1.5.2 The word meaning: Knowing the word’s meaning means linking form and meaning, concepts and referents, and associations. As we know that learning the meaning of a word is related to knowing its form, and vice versa. Daulton (1998) points out that:”the same form in the target language and first language makes learning the word meanings burden light.” For instance, English has loan words from Arabic, so this would make it easier for Arab learners to grasp some English words, for example, the word to acclimatize in English that means making something look familiar which is in Arabic ?????.Concerning knowing concepts and referents, this means that the word’s meaning change and differ from one context to another.
In addition, Richards (1976:81) claims that “words do not exist in isolation” this explains knowing the word’s associations i.e.: a word is always connected or associated to other words in our minds, for instance:Hospital: patients, blood, doctors.Airport: planes, tourists, passportRestaurant: waiter, waitress, menu, dishes, table1.5.3The word use: The ability to use a word means being aware of:1- The grammatical functions that include knowing word classes and different parts of speech (Receptive Knowledge), and being able to put up these patterns appropriately with each other for later use. 2- Word constraints on use that consists of register which represent the stylistic constraint that makes a word more or less adequate to use, accordingly to the context of formality and informality. Besides, words’ frequency, which is divided into high frequency words (the words that are used and encountered regularly and repeatedly, and are easy to use) ,and low frequency words (words that are used in specific disciplines and fields, such as medicines, aviation, marine, law…etc).
3- Collocations that means when two or more words occur arbitrarily in a specific context, for instance: blood pressure, make a decision, commit suicide, get used to, good at…etc1.6 Defining a textbook A textbook is a printed and bound artifact for each year or course of study (Encyclopedia of Education, 2008b). They are, in fact, usually specially made by a corporation to follow a set standard curriculum for a school system or larger organization, such as a province (Encyclopedia of Education, 2008b). We can understand from the quotations above that a textbook is a manuscript which is designed for a specific study year, by a group of experts and specialists, and consists of a set of lessons and information about the subject to be taught or learnt. Furthermore Allwright (198l) suggests as a definition to the term textbook: “We generally think of textbooks as providers of input into classroom the classroom lessons in the form of texts, activities, explanations, and so on.
” This means that textbooks are considered to be the only authentic materials found inside the classroom, which teachers and learners see as the only source of instruction and information to both teaching and learning. 1.7 EFL at the Middle school: Although English language is not of a very important role in the Algerian society, since it is not traced back to any historical period, and people do not use it as a communication tool in their environment, it (English) is considered to be the second foreign language in Algeria after French. As it is stated by Hayenne (1989 :43): “In spite of all these challenges encountered by the English language, the Algerian political and educational authorities have managed to undertake the rehabilitation of the status of this language. Because of the technical and economic exchanges all over the world, English is now occupying a better position in the Algerian educational system. Hence, most of the Algerian students and even their parents are becoming more conscious of its importance as an international language ‘par excellence ‘.
” Therefore, the reforms made on the Algerian Educational system, put a great emphasis on EFL, and gave it an exceptional position, as it is regarded the most common spoken language in the world. Hence, English language is obligatory taught at the middle school for all the four years, with a less important coefficient in comparison to other modules. English is taught 3 times a week, with a specialized English teacher. And three exams are done in each semester (two tests, and one exam), i.e.: six tests and three exams per year. The aim behind teaching EFL at middle schools in Algeria was changed as well.
Middle school pupils are not any more in need of learning basic English (structures and vocabulary), nor for getting grades only, but rather learning the language for the sake of being prepared to express themselves in real life situations by producing a set of oral and written messages that help him to communicate, and to integrate with the others in and out of their society. 1.8 The Algerian Educational System: In all over the world, change is a preliminary step for the sake of improving the sectors that help raising future generations, as well as the educational sector. Thus, from 1962, many evolutions, and reforms were brought and made on the Algerian Educational System according to the most adequate and developed teaching approaches and methods in the world. Starting with the Grammar Translation Approach that was adopted from the already made syllabi during the French Colonization. The Audio Lingual Approach that was not so fruitful, since learners were just drilling, imitating, and not enough prepared for real communicational situations. For this reason, the Communicative Approach was brought into application, in order to remedy previous approaches’ shortcomings. Yet, not enough materials and tools were available, to work with this approach.
