English vocabulary acquisition from the classroom and extramural English : a study of learners in Ghanaian public and private primary schools
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Using PPVT-4 (Dunn & Dunn, 2007, this study assesses and compares the receptive English vocabulary performance of 80 Ghanaian 5th-grade (primary 5) English language learners (10 to 13 years old), and explain such performance in terms of the amount of explicit and/or implicit English vocabulary input they receive in the classroom, identified to be associated with effective and efficient English vocabulary learning (Hunt & Beglar, 2005) as well as the amount of English they encounter from out-of-school English-mediated activities(e.g. playing games, surfing the internet, reading, watching English TV programmes etc.) which are also said to be beneficial to English vocabulary development (Sundqvist,2009). Results of the study show that a statistically significant difference exists between the public and private 5th-graders on receptive English vocabulary performance and that such difference is in favour of the private school pupils who receive a higher amount of explicit and implicit English vocabulary instruction in the classroom, and also have a higher amount of English language exposure from extramural English activities. The study identifies factors, other than the quantity of input in and out of the classroom, that may influence English language teaching and learning in these classrooms and based on that, recommendations are made on how English language teaching and learning can be improved in Ghanaian primary schools with a focus on improving English vocabulary acquisition identified to be important in successful L2 acquisition.