Memorization versus Semantic Mapping in L2 Vocabulary Acquisition by Khoii and Sharififar – Article Example

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The paper “ Memorization versus Semantic Mapping in L2 Vocabulary Acquisition by Khoii and Sharififar” is an affecting variant of an article on education. Many researchers have been interested in identifying the best strategy to foster learning or vocabulary acquisition among students at different levels of education. This interest has sparked debates on the efficacy of different cognitive strategies in fostering learning. According to Ausbel (2006, 37), learning can occur either through memorizing or recognition. The emphasis on meaningful learning has led to the belief that cognitive approaches should foster deeper learning and ability to interconnect ideas.

This method has been acclaimed to be the best since it fosters deeper learning and develops critical thinking abilities. Consequently, cognitive strategies such as rote memorization have been constantly been criticized as a less effective method. This paper analyzes a research conducted to determine whether semantic mapping strategies lead to better learning performance compared to rote memorization. The discussion begins with a look at the research problem and later evaluates the perspectives or approaches that have been used to address the problem. Additionally, it reviews the research findings, evidence, and assumptions. Research Problem Memorization versus semantic mapping in L2 vocabulary acquisition by Khoii and Sharififar is a research article that seeks to investigate the alleged superiority of semantic mapping over rote memorizations.

The authors argue that rote memorization has been unfairly judged to be a lesser effective approach to improving vocabulary compared to semantic mapping yet their findings do not seem to support this popular point of view. The authors begin their study by pointing clearly stating out their position on the matter. This approach indirectly informs the reader what the research problem might be.

However, immediately after the introduction statement the authors begin to explain how their research finding imply that the popular semantic approach might be an overhyped strategy that lacks sufficient evidence to indicate major differences in effectiveness as compared to rote memorization. The driving force behind this research is the need to factually demonstrate that rote memorization is as good an approach as semantic mapping. The researchers provide evidence that the difference between the two strategies is too minimal to claim one approach is better than the other.

Despite the clarity of their goal, the researchers do not provide sufficient information that demonstrates why semantic mapping has been said to be better than rote memorization. They merely point out the other studies have demonstrated the semantic mapping to be a better approach. This lack of clear background on the issue makes it difficult for the reader to comprehend the importance of the research. Its absence fails to place the issue into a larger context and provide reasons why the issue has not been solved. The lack of emphasis on some of the reasons of why rote memorization has been unfairly criticized fails to bring out the issues driving the research.

Despite these gaps, the authors have managed to ensure the research problem remains at the center of their work. They have done this ensuring that in each section. The reader is continually reminded of the issue. In addition, their conclusions indicate that the difference between semantic mapping strategies and rote memorization was minimal in relation to improving a learner’ s vocabulary.



Ausubel, DP & Ausubel, DP 2006, The acquisition and retention of knowledge: a cognitive view, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.

Gibbons, C 2007, Determination of power, and sample size for Levene's test, Masters Abstracts International. 46-04. Thesis (M.S.)--the University of Colorado at Boulder, 2007.

Gewertz, C 2015, "Is Rote Memorization Necessarily Bad? - Curriculum Matters - Education Week," Education Week - Curriculum Matters. Accessed April 1, 2015.

Svenconis, J & Stephen K 2013, "Investigating the teaching of second-language vocabulary through semantic mapping in a hypertext environment” Calico Journal vol. 12, no. 2 pp 33-57.

Thompson, SK 2012, Sampling, Wiley, Hoboken, N.J.

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