Exploring Vocabulary Knowledge as a Strategy to Enhance English First Additional Language in the Post Covid -19 Era

Siphokazi NgqeleniORCID iD  & Nomasomi Hilda Matiso ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.3  No.11 October 2022 Post COVID-19 Special Issue  Article 8 pp.104-115
DOI: https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.2022sp3119 |   Published online 31st October 2022.
© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


This paper investigated how vocabulary knowledge is an essential variable for academic achievement during the post-COVID-19 era in Grade 10 learners. Among many variables of poor performance in Grade 10 is inadequate vocabulary in First Additional Language. This paper is underpinned by Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory which advocates that language learning occurs through interaction with more knowledgeable others. The present study is quantitative, in which a vocabulary size test (VST) and a productive vocabulary test (PVLT) were administered to 84 conveniently selected participants. This paper revealed that learners have very limited vocabulary knowledge and this affects academic achievement. In addition, COVID- 19 worsened the situation since social interactions were limited, thereby impeding language development. The authors argue that in order for post-COVID-19 learners to cope in the academic world, strengthening vocabulary knowledge is key to equipping these learners with the required skills to cope with virtual learning. Some of the essential skills for learners to learn online include reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. These skills would assist learners in communicating their needs, discussing solutions and expressing themselves when the need arises. This paper recommends using explicit vocabulary instruction to improve learners’ academic achievement in the post-COVID-19 era. The Department of Basic Education should train teachers on how to design fun vocabulary activities online. For instance, quizzes, the Frayer model and other virtual word activities.

Keywords: Academic achievement, Explicit vocabulary instruction, Rich language contexts, Post-COVID-19, Vocabulary knowledge

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Siphokazi Ngqeleni is a Master of Education student at Walter Sisulu University in South Africa. Her research focuses on English Learning and teaching methods, Vocabulary learning and acquisition, Vocabulary teaching and learning strategies, Language learning and communicative skills and First Additional Language learning environment.

Nomasomi Hilda Matiso is currently a lecturer at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, South Africa. She holds a Master’s degree in Contemporary English Studies from the same institution. Her research focuses on the implementation of the Text-based Approach, alongside Communicative Language Teaching in English First Additional Language/ English Second Language classrooms to achieve language competence.

Ngqeleni S.& Matiso N.H. “Exploring Vocabulary Knowledge as a Strategy to Enhance English First Additional Language in the Post Covid -19 Era,” E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 3, no.11 (2022):104-115.  https://doi.org/10.38159/ehass.2022sp3119

© 2022 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).