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Nghiên cứu các kĩ thuật mnemonics để giúp học sinh lớp 6 tăng cường khả năng ghi nhớ từ vựng tại một trường THCS

THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES

LE THUY DUONG

A STUDY ON MNEMONIC TECHNIQUES TO HELP STUDENTS OF
GRADE 6 INCREASE THEIR VOCABULARY RETENTION
AT A SECONDARY SCHOOL
(Nghiên cứu các kĩ thuật Mnemonics để giúp học sinh lớp 6 tăng cường
khả năng ghi nhớ từ vựng tại một trường THCS)

M.A THESIS

Field: English Linguistics
Code: 8220201

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THAI NGUYEN – 2019

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THAI NGUYEN UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES

LE THUY DUONG

A STUDY ON MNEMONIC TECHNIQUES TO HELP STUDENTS OF
GRADE 6 INCREASE THEIR VOCABULARY RETENTION
AT A SECONDARY SCHOOL
(Nghiên cứu các kĩ thuật Mnemonics để giúp học sinh lớp 6 tăng cường
khả năng ghi nhớ từ vựng tại một trường THCS)

M.A THESIS
(APPLICATION ORIENTATION)

Field: English Linguistics
Code: 8220201
Supervisor: Dr. Bui Thi Huong Giang

THAI NGUYEN – 2019

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DECLARATION

I hereby certify that the thesis entitled “A study on Mnemonic techniques to help
students of grade 6 increase their vocabulary retention at a secondary school” is
my own research and the substance of this research has not been submitted to any
other universities or institutions.

Submitted by:


Le Thuy Duong

Approved by
Supervisor,
Dr. Bui Thi Huong Giang

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This thesis would not be completed without the help of many people, and I
would like to show my heartfelt thanks to those for their great support, guidance,
advice, and encouragement throughout the competition of this thesis.
In the first place, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my beloved
supervisor, Dr. Bui Thi Huong Giang for her valuable assistance, considerable
encouragement as well as great inspiration while I was doing my research.
I would like to express my gratitude to all my lecturers and staffs at School of
Foreign Languages-Thai Nguyen University whose support and consideration have
enabled me to pursue the course.
I would also like to express my sincere thanks to teachers and all students of
Phuc Triu Lower Secondary School for their cooperation and participation in the
research.
Last but not least, I owe a big thank to my parents who have always
encouraged me to complete this study.

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ABSTRACT
This study was carried out with the aim to investigate the effects of Mnemonic
techniques namely, using pictures, sematic mapping and making-up stories on the
vocabulary retention of grade 6 students. The researcher conducted the study in 7
weeks with the participation of 40 students of grade 6. They have been learning
English since grade 3, but many of them had difficulty in memorizing vocabulary.
The data of the study was gathered through qualitative and quantitative methods. The
qualitative data was collected by analyzing result of students’ questionnaire and the
class observation. Quantitative data was obtained from the students’ scores of pretest
and posttest. After intervention with Mnemonic techniques, the result of the posttest
was remarkably higher than that of the pretest. This indicated that most of students
improved their vocabulary retention. Besides, the questionnaire given after the
posttest showed that a large number of students appreciated the effectiveness of using
Mnemonic techniques and had positive attitude toward learning vocabulary. Finally,
further some implications, limitations and suggestions for further studies were
included in this study.
Key words: Mnemonic techniques, vocabulary retention

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LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
MT: Mnemonic techniques

