanings of new words when they encounter them. Young students who don’t have large vocabularies or effective word-learning strategies often struggle to achieve comprehension. Their bad experiences with reading set in motion a cycle of frustration and failure that continues throughout their schooling. Because these students don’t have sufficient word knowledge to understand what they read, they typically avoid reading. Because they don’t read very much, they don’t have the opportunity to see and learn very many new words. This sets in motion the well known “Matthew Effects,” Stanovich’s (1986) application of Matthew, 25:29–“the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” In terms of vocabulary development, good readers read more, become better readers, and learn more words; poor readers read less, become poorer readers, and learn fewer words.
This particular relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension seems clear. But vocabulary knowledge contributes to reading success in other important ways that are perhaps less obvious. For beginning readers, evidence indicates a link between word knowledge and phonological awareness. Young children who have a large number of words in their oral vocabularies may more easily analyze the representation of the individual sounds of those words. In addition, vocabulary knowledge helps beginning readers decode, or map spoken sounds to words in print. If children have the printed words in their oral vocabulary, they can more easily and quickly sound out, read, and understand them, as well as comprehend what they are reading. If the words are not in children’s oral vocabulary, they have trouble reading the words and their comprehension is hindered (National Reading Panel, 2000). Thus, an extensive vocabulary is the bridge between the word-level processes of phonics and the cognitive processes of comprehension. The issue to address next, then, is just how many words do students need to know so as to read with comprehension. This is exactly what constitutes an “extensive” vocabulary.
B. Formulation of the Problem
1) What is it definition of vocabulary?
2) How the influence of Vocabulary mastery to reading comprehension?
3) why it is important to understand the vocabulary?
C. Purpose of Writing
1) Want to know what is it definition of vocabulary?
2) Want to know how the influence of Vocabulary mastery to reading comprehension?
3) Want to know why it is important to understand the vocabulary?
Vocabulary is the basic that must be learnt first by learners. It will help the learner in learning English language well. As Harmand and Stork (1976:250) stated that vocabulary is a stock of words which are at the disposal of speaker or writer. As in Brainy Media.com that vocabulary is a list or collection of words arranged in alphabetical order and explained ; a dictionary or lexicon either of whole language, a single work or author, a branch of science or wordbook. Besides, Hindmarsh R (1980) stated that vocabulary is a core component of language proficiency and provides much of basis for how well learners speak, listen, read and write.
Vocabulary refers to the words we must understand to communicate effectively. Educators often consider four types of vocabulary there are :
1. Reading vocabulary
A person’s reading vocabulary is all the words he or she can recognize when reading. This is the largest type of vocabulary simply because it includes the other there.
2. Listening vocabulary
A person’s listening vocabulary is all the words he or she can recognize when listening to speech. This vocabulary is aided in size by context and tone of voice.
3. Writing vocabulary
A person’s writing vocabulary is all the words he or she can employ in writing. Contrary to the previous two vocabulary types, the writing vocabulary is stimulated by its user.
4. Speaking vocabulary
A person’s speaking vocabulary is all the words he or she can use in speech. Due to the spontaneous nature of the speaking vocabulary, words are often misuse – though slight and unintentional, may be compensated by facial expressions, tone of voice, or hand gestures.
Vocabulary plays a fundamental role in the riding process, and contributes greatly to a reader’s comprehension. A reader cannot understand a text whitout knowing what most of the words mean. Students learn the meaning of most words indirectly, through everyday experiences with oral and written language. Other words are learned through carefully designed instruction.
Initially, in the infancy phase, vocabulary growth requires no effort. Infants hear words and mimic them, eventually associating them with objects and actions. This is the listening vocabulary. The speaking vocabulary follows, as a child's thoughts become more reliant on its ability to express itself without gestures and mere sounds. Once the reading and writing vocabularies are attained – through questions and education – the anomalies and irregularities of language can be discovered.
In first grade, an advantaged student (i.e. a literate student) knows about twice as many words as a disadvantaged student. Generally, this gap does not tighten. This translates into a wide range of vocabulary size by age five or six, at which time an English-speaking child will know about 2,500–5,000 words. An average student learns some 3,000 words per year, or approximately eight words per day. After leaving school, vocabulary growth reaches a plateau. People may then expand their vocabularies by engaging in activities such as reading, playing word games, and participating in vocabulary programs. The importance of a vocabulary are :
- An extensive vocabulary aids expressions and communication
- Vocabulary size has been directly linked to reading comprehension.
- Linguistic vocabulary is synonymous with thinking vocabulary
- A person may be judged by others based on his or her vocabulary
B. The Influence of Vocabulary Mastery to Reading Comprehension
The Kinds of Reading Necessary to Produce Vocabulary Growth. Some researchers suggest that almost any reading will produce vocabulary growth (Krashen, 1993). Others contend that, if students consistently select texts below their current reading levels, even wide reading won’t result in measurable vocabulary growth (Carver, 1994). Nor is reading text that is full of unfamiliar words likely to produce large gains in word knowledge (Shefelbine, 1990). For students to get the most out of wide reading, the conclusion of most researchers is that they should read for various purposes and read texts at various levels of difficulty. Students should read some text simply for enjoyment and some text that challenges them.
Researchers who have observed students reading independently in classrooms also suggest that teacher guidance to students in selecting books can make independent reading periods productive. Teachers can direct students to books at appropriate reading levels and point out books that might be of interest to individual students (Anderson, 1996). In addition, setting aside time for students to talk with each other about what they read can contribute to the effectiveness of independent reading time (Anderson, 1996).
