THE DIFFERENCE OF ENGLISH VOCABULARY MASTERY BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS
(Descriptive Study at Fifth Grade Students in Ananda Islamic School)
STKIP Kusumanegara, Jakarta
STKIP Kusumanegara, Jakarta
STKIP Kusumanegara, Jakarta
The objective of the research was to find out English vocabulary mastery between boys and girls, including words size in production. This was a descriptive qualitative research. The data was taken from students’ writing product. The data analysis was conducted through collecting, reducing and displaying. The research finding showed that, 1) the girls are able to produce more words than the boys; and 2) the girls have more vocabularies amount than boys.
Keywords: vocabulary mastery, students’ writing, descriptive research
Language pervades social life. It is the principal vehicle for the transmission of cultural knowledge, and the primary means by which we gain access to the contents of others’ minds. With language people can share their idea and thought. Language consists of vocabularies or words that have crucial role in process communication.
Children vocabulary acquisition influenced by their culture, background and behavior. They often affect both quality and quantity of the language input children received. Of course, we realize that words convey meaning, and the mental lexicon is a store of word meanings and (presumably) word forms.
Brain has a role like dictionary. We store what we hear or see in our brain and our brain will keep all the vocabularies or words. Many people have perception that girls have wider vocabulary than boys, and the girls prefer to express their feeling, ideas, senses, experiences and memories in their speech, whereas the boys prefer to show their ideas, emotions, feeling by their action. Sure, it related with the difference between girls and boys brain.
- The Objective
This study conducted to know the different vocabularies of language acquisition between girls and boys students. How words were learned and arranged in the mind are the interesting areas for researchers. An understanding of how words are retained would help the teachers in improving the language of their students. This study observed some boy students and girl students in Primary 5 (five) in Ananda Islamic School, Kalideres West of Jakarta. Therefore the purpose of this research was we will know what are their talent and skill for further intelligence development.
This study would benefit to know the different English vocabulary size or English word production between boys and girls. By the finding we can prove that there is an influence of mental lexicon and human brain in the word production. Finally this study could serve as a basis for other researches in the development of acceptable, useful substantial and appropriate related research.
- Theoretical Framework
Language is productive in the sense that there is an infinite number of utterances made by connecting existing words in new ways (Crystal, 2005). Our language system is primarily made up of symbols. The relationship between the symbols that make up our language and their referents is arbitrary, which means they have no meaning until we assign it to them. In order to use a language system effectively, we have to learn over time, which symbols go with which referents, since we can’t just tell by looking at the symbol.
Aristotle stressed the semantic scope of human language endowed by the human mind. Again different with Chomsky’s view that human language is innate and universal, it’s to say that human beings are born with a set of rules in their heads about language which termed as universal grammar. Aristotle thought that human language is social and diverse. He regarded human language as a kind of man-made arbitrary symbol. The meaning of this symbol is not from the voice itself, but established by convention among human beings (Qiu, 2004). Language is consist of words, although words aren’t the only things we need to communicate. Vocabulary is the collection of words that an individual knows (Linse, 2005). With that collection of words people combining words and process until make it into sentences and production speaking for communication. Communication make peoples can deliver idea, thought, information and get feedback from listener or just share their experience for each other.
Vocabulary can be classified as receptive (words we understand when others use them) or productive (words we use ourselves). Vocabulary can also be classified as oral or written. Thus, each of us has four vocabularies: words that we understand when we hear them (receptive/oral), words than we can read (receptive/written), words that we use in our speech (productive/oral), and words that we use in our writing (productive/written). The four vocabularies overlap but are not the same, and the relationships among them change over time.
When a person knows a word, it means that, (a) the word is stored in the individual’s mind from where it can be retrieved when required; and (b) that the word is stored in a particular manner which enables the individual to not only recall it (that is to bring it out of storage) when necessary, but also to recognize and comprehend it during listening or reading and to produce it while speaking or writing. Both comprehension and production of language are complete processes involving an individual’s memory which contains mental lexicon
The mental lexicon is known as a mental dictionary which contains information about a word’s pronunciation, meaning, syntactic attributes, and so on (Jackendoff, 2002). In psycholinguistics, mental lexicon is a person’s internalized knowledge of the properties of words. Words in the mind are unlike book dictionaries. Mental dictionaries cannot be organized solely on the basis of sounds or spelling (Aitchison, 2003). The term mental lexicon, as “things, words and the brain”, has become an increasingly salient aspect of psycholinguistic research.
Most people have preferred way to learn. Learning style refers to a range of competing and contested theories that aim to account for differences in individuals learning (Coffield & David, 2004). How we can teach students if we do not know how they learn? And how we improve them if do not know how to enhance their learning? So, it’s important for teacher to know the learning style of the students. There is a strong intuitive appeal in the idea that teacher should pay attention to students’ learning style, in order to achieve learning goals easily. There are some learning style; visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic (Burke, 1979). Many adults learn well by auditory means, but children frequently need visual and kinesthetic leaning style that suit to students. It depends on their mental lexicon and also depend on their brain and their environment.
The human brain is an three-pound organ that controls all function of the body, interprets information from the outside world, and embodies the essence of the mind and soul (Hines, 2016). The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. It produces our every thought, action, memory, feeling and experience of the world. The brain receives information through our five senses: sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing – often many at one times. It assembles the message in a way that has meaning for us, and can store the information in our memory. Hines (2016) also said in general that the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for language and speech, it called the dominant hemisphere. The brain is composed of three parts; brainstem, cerebellum, and cerebrum. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and composed of right and left hemispheres. The cerebrum divideed into four lobes; frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital, and there is broca’s area in frontal lobe that function is to produce speech. So the people can produce vocabulary from this area of brain. Broca’s area is the motor speech area and it helps in movements required to produce speech. Wernicke’s area, which is located in the parietal and temporal lobe is the sensory area. It helps in understanding speech and using the correct words to express our thought.
Dr. Louann Brizendine provided the technical perspective on the obvious physical differences between the minds of men and women in her appropriately titled book, The Female Brain. She described how the different structures of the male and female brains and the makeup of our hormones work together to produce two very different perceptions of one’s environment and our interactions with others that we encounter within that environment. More than 99% of male and female genetic coding is exactly the same, but that 1% percentage difference influences every single cell in our bodies – from the nerves that register pleasure and pain to the neurons that transmit perception, thoughts, feelings, and emotions (Bridenzendine, 2006).
Here is a list of the differences between women & men brain that related to language based on research studies of the brain done up to now according Niu (2014),
- Social Context:Women are better at social thinking & interactions than men, while men are more abstract and task-orientated. This is why women are normally better at communication while men more often prefer relying on themselves to get things done.
- Emotions:Women typically have a larger limbic system than men, which makes them more in touch and expressive with their emotions. Women are usually more empathic and comprehensive in thinking, while men focus on exact issues and disregard impertinent information. Men have a difficult time understanding emotions not explicitly verbalized but can think more logically, while women have a more wholesome view of thinking & understanding but their emotions can sometimes influence decisions.
- Language:Women are more attuned to words and sounds and are normally better at learning languages. Two brain areas that deal with language are larger in girls, and girls process language in both hemispheres while boys favor single brain half. This is also why men tend to have a harder time expressing emotions verbally.
- Memory:Women generally have better memory than men. They have greater activity in the brain’s hippocampus, which is part of the brain that helps store memories. Studies have shown women are generally better at recalling words, names, faces, pictures, objects, and everyday events.
The human brain is also the most talented learning machine we know. So our culture and how we are taught to behave play a big role in shaping and reshaping our brains. If a boy is raised to “be a man,” then by the time he becomes an adult, his brain’s architecture and circuitry, already predisposed that way, are further contoured for “manhood (Brizendine, 2010).
Research methodology used a qualitative descriptive method as empirical and theoretical approaches. The data were collected through participants by using writing test and document study.
- RESULT AND DISCUSSION
The research result through writing test and document study show the difference of language acquisition between boys and girls. The girls are able to write and say more words than the boys. The girls have more vocabularies amount than the boys. The girls can compose more sentences appropriately than the boys. The research prove for all students who were given for 30 minutes to write their activities in the spare time that the girl students are able to write from 143 words to 179 words in the same theme of story and at the same time, whereas the boy students only could write 36 words to 64 words.
Based on the result, we can realize that there is a difference language acquisition and the number of vocabularies that produced by the boys and girls. The girls use left brain hemisphere which is a central language in our brain, as naturally the girls can produce more variable words than the boys. The girls have more vocabularies amount than the boys. The girls like to talk many things such as gossip, their duty, hobbies, lessons, homework and so on that are influenced with their experience. The boys use their right hemisphere that is influenced by hobbies and preferences which make them to show more their abilities than speak. Boys are twice as likely to have a language or reading problem and three to four times more likely to stutter. Girls do better on tests of verbal memory, spelling and verbal fluency. On average, girls utter two to three times more words per day than boys and even speak faster—twice as many words per minute. Even more convincing, females have at least 20% more neurons than males in the brain’s broca area (where we produce language), and they have as much as 18% more volume in the wernicke area (where we interpret language). There is a lot of evidence that girls’ brains give them a verbal advantage, likewise the data showing that boys’ brains favor spatial skills that make it easier for them to visualize three-dimensional objects from different angles. So, based on this research we know the different vocabularies acquisition between boys and girls that the girls have more variable words than boys.
Based on the findings and discussion of research, it can be formulated some conclusions of the difference English vocabulary mastery between boys and girls that influenced by the different part of brain function between them. Broca’s and Wernicke’s area are the part of brain which have a role in language. Comprehension and production of language are complete processes involving an individual’s memory which contains mental lexicon. The girls use the left brain hemisphere as the language centre which makes them to speak a lot of words that come from their experience lives, whereas the boys use the right brain hemisphere as a talent development which make them more likely to show their action than speak up the language. Girls are therefore thought to be slightly more intuitive, and sometimes better communicators. Boys are often less socially adept, and more task oriented thinkers than girls because two brain areas that deal with language are larger in girls. Because of the differences teacher should understand students learning style.
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