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
DECLARATION ....................................................................................................... i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ..................................................................................... ii
ABSTRACT ............................................................................................................. iii
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS................................................................................. iv
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ............................................................................1
1. Rationale .............................................................................................................1
2. Aims of the study ...............................................................................................2
3. Scope of the study ...............................................................................................2
4. The Significance of the study .............................................................................3
5. Design of the thesis. ............................................................................................3
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................5
1. Vocabulary and its importance in language learning .........................................5
2. Vocabulary learning in English language acquisition ........................................6
2.1 Aspects of knowing a word ..............................................................................6
2.2 Process of learning vocabulary ......................................................................... 7
2.3 Vocabulary learning strategies ......................................................................... 8
2.4 Learning styles .................................................................................................. 9
3. Teaching vocabulary with Mnemonic techniques ............................................10
3.1 Definitions of Mnemonics .............................................................................. 10
3.2 Kinds of Mnemonics ....................................................................................... 11
3.3 The models of teaching vocabulary with Mnemonic techniques. .................. 13
3.4. Previous studies on teaching vocabulary with Mnemonic techniques .......... 15
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY .........................................................................17
1. Participants........................................................................................................17
2. Research questions ............................................................................................18
3. Methods of the study.........................................................................................18
4. Data collection instruments ..............................................................................19
4.1. Pretest and posttest......................................................................................... 19

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4.2. Questionnaire ................................................................................................. 20
4.3. Peer class observation .................................................................................... 21
5. Data Collection Procedure ...............................................................................21
6. Data analytical method .....................................................................................23
CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND DISCUSION .....................................................24
1. Findings from pretest and posttest ...................................................................24
1.1. The students’ vocabulary retention before using Mnemonic techniques ...... 24
1.2. Students’ vocabulary retention after using Mnemonic techniques ................ 25
1.3. The difference in students’ vocabulary retention before and after using
Mnemonic techniques ........................................................................................... 26
2. Findings from questionnaire .............................................................................29
2.1 Students’ perceptions toward vocabulary learning through the Mnemonic
techniques used in the study. ................................................................................ 29
2.2. Students’ attitude toward using Mnemonic techniques in English lessons ... 30
3. Findings from class observation .......................................................................32
4. Discussion .........................................................................................................34
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION AND PEDAGOGICAL IMPLICATIONS ......36
1. Conclusion ........................................................................................................36
2. Pedagogical implications ..................................................................................37
2.1 For English teachers........................................................................................ 38
2.2. For students .................................................................................................... 38
3. Limitations of the study ....................................................................................39
4. Suggestions for further studies .........................................................................39
REFERENCES ...................................................................................................... XL
APPENDIX 1 ............................................................................................................V
APPENDIX 2 ........................................................................................................ VII
APPENDIX 3 .......................................................................................................... IX
APPENDIX 4 ....................................................................................................... XIII
APPENDIX 5 ....................................................................................................... XIV

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LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Summary of the questions in students’ questionnaire ................................20
Table 2: The procedures of the study ........................................................................22
Table 3: A model lesson plan with the use of MT in vocabulary teaching adapted
from Marzano (2004) and Garside (2017) ................................................................23
Table 4: The overall descriptive data of the tests......................................................26
Table 5: Students with lower scores and unchanged scores in the posttest ..............26
Table 6: The overall descriptive data of ability to give meaning of words ..............27
Table 7: The overall descriptive data of ability to remember collocations...............27
Table 8. Paired sample T-test ....................................................................................28
Table 9: Students’ perceptions toward vocabulary learning with MT ......................29
Table 10: Students’ opinion on Mnemonic techniques in English lessons ...............30

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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 2.1: An example of a sematic mapping .........................................................13
Figure 4.1: Result of the Pretest ................................................................................25
Figure 4.2: Result of the posttest...............................................................................25
Figure 4.3: Result of question 11 ..............................................................................31