As is true for any method of promoting vocabulary growth, wide reading has some limitations. One limitation is that, although wide reading may be effective in producing general vocabulary growth, it may not be an effective method for teaching the specific words that students need to comprehend a particular literature selection or a particular content area textbook. Another limitation is that wide reading alone cannot ensure that students develop the kind of word-learning strategies they need to become independent word learners. For these kinds of word learning, many students require intentional, explicit instruction.
Research indicates that the intentional, explicit teaching of specific words and word-learning strategies can both add words to students’ vocabularies (see Tomeson & Aarnoutse, 1998; White et al., 1990) and improve reading comprehension of texts containing those words. Whereas intentional instruction can benefit all students, it is especially important for students who have not developed the decoding and comprehension skills necessary for wide reading. For these students in particular, intentional, explicit teaching of specific word meanings and of word-learning strategies is especially important (National Reading Panel, 2000).
Specific word instruction refers to vocabulary instruction that enables students to develop in-depth knowledge of important words – that is, to know words well enough to access information about them from memory as they read. The question often posed by teachers is which specific words should be taught.
Principles of Vocabulary Development
Because words are the writer's most important tools, vocabulary development must be an important and ongoing part of classroom learning. Laflamme (1997) offers several key principles that should guide the creation and implementation of a comprehensive vocabulary development program.
1. Teachers must offer direct instruction of techniques or procedures for developing a broad and varied vocabulary. This instruction can be provided both formally through the language arts program, and informally through various classroom interactions-such as story time-with students.
2. New vocabulary terms must be connected to students' previous knowledge and experiences. If students are unable to contextualize new words by attaching them to words and concepts they already understand, the words will likely have little meaning to them. And as Ediger (1999) points out, "if meaning is lacking, the chances are pupils will memorize terms and concepts for testing purposes only or largely"
3. Students should be able to contextualize the vocabulary terms they have learned and use them in society (Ediger, 1999, p. 7). In order for students to do this successfully, they must first learn to become comfortable using these words in the classroom. Students should be required or encouraged to incorporate new vocabulary terms into their oral and written reports and presentations.
4. Practice and repetition are important methods by which students can become familiar with new words and under- stand how they may be used correctly (Laflamme, 1997). Students should be frequently exposed to the same words through practice exercises, classroom use, and testing.
5. Teachers should model and enthusiasm for and curiosity about new words through their own behaviors and attitudes. Teachers who are enthusiastic about vocabulary development will automatically look for "teachable moments" throughout the day, pointing out interesting words as they crop up in texts, stories, or conversation; asking students to explore alternative ways of expressing concepts; and helping identify colorful, descriptive ways of speaking and writing.
6. Schools, teachers, and students must be committed to vocabulary development over the long term. The teaching of vocabulary must be an interdisciplinary project, integrated into the curriculum at every level.
C. The Importance of Vocabulary Learning
Vocabulary learning is the important aspect in learning a foreign language. Students will improve much if they learn more words and expressions. As a linguist David Wilkins (in Thornbury 2002:13) says that vocabulary learning is very important. ‘Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.’ Thus, vocabularies are the flesh of a language while grammar is the skeleton. In order to be able to use the language productively, students must know certain amount of vocabularies, not only for communicating orally, but also written. It is in line with the concept of communicative approach in which learners have a big chance to use the language directly in classroom activities. This approach is useful in improving students’ vocabularies. Through the approach students are forced to use the language directly in either spoken or written communication.
The questions relate with vocabularies acquisition are what kinds of words one needs to know and how many words he must know. The vocabularies that should a student know first are the high frequency words. These are words that he uses most often in communication either in classroom activities or outside classroom. The high frequency words are called the general service vocabulary. Next, he also should know the academic or sub technical words which are not in general service vocabulary but occur frequently over a range of academic texts.
How many words a student must know is varied. Kweldju (1997) found that the average vocabulary sizes of students from fifteen English Departments ranged from 2041 to 3352 word families. A study conducted to 1776 students in 21 state graduate schools in Indonesia showed that the graduate students’ vocabulary size averaged 2861 words, while S2 students’ vocabulary size 2671 words and S3 students’ was 3211 words.
Learning the vocabulary of a foreign language presents the learner with firstly making the correct connections when understanding the language between the form and the meaning of words including discriminating the meanings of closely related words. Secondly, when producing the language, using the correct form of a word for the meaning intended.
After the author described in the previous chapter, then I as a writer can draw conclusions in this paper that The Kinds of Reading Necessary to Produce Vocabulary Growth. Some researchers suggest that almost any reading will produce vocabulary growth (Krashen, 1993). Others contend that, if students consistently select texts below their current reading levels, even wide reading won’t result in measurable vocabulary growth (Carver, 1994). Nor is reading text that is full of unfamiliar words likely to produce large gains in word knowledge (Shefelbine, 1990). because Vocabulary learning is the important aspect in learning a foreign language. Students will improve much if they learn more words and expressions. As a linguist David Wilkins (in Thornbury 2002:13) says that vocabulary learning is very important. ‘Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed.’ Thus, vocabularies are the flesh of a language while grammar is the skeleton. In order to be able to use the language productively, students must know certain amount of vocabularies, not only for communicating orally, but also written. It is in line with the concept of communicative approach in which learners have a big chance to use the language directly in classroom activities. This approach is useful in improving students’ vocabularies. Through the approach students are forced to use the language directly in either spoken or written communication.