Using the Expanded Keyword Method to Help K-12 Students Develop Vocabulary Knowledge
Shaman, Suda Nasser
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This exploratory case study aimed to examine students' ability to implement the Expanded Keyword Method (EKWM) to help them learn vocabulary. EKWM works in two steps: 1) finding a rhyming word with the word to be learned; 2) connecting the rhyming word with the word to be learned through drawing a picture, writing a poem, singing a song, or acting out the meaning. This study also purposed to explore participants' ways of generalizing the method into learning different content vocabulary. Two ninth grade classes were taught English vocabulary with the EKWM and then were asked to collaboratively create their own in class. After that, they were asked to apply the technique outside English class; then some interviews were conducted with some of the students to get more information about their experience with the technique. Results showed that participants had the ability to create their own EKWM, and they generalized the method into learning a variety of content vocabulary in Math, Food and Nutrition, and Chemistry as well as foreign language vocabulary in Spanish and French. Further, the method showed positive effects on students' engagement and it promoted their creativity. Results from this exploratory study suggest that the EKWM should be used to help students develop their vocabulary knowledge in a way that suits their different intelligences and promotes engagement, critical thinking, and creativity.