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale
Today, being a means of international communication, English has exerted its
dominance over the world. Many countries including Vietnam are attempting to
improve English ability of their citizens. Vietnamese government has implemented
policies to improve quality of teaching and learning English. According to this,
English was introduced as the compulsory subject from primary school to high
school. Students are required to pass English exams in National high school
graduation exam to win places in universities. Therefore, learning and teaching
English is of great importance.
Vocabulary is the core of learning English. Without it, students fail to
communicate with people and express their own ideas. It can be said that vocabulary
is the foundation to build language skills. To emphasize the importance of
vocabulary, Schmitt (2000) states that “lexical knowledge is central to
communicative competence and to the acquisition of a second language”. In addition,
Wilkins (1972) once said, “Without grammar, little can be conveyed; without
vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed”. Hence, learning vocabulary is of crucial
importance to all language learners and teaching vocabulary should be placed in the
center of attention in language classes.
One of problems in learning vocabulary is that learners are struggling against
the decline of memory retention in time. Forgetting Curve by Hermann Ebbinghaus
(1885) shows that learners forget about 90% of what they learned within the first
month. After a few hours of studying a language, most of them forget 50% of the
content. Besides, students are constantly bombarded with new knowledge in subjects
in which they may or may not be interested. As the result, most of students easily
forget newly learned things, especially new words. All the reasons above makes
teaching and learning English become more challenging than ever. To tackle the
problems, teachers should provide students with vocabulary learning strategies in
order for them to reduce pressures on their memory and remember vocabulary better.
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One way to help students learn and recall vocabulary quickly is using Mnemonic
techniques (memory strategies). They are not new techniques deriving from the
Greek word “Mnemonikos” which means “aiding memory”. Mnemonic techniques
have been mentioned as vocabulary learning strategies by many researchers such as
Schmitt(1997), Gu and Johnson(1996)
At Phuc Triu Lower Secondary School, Thai Nguyen Province, a majority of
students in grade 6 have difficulty in learning vocabulary. Most of them often
complain that they have forgotten the vocabulary very quickly after English lessons.
They cannot complete the reading and writing tasks where the meaning of words is
necessary for comprehension. In a word, this lack of adequate vocabulary knowledge
is an obvious and serious obstacle for many students in learning English and
improving their language skills.
All the reasons above offered me an opportunity to carry out a study on
Mnemonic techniques to help students of grade 6 increase their vocabulary retention
at Phuc Triu Lower Secondary School. The study will be conducted to test the
continuing applicability of these techniques in the certain context of Vietnamese rural
areas where there are not enough facilities for the leaners to learn a foreign language.
2. Aims of the study
The study was carried out with the aim of investigating students’ improvement
in vocabulary retention through using some Mnemonics techniques. Secondly, the
researcher explores students’ attitudes towards using Mnemonics as learning
vocabulary strategies. Then, based on the findings, recommendations are made to
improve the implementation of these techniques.
3. Scope of the study
The study was conducted in a class of 40 students in grade 6 at Phuc Triu
Lower Secondary School in Thai Nguyen Province. There are various Mnemonic
techniques; however, within limited time and the small scale of the 40 -student class,

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I have decided to focus on the effects of three techniques proposed by Thompson
(1987) namely: using pictures, semantic mapping and making-up stories.
Using pretest, posttest, questionnaire and peer class observation in this study
is expected to help the researcher see positive aspects and strengths of using
Mnemonic techniques in vocabulary teaching - learning process. However, the result
of this study may not be generalized to all Vietnamese students in rural areas
4. The Significance of the study
The significance of this study was that via the results, the researcher could
determine the effectiveness of using Mnemonic techniques on student’s vocabulary
retention. Then, the findings of the research could be a useful reference for other
teachers who have made efforts enhancing students’ vocabulary retention. Finally, it
would pave the way for further studies on vocabulary learning in the future.
5. Design of the thesis.
This study is composed of five following chapters:
Chapter 1:“Introduction” presents the background, aims, research question,
the significance, the scope and the design of the study.
Chapter 2 “Literature review” conceptualizes the framework of the study
through the discussion of issues and ideas on theories of teaching and learning
vocabulary and the implementation of Mnemonic techniques
Chapter 3 “Methodology” presents the context, the methodology used in this
study including the context, the subject, the data collection instruments, data
collection procedure and data analysis.
Chapter 4 “Findings and Discussions” consists of a comprehensive analysis
of the data and a discussion on the findings of this study.
Chapter 5 “Conclusion” offers a summary of the findings, implications,
limitations of the study and future directions for further study

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In summary, this chapter provides the overview of the study including
rationale of the study, aims of the study, research questions, scope of the study,
significance of the study and design of the study. The following chapter will present
the theoretical framework of the study.

