Teaching Vocabulary in Chinese Universities: What and How?

  •  Liang Li    
  •  Xuan Zhang    


One of the major tasks of tertiary English teachers is to enlarge the students’ vocabulary size; therefore, it is necessary for the teachers to explore the answers to two major questions concerning vocabulary instruction. What vocabulary should we focus on? And how can we teach vocabulary in the classroom? In order to answer these two questions, this essay reviews the previous western research in the area. By so doing it divides English vocabulary into four groups - high frequency words, academic vocabulary, technical vocabulary and low frequency words - and points out the favorable learning sequence and different focuses. It also provides the teachers with a series of vocabulary learning methodologies as well as the underlined theories.

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