Maria Paradia: An attempt to modernise vocabulary teaching through the use of a user-oriented web-based learning management system

Abstract

According to research in applied linguistics students approach and negotiate language learning through a series of specific activities, both technical and procedural, which are known as learning strategies. It is obvious that these strategies are strongly related to their learning style. At the same time  the prevailing scholarly view places great emphasis on vocabulary, which is now considered to be one of the fundamental areas of language. The recognition of the importance of vocabulary means that improving its teaching methods is essential. Bearing in mind the fact that the number of words that students must learn is in reverse proportion to the available teaching time, it is necessary to seek more effective methods for teaching vocabulary. The use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) now appears to be a promising solution. This study describes the structure of one such web-based system and proposes ways of using it that respond to individual learner characteristics . Its design enables it to predict the personal preferences, abilities and needs of each learner and to adapt the learning material on offer appropriately. It can evaluate learners’ performance and, finally, guide them with the goal of their continuous improvement; such aims are very difficult to achieve through the grammar-translation method of language teaching.