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CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter consists of theoretical parts. The first part is related to teaching
and learning vocabulary. The second one is mainly about learning styles and Memory
capacities in learning. In the final part, Mnemonic techniques and previous studies
are mentioned
1. Vocabulary and its importance in language learning
Vocabulary is an unseparated part of any languages. There are various
definitions of vocabulary proposed by linguists. According to Hatch and Brown
(1995), vocabulary refers to a list or set of words for a particular language or a list or
set of words that individual speakers of language might use. Hornby (1995) states a
detailed definition of vocabulary, which includes the total number of the words which
make up a language, all the words known to a person or used in a particular book,
subject, etc.; and a list of words with their meaning. Linse (2005) defines that
vocabulary is the collection of words that an individual knows. From the definitions
above, it can be concluded that vocabulary is all words of a language that an
individual can use in communication.
Vocabulary is of paramount importance in learning a second language. It is
“the Everest of a language. There is no larger task than to look for order among the
hundreds of thousand words which comprise lexicon” Crystal (2003). Learning
vocabulary is believed to lay a firm foundation for learner to build up and master
language skills. Thornbury (2002) stated that readers should have vocabulary
knowledge of at least 2,000 high frequency words so as to comprehend 90% of
everyday text. Therefore, the insufficient vocabulary can result in failures in
communication and understanding written texts. In term of learning English, many
researchers believe that vocabulary acquisition should be taken more priority than
other aspects, especially grammar. The grammatical rules are fixed, but there is no
boundary for learning vocabulary because it is enlarged day by day. According to
Oxford Dictionaries, there are approximately 1,000 new entries added to Oxford
Dictionaries Online every year. Vocabulary size is being enlarged day by day. It has
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become one of the biggest challenges in language tests and exams which learners
cope with. This is in line with Schmitt (2012) who stated that vocabulary has
traditionally been one of the language components measured in language tests. For
example, in the IELTS Academic test, a test taker will be given 3 passages to read
and each of those passages contains around 900 words. This means they should read
around 2,700 words in an hour. Hence, language learners should be encouraged to
enlarge their vocabulary size and improve their vocabulary knowledge.
To sum up, vocabulary plays a fundamental role in learning English as a
second language. This leads to the use of various Mnemonic techniques in the study
to boost students’ vocabulary retention. With good vocabulary knowledge, the
students were expected to have firm basis for their development of all the other skills
such as reading comprehension, listening comprehension, speaking and writing in the
future.
2. Vocabulary learning in English language acquisition
2.1 Aspects of knowing a word
Vocabulary learning is the core language acquisition, whether the language is
first, second, or foreign. When learning vocabulary, the learners should know about
word knowledge. Word knowledge has been identified by many researchers.
Richards (1976) stated that to understand a word should include following aspects
called eight assumptions: the feature of native speakers' vocabulary knowledge,
association, syntax, frequency, derivation, register, semantic features and polysemy.
This theory seems complicated to be applied in the process of vocabulary teaching
for students in grade 6, so Nation’s classification of word knowledge (2001) was used
for discussion in this study. According to Nation, teachers and learner should be
aware of the three aspects of knowing: form, meaning, and use.
 Form: form of a word involves its pronunciation (spoken form), spelling (written
form), and any word parts that make up this particular item (such as a prefix, root,
and suffix)

