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Implicit Vocabulary Acquisition in Project-Based Learning with iPad Technology

Nasser, Oumayma
A Master of Arts thesis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) by Oumayma Nasser entitled, "Implicit Vocabulary Acquisition in Project-Based Learning with iPad Technology," submitted June 2015. Thesis advisor is Dr. Khawlah Ahmed. Soft and hard copy available.
This study aims to investigate the pedagogical impact of extensive reading and listening in project-based learning on the implicit acquisition of vocabulary. The study involved twenty-seven female ESL student participants in two pre-intermediate classes in an Academic Bridge Program at a higher education institution in the UAE. In this study, the participants were required to use their iPads to research and present an iMovie or a digital book about the project's general focus, which was How to Design a Specific Space. A quantitative analysis of the participants' written essays, using Laufer and Nation's Lexical Frequency Profiler, explored if there were any differences in the level and sophistication of the vocabulary between essays written pre-project and essays written post-project, using the same prompts. The results revealed that extensive reading and listening throughout the project helped the participants implicitly acquire new word families and word types that belong to West's (1953) first one-thousand most common words in the English language (K1). In addition, there was a decrease in the total number of words belonging to the K1 category, as well as an increase in the total number of words that belong to Coxhead's (2000) Academic Word List (AWL) in the post-project essays. A survey examined the participants' perspectives on the different aspects of the project. This survey showed that the majority of the participants felt that they improved their English, enjoyed working on the project, and enjoyed using their iPads to create the final product.
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