Exploring Primary School Students’ Morphological Awareness in Thailand

Apisak Sukying, Rangsawoot Matwangsaeng


Understanding how words are formed is a crucial component of learning new words. A child’s ability to manipulate the morphological elements of words is related to their subsequent vocabulary development. Morphological awareness can also enhance learning new syntactic and semantic properties of morphologically complex words to meet the demands of language production. However, there is a dearth of research on how receptive-productive morphological awareness is acquired, especially in an EFL context. This study used a quantitative design to explore the nature of morphological awareness in 104 Thai primary school students and to investigate the relationships between receptive-productive morphological awareness and vocabulary knowledge. All participants were given six measures of morphological awareness and two vocabulary knowledge tasks. The results revealed the close relationship between the students’ morphological awareness and vocabulary knowledge, both receptively and productively. The results also indicated that Thai primary school students’ morphological awareness grows gradually along the receptive and productive continuum and that morphological knowledge is learned at varying rates and improves with learners’ increased education levels. Indeed, all aspects of morphological awareness contributed to receptive and productive vocabulary knowledge. Overall, the current study highlighted the importance of the word family construct for teaching and learning morphologically complex words. It was also shown that morphological awareness is a crucial mechanism for vocabulary acquisition and growth and a facilitative scaffold for forming morphologically complex words.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v12n6p388

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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