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Examining EFL Teachers’ Perceptions and their Classroom Practices in Teaching Vocabulary to Young Learners Using Various Instructional Strategies: The case of Selected Primary school Teachers in the Dawro Zone, Tercha Town, and its Surroundings

Woldemariam Bezabih Bedilu, Hailu Wubshet Degefu


Vocabulary is an integral part of language, and EFL teachers are responsible for bringing what is new into the ELT classroom; their opinion in practice becomes a critical issue. Therefore, this study focused on the perceptions and teaching practices of EFL teachers when teaching Vocabulary to Young Learners (TVYLs) in Ethiopia, the South-Western Regional State (SWRS), Dawro Zone, Tercha Town, and its surroundings. To conduct the study, a descriptive survey research design was employed. A total of thirty EFL teachers of junior, intermediate, and senior levels, based on their experience, participated in the study through stratified sampling techniques. The study was complemented by an embedded mixed-method using data collection tools (classroom observation, questionnaires, and interviews): four teachers were observed three times, and generally, twelve lessons were observed. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with those teachers. The collected data were analysed both quantitatively using narration and qualitatively. The data analysed revealed individual differences in teachers' theoretical perceptions of TVYLs and their teaching practices. Teachers' perceptions indicated that they knew about the importance of TVYLs. However, these stated perceptions were not consistent with their teaching practices in the classroom. The most commonly used vocabulary teaching techniques were the use of verbal explanations, word definitions, translations, oral questions and answers. Finally, recommendations to minimize the problems and maximize the effective practice of TVYLs were made based on the key findings that continuous professional development programs need to be developed for primary school teachers to teach vocabulary.


perceptions, practices, vocabulary, strategies, techniques, young learners

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