English lecturers’ beliefs and practices in vocabulary learning

Alpino Susanto, Yunisa Oktavia, Sri Yuliani, Pipit Rahayu, Haryati Haryati, Tegor Tegor


Vocabulary has an important role in language learning at the college level, but in teaching practice, various obstacles are experienced by lecturers in implementing effective vocabulary learning. This study took place in Batam, Indonesia, and aims to investigate the English lecturers’ beliefs and practices in vocabulary learning; the phenomena of how they negotiate their teaching practices and what determines their choice of teaching methods when it comes to vocabulary learning. Five English lecturers from different universities were interviewed. The results of the interview were transcribed and analyzed based on the themes that appeared from data. The results showed that a requirement for practicality in class, curriculum, student atmosphere, and lecturers’ confidence in applying the right methods have effects on vocabulary learning. Lecturers have combined vocabulary learning with reading, writing, listening, and speaking in class. The main reference of a coursebook as the main guidance of the vocabulary learning varied between one class and another. All lecturers stated that they should find their own way to adopt external sources such as songs, vocabulary learning programs, and games to combine with their coursebook to beneficially meet the students’ preference. The new technology of teaching and learning is now part of classroom activities. Henceforth, this study concludes that the lecturers’ beliefs in the vocabulary learning approach are important. In practice, the lecturers need to combine them with various methods as the class situation do not always count on academic interests.


vocabulary learning; lecturers’ beliefs; lecturers’ practices; contextual factors

Full Text:



Alemi, M., & Tavakoli, E. (2015). Audio lingual method [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Applied Research in Language Studies. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Maedeh_Alemi/publication/293731529_Audio_Lingual_Method/links/59c643de458515548f3268ec/Audio-Lingual-Method.pdf

Barnard, R., Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (2002). Approaches and methods in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 36(24), 636-638.

Bateman, B. E. (2008). Student teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about using the target language in the classroom. Foreign Language Annals, 41(1), 11-28.

Bernat, E., & Gvozdenko, I. (2005). Beliefs about language learning: Current knowledge, pedagogical implications, and new research directions. TESL-EJ, 9(1), 1-21.

Cahyono, B. Y. (2009). The teaching of EFL listening in the Indonesian context: The state of the art. TEFLIN Journal, 20(2), 1-17.

Cahyono, B. Y., & Widiyati, U. (2008). The teaching of EFL vocabulary in the Indonesian context: The state of the art. TEFLIN Journal, 19(1), 1-17.

Cameron, L. (2002). Teaching languages to young learners. Cambridge University Press.

Cazden, C. (2001). Classroom discourse: The language of teaching and learning (2nd edition). Heinemann.

Decarrico, S. J. (2001). Vocabulary Learning and Teaching. In M. C. Murcia (Ed.), Teaching English as second or foreign language (3rd edition, pp. 284–299). Heinle & Heinle Thomson Learning.

Dörnyei, Z. (1998). Motivation in second and foreign language learning. Language Teaching, 31(3), 117-135.

Dörnyei, Z., & Griffee, D. T. (2010). Research methods in applied linguistics. TESOL Journal, 1(1), 181-183.

Ellis, R. (2001). Introduction: Investigating form-focused instruction. Language Learning, 51(s1), 1-46.

Gubrium, J., & Holstein, J. (2002). Handbook of interview research. Sage.

Hall, G. (2013). This house believes that published course materials don’t reflect the lives or needs of learners. http://oupeltglobalblog.com/2013/04/05/this-house-believes-that-published-course-materials-dont-reflect-the-lives-or-needs-of-learners/#comments

Kothari, C. R. (2004). Research methodology: Methods and techniques (2nd edition). New Age International Publishers.

Kuzborska, I. (2011). Links between teachers’ beliefs and practices and research on reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 23(1), 101-128.

Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2013). How languages are learned (4th edition). Oxford University Press.

Lin, H-J., & Warden, C. A. (1998). Different attitudes among Non-English major EFL students. The Internet TESL Journal, IV(10). http://iteslj.org/Articles/Warden-Difference/

Littlejohn, A. (2011). The analysis of language teaching materials: Inside the Trojan Horse. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Materials development in language teaching (2nd edition) (pp. 179-211). Cambridge University Press.

Liu, J. (2016). Role of Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) in Chinese undergraduate students’ comprehension of textbooks. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 7(2), 364-369.

Lundahl, B. (2014). Texts, topics and tasks: Teaching English in years 4-6. Malmö University Electronic Publishing.

Meara, P. (2005). Teaching and learning vocabulary. In J. A. Coleman, & J. Klapper (Eds.), Effective learning and teaching in modern languages (pp. 75-79). Routledge.

Meyer, L. L. (2002). Reviewed work: Vocabulary in language teaching by Norbert Schmitt. TESOL Quarterly, 36(2), 235-236.

Musset, P., Pont, B., Benavides, F., & Pons, A. (2012). Equity and quality in education: Supporting disadvantaged students and schools. OECD.

Nation, P. (2012). Learning vocabulary in another language (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press.

Nation, P., & Waring, R. (1997). Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists. In N. Schmitt, & M. Michael (Eds.), Vocabulary: Description, acquisition and pedagogy (pp. 6–19). Cambridge University Press.

Nordlund, M., & Norberg, C. (2020). Vocabulary in EFL teaching materials for young learners. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 89-116.

Novianti, R. R. (2017). A study of Indonesian university students’ vocabulary mastery with vocabulary level test. Global Journal of Foreign Language Teaching (GJFLT), 6(4), 187-195.

Phipps, S., & Borg, S. (2009). Exploring tensions between teachers’ grammar teaching beliefs and practices. System, 37, 380-390.

Schmitt N. (2007) Current perspectives on vocabulary teaching and learning. In J. Cummins, & C. Davison (Eds.), International handbook of English language teaching (pp. 827-841). Springer.

Shahjahan, M., Shameem, T., & Thörnryd, V. (2013). Interlanguage. Journal of Language and Literature, 4(2), 97-100.

Shuell, T. J. (2001). Teaching and learning in the classroom. In N. J. Smelser, & P. B. Baltes (Eds.), International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences (pp. 15468-15472). Elsevier.

Sugiyono. (2016). Metodologi penelitian kuantitatif, kualitatif, dan R&D [Quantitative, qualitative, and R&D research methodologies]. Alfabeta.

Susanto, A. (2017). Assessing the relationship between Vocabulary Level Test (VLT) and reading comprehension. Studies in English Language and Education, 4(2), 157-171.

Susanto, A., Halim, F. A., & Nuwrun, S. (2019a). Vocabulary learning strategies, vocabulary skills, and integrative motivation levels among university students. International Journal of Engineering and Advanced Technology, 8(5), 323-334.

Susanto, A., Salleh, B. M., & Halim, F. A. (2019b). The perception of lectures and working students toward English proficiency [Paper presentation]. Proceedings of the 1st Sampoerna University-AFBE International Conference (SU-AFBE 2018), Jakarta, Indonesia.

Xu, L. (2012). The role of teachers’ beliefs in the language teaching-learning process. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(7), 1397-1402.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24815/siele.v7i2.16970

Article Metrics

Abstract view : 0 times
PDF - 0 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

View Journal Stats