Later on, the teaching with objectives was substituted by the Competency Based Approaches which was adopted to teach foreign language that is English language in Algeria. These reforms have not covered only the teaching approaches, but the academic year distribution as well. A shift from the fundamental school of nine years to two educational phases, the primary phase , which includes five years of study, and the middle school phase of four years of study, with a final exam at the end of both phases.
After these two phases, the learners move to the secondary school for three other years, ending with sitting for the baccalaureate exam.1.9 Second Generation Reforms: The latest reforms made on the Algerian Educational System were set under the name Second Generation Reforms, and were brought into application on 2015, at the primary stage, and the middle school stage as well. New textbooks has been introduced, and CBA approach has been adopted in order to teach, to help learners meet their educational goals, and to prepare them to communicate competently in real life situations. Therefore, 2nd generation reforms do not pay attention only to the input inside the classroom but rather aim at making good communicators outside the classroom as well, and this is shown through the various activities presented within the new textbooks, which deal with different situations that support both students’ competency and learning. 1.10 Background Study: As we know that vocabulary learning and teaching is a vital subject matter, and a main subject of interest to researchers from all over the universe. There still no inclusive researches done on the Aspects of Vocabulary Knowledge available in EFL textbooks, and too little attention was pay examining EFL textbooks in terms of the available vocabulary knowledge.
A study entitled “What Aspects of Vocabulary Knowledge do textbooks give attention to?” was done by Dale Brown, in Japan university, in which he intended to analyze the aspects of vocabulary available in nine different English textbooks. The nine textbooks were selected randomly without any purposeful reasons, from different levels: beginners, intermediate, and pre-intermediate, and an odd number of units was selected to being examined via content analysis. This study’s findings show that the sampled textbooks pay attention mostly to form and meaning, then the grammatical functions, and at last the spoken form. While the other six aspects: written form, word parts, concepts and referents, collocations, associations, and constraints and use, receive less attention, with few activities to teach them.These results suggest that both teachers should be aware of these aspects, to ensure an opportunity for the learners to learn about the different vocabulary aspects. Therefore, trying to overcome the bias concerning the distribution of these aspects.
The second study, entitled “Vocabulary Knowledge Dimensions in EFL Textbooks”, was done by Susan Fernandez Orio, in Dela Rioja University.This study aimed to identify vocabulary knowledge dimensions in two EFL textbooks used at the last year of Spanish Compulsory Education: Challenge for ESO4 (End of Educational Stage), and Switch4, trying to draw a comparison between both textbooks in terms of vocabulary involved in their activities based on Jimenez Catalan’s classification of vocabulary knowledge, and content analysis.The study’s results show a high degree of similarity between both textbooks in regard to the semantic, syntactic, conceptual and referential meaning of words. Yet, there was also some slight differences in activities’ numbers and range, even though both are for the same course level.1.11 Conclusion In this chapter, I dealt with several clarifications of the terms related to the topic being investigated Aspects of Vocabulary Knowledge in Second Generation English Textbooks, by providing a definition to the most important key terms, vocabulary, and textbook.
Then, I have tackled the types of vocabulary, the different aspects of vocabulary knowledge from Nation’s perspective, as well as the importance of learning vocabulary. Furthermore, I have also introduced an overview to the Algerian Educational system, and the major basic reforms made on it. At the end of the chapter, a brief introduction to the second generation reforms, and the related literature. In the next chapter, I will examine the available aspects of vocabulary knowledge in second generation English textbook “Year one”. The gathered data will be analyzed, and the available hypotheses will be confirmed or rejected.