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 Meaning: knowing the meaning of a word includes connecting form and meaning,
concept and referents, and word associations. Normally the word form and meaning
are learned together. It means that when learners hear and see the word form, the
meaning of this word will retrieved and vice versa.
 Use: knowing how to use a word involves knowing grammatical functions,
collocations grammatical functions collocations constraints on use (register,
frequency . . .)
In this study, within limited time the researcher only focused on measuring
ability to remember meanings and collocation of words to assess the vocabulary
retention of students before and after using Mnemonic techniques. For students in
lower secondary schools, knowing meaning of words and collocations are essential.
Meaning of words helps learners have basic understanding about texts and content of
conversations while collocations which is defined as combination of words in a
language, that happen very often and more frequently than would happen by chance
(Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary) allow learners to acquire proficiency in the
target language.
2.2 Process of learning vocabulary
To have good vocabulary knowledge requires learners to accumulate words
every day. Grauberg (1997) gave detailed explanation about the process of learning
vocabulary by classifying it into four stages, namely discrimination; understanding
meaning, remembering and consolidation and extension of meaning.
Discrimination was described as a basic step which has a link with the ability
to distinguish sounds, letters from those next to them, and from the sounds and letters
of similar words when listening and reading; to keep them distinct when speaking
and writing. As will be seen later, failure to discriminate is a frequent source of error.
Understanding meaning is next stage in which learners understand the concept of the
foreign word or phrase. This is often straightforward because the word can be related
to its referent by direct association or because there is equivalent word in English.
Remembering comes after vocabulary items are introduced and explained to ensure
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that learner can recall them. This is because when learners have acquired meaning of
a word, it may be forgotten easily. The process of remembering words can be
explained by the Working Memory Model of Baddeley and Hitch (1974), which
includes sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. The items of
vocabulary we learn first enter the short- term memory (STM), but they just remain
in STM for a few seconds. To remember them longer, learners should transfer them
into their long-term memory through revision and recalling. Consolidation and
extension of meaning is the final stage in which vocabulary should be revised
regularly after being taught to prevent the forgetting process of our brains. Also,
learners should be given more opportunities to use vocabulary in the context different
from the one in which it is first used.
In brief, Grasberg’s theory gives the researcher a better insight on how the
process of learning vocabulary takes place. To help the memorizing vocabulary
better, the researcher planned to make an intervention into the stage three
“remembering” and stage four “consolidation and extension of meaning “with the
Mnemonic techniques because meaning of a word is easily forgotten after being
elicited and without revision.
2.3 Vocabulary learning strategies
Process of learning vocabulary pose a problem to learners that they not only
learn new words but also make efforts to remember them. To address this problem,
many researchers provide various vocabulary learning strategies. Three common lists
of vocabulary learning strategies are mentioned below.
Amed (1989) stated that learners need to employ a variety of strategies to
practice and retain vocabulary which include information sources, practice,
dictionary uses, memorization and note –taking. Gu and Johnson (1996) identified
six types of strategy including metacognitive regulation, guessing strategies, notetaking strategies, dictionary use strategies, memory strategies for rehearsal and
memory strategies for encoding. A relatively comprehensive list of these strategies is
developed by Schmitt (2002). He categorized them into two groups: discovery
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strategy and consolidation strategy. To make them more clearly, he further classified
those strategies into sub aspects. Discover strategy includes determination strategy
and social strategy while consolidation strategies consist of social strategy, cognitive
strategy, metacognitive strategy and memory strategy (traditionally known as
mnemonics). According to him, Mnemonics involve relating new words to previously
learned knowledge, using some form of imagery or grouping (using semantic
mapping, pictures...).
To sum up, despite the different approach to vocabulary learning, most
researchers mentioned memory strategies as a common way to aid learners’
vocabulary acquisition and retention. This emphasizes the importance of using
Mnemonic techniques in learning vocabulary and establishes the foundation for
carrying out this study.
2.4 Learning styles
Learning style is closely related to teaching and learning vocabulary. The term
‘learning style’ has been widely used in psychology and pedagogy since the 1930s.
It has been described in many ways. Dornyei (2005) defined learning style as “the
complex manner in which, and conditions under which, learners most effectively
perceive”. Della-Dora and Blanchard (1979) stated that learning style is a personally
preferred way of dealing with information and experiences for learning that crosses
content areas. Generally speaking, learning style describes the way a person can learn
things best. There are different models of learning styles proposed by researchers.
Kolb (1984) introduced Experiential Learning Style Model which consists of four
distinct learning styles (or preferences) based on a four-stage learning cycle:
Concrete Experience - CE (feeling), Abstract Conceptualization - AC (thinking),
Active Experimentation - AE (doing), Reflective Observation - RO (watching).
VARK Learning Styles Model of Fleming and Mills (1992) set out four main learning
ways, including Visual (V), Auditory (A), Reading/ Writing (R) and Kinesthetic (K).
In this study, I will discuss Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983)
because this model is more compressive than the rest and has close relation with the
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Mnemonic techniques. According to Gardner, there are eight different intelligences
to account for a broader range of human potential in children and adults. These
intelligences include linguistic intelligence (word smart), logical-mathematical
intelligence (number/reasoning smart), spatial intelligence (picture smart), bodilyKinesthetic intelligence (body smart), musical intelligence (music smart),
interpersonal intelligence (people smart), intrapersonal intelligence (self-smart) and
naturalist intelligence (nature smart). The model suggests that language teachers
should present vocabulary in a wide variety of ways such as using music, cooperative
learning and art activities role play to improve students’ vocabulary learning.
To sum up, learning styles could partly explain for the phenomenon in which
some people are good at learning and remembering vocabulary very quickly while
others are not. Taking the analysis of learning styles in consideration might support
for the study on using Mnemonic techniques in class.
3. Teaching vocabulary with Mnemonic techniques
3.1 Definitions of Mnemonics
Mnemonic techniques or Mnemotechnics are the tools to support our memory.
They were derived from the Greek word ‘mnemonikos’ which means ‘aiding
memory.’ Solso (1995) defined that Mnemonics are techniques or devices, either
verbal or visual in nature, that serve to improve the storage of new information, and
the recall of information contained in memory. In plain words, mnemonic strategies
allow teachers to relate new information to what students already have stored in their
long-term memory.
Mnemonic techniques play a key role in improving learners’ vocabulary
retention, therefore many researchers have mentioned about the effectiveness of
Mnemonics. Cohen (1990) claimed that the mnemonic link is one of the best ways to
learn and retrieve the meaning of new words. Thompson (1987) also stated that
mnemonics can be adopted voluntarily and once learned are difficult to forget. Hence,

