The Effect of Using a Learning JOURNAL in Teaching Semantics on the Tertiary Level Juniors’ Achievements*

Ghayda Ali Muhammad

University of Zakho

M.A. in Linguistics/Cross-cultural Pragmatics

Higher Dip. (M.A.) in Translation



This research-paper was dedicated to investigate the effects of using a largely learner-centered approach (namely a learning JOURNAL) to teach semantics to tertiary level juniors.

An experiment was designed to involve the junior-learners at the Department of English-School of Languages-faculty of Humanities-University of Zakho as a research-sample during the academic-year 2014-2015.

The experimental design was based on dividing the research–sample into 2 groups; (experimental group) and (control group). The same approach in instruction was almost wholly used with both groups except that the experimental group learners, after every assignment’s representation made in the classroom, were asked to write down, whatever ideas elicited from the presentation, in a journal technically called by the study as a Learning JOURNAL. One of the aims of the study was to find out if the learners could develop learner-led syllabus by means of writing in the presumed Learning JOURNA, as well as to find out whether using such a JOURNAL would have an effect on the learners’ achievements in both, the formal tests and the summative tests. Then, in order to measure, on part of the learners, the benefits, the said approach in teaching semantics, a questionnaire was designed to get feedback from the learners.

Finally, the study arrived at a variety of findings, which all mostly poured to the benefit of using the Learning JOURNAL as a tool in teaching, whether in the learners’ achievements or in the instruction process; all manifested by improvement in the achievements of the experimental group and its members’ ability to develop a learner-led syllabus to be sued as major reference in reviews for examination.   

Download PDF File

DOI : 10.21928/juhd.20170610.37



- Adamson H. D. (2009) Interlanguage Variation in Theoretical and Pedagogical Perspective. UK Routledge

- Aiian, K. (1986) LINGUISTICS MEANING 2 Volumes. London & New York Routledge & Kegan Paul

- Branden, K. Van den (2006) Task-based Language Education: From theory to practice. UK Cambridge University Press

- Campbell, J. K. & Share, O 'Pourke D. (2002) Meaning and Truth. New York Seven Bridge Press

- Chappelen, H. & Lepore, E. (2007) Language Turned on Itself. New York Cambridge University Press

- Cook, V. (2008) Second Language Learning and Teaching. London Hodder Education

- Cowie A. P. (2009) Semantics UK Oxford University Press

- Cruse, A. (2006) A Glossary of Semantics and Pragmatics. UK Edinburgh University press Ltd.

- Fromkin, V. & