The Effect of Semantic and Thematic Clustering of Words on Iranians Vocabulary Learning
Forough Mirjalili, Ali Akbar Jabbari, Mohammad Javad Rezai

Finding an effective method for vocabulary learning has always preoccupied curriculum developers in general and language teachers in particular. The present study attempts to examine the effects of semantic, thematic and unrelated clustering of words as well as the effects of two instructional approaches, i.e. isolation and context on vocabulary learning. The subjects of the study constituted 90 learners in three proficiency levels, i.e. elementary (1), pre-intermediate (2) and intermediate (3). Each cluster was presented in both isolation and context. Tests were given immediately after each exposure. A three-way ANOVA was used to analyze the data inferentially. The results demonstrated that when the words were presented to the subjects in isolation, they generally recalled the highest number of words from the unrelated set whereas they could recall the highest number of words from the thematic clustering in context. Additionally, the effect of proficiency level did not turn out to be significant.

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