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the applicability of Mnemonic techniques in teaching and learning vocabulary should
be taken into consideration.
3.2 Kinds of Mnemonics
Mnemonic techniques are classified into different ways. Baddeley (1999) put
Mnemonic tools into two main classes: visual imagery strategies and verbal
strategies. On the other hand, Oxford (1990) claimed that there were four memory
strategies, including creating mental linkage, applying images and sounds, reviewing
well, and employing action. But in this section, the theory of Mnemonics strategies
by Thompson (1987) will be discussed because it tend to be more comprehensive
than the others and suitable for context of the study. According to her theory,
Mnemotechnics are composed of following techniques
 Linguistic Mnemonics: peg word method, the key method
 Spatial Mnemonics: the loci method, spatial grouping, finger method
 Visual Mnemonics: using pictures, visualization or imaginary
 The Verbal Method: group in or semantic mapping, story –telling or
narrative chain
 Physical Responses Methods: Physical response method, physical sensation
method
In my study, 3 techniques presented by Thompson (1987) will be adopted,
namely: using pictures, semantic mapping and making-up stories. There are several
reasons why I choose these techniques. First, these techniques are suitable for
philological characteristics of my students. They are young learners, so most of them
are active, imaginative and creative. Therefore, they tend to prefer learning with
visual aids and stories. Second, time limit of a lesson (45 minutes) does not allow
me to pilot all techniques. Finally, the use of these techniques does not require time
and teaching aids such as projectors and pictures are available
Using pictures

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Using pictures is not a new technique in teaching vocabulary in language
classes. It can be used to show or exemplify the meaning of the lexical items as well
as enable learners to learn, understand and utilize vocabulary in all aspects of their
life. The practical effectiveness it brings to English learner cannot be denied. Allen
(1983) stated that "for helping students to understand the meaning of a word, we often
find that a picture is useful". Hill (1990) listed several advantages of pictures in term
of availability (individual can get them on the internet, in any magazines, etc.); they
are cheap, often free; they are personal (teacher selects them); easily kept - flexibility,
worthwhile for different types of activities (drilling, comparing, and others), pictures
are permanently various and stimulating, in other words they come in a variety of
formats and styles and moreover the learner often wonders what comes next.
Semantic mapping
There are various definitions about semantic mapping. Tateum (2007) defined
it as the process for constructing visual displays of categories and their relationships.
Avrianti (2015) stated that semantic mapping is one type of graphic organizers that
relates with concept mapping. It is a visual strategy by graphic displaying words
in categories and showing how they are related to one another. In simpler terms,
it is a strategy visualizing meaning-based connections between words or concepts
and other related words or concepts. It is very useful to help English as foreign
language learners to identify and recall meanings of the target words.

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Figure 2.1: An example of a sematic mapping
The use of Semantic mapping in language class may offer many benefits such
as: ensuring better vocabulary retention, increasing interaction and collaboration,
boosting learners' independence and self-confidence and addressing learners'
different learning styles
Making-up stories
One of the ways in creating an enjoyable learning atmosphere is by using
stories to learn vocabulary. Learners can link target words together to make up their
own stories. Stories are the products of imaginary and creativity, so they are likely
to be kept in our brain longer. Cameron (2001) states “Stories offer a full imaginary
world, created by the language, which allows learners to enter and enjoy as they learn
language”. Making-up stories to recall vocabulary can offer an enjoyable learning
environment for students to learn better because they are encouraged to use their
imaginary and creativity to create a fantastic world which has a relation to their
emotion and life experience. Moreover, using stories not only improves the students’
vocabulary but also offer chances to practice language skills and grammar
3.3 The models of teaching vocabulary with Mnemonic techniques.
It is important for teachers to have effective vocabulary instructions to make
a word from unknown to known and bring more depth and long-term retention into
teaching. Related to vocabulary teaching strategies, Marzano, (2004) summarized six
instructional steps to help students understand new vocabulary terms and remember
what they have learned at a later date. The six steps are the followings. First, a
student- friendly description, explanation, and example of the new term should be
provided for learners. In this step, Marzano encouraged the use of stories, pictures
and videos to exemplify the term. Second, students are asked to restate the
description, explanation, or example in their own words. Third, students are requested
to construct a picture, symbol, or graphic representation of the term. In the step 4, the
instructor should engage students periodically in structured vocabulary discussions

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that help them add to their knowledge of the terms in their vocabulary notebooks. In
the step 5, he periodically asks students to return to their notebooks to discuss and
refine entries. Lastly, students should be involved in games that allow them to play
with terms. Garside (2017) mentioned 5 steps for teaching vocabulary which are
similar to Marzano (2004). The first step is to contextualize new words to aid
retention. He suggested inventing a story which includes the words one by one, and
telling the story in class, pausing as the teachers reach the target words. In the second
step, meaning should be presented before meaning. The presentation with gesture,
mime and pictures could be used to further fix the target concepts of these words,
next , the teacher create connection of newly taught words with similar words. Then
word families should be built. Finally, recycling new vocabulary regularly for
students retain what were taught is necessary. Although two frameworks above are
different from the description and numbers of steps, they have some common points.
Both researchers stimulated presenting vocabulary of pictures, maps and stories to
exemplify the target words. Besides, consolidation is needed to recall newly- taught
words and ensure the long- term vocabulary retention.
Some researchers adapted these frameworks on utilizing Mnemonics in
vocabulary teaching. For example, Zarei (2013) implemented teaching vocabulary
with Mnemonic Keyword Method with following steps: presented vocabulary, gave
useful examples of the keyword method stages and made memorable mental images
of the Persian keyword to the Persian definition of the English word, asked students
to use the supplied keywords or created their own keywords and mental images
and reviewed the vocabulary. Le (2016) taught vocabulary with acronyms (one
of MT) with five steps: identifying the new words to be learned, showing teacher’s
acronyms, encouraging learners to create groups’ acronyms in class, asking
learners to create individual’s acronyms and reviewing individual’s acronyms
before a new lesson.
In this study, procedures of teaching vocabulary with MT were built on the
models for vocabulary teaching given by Marzano, (2004) and Garside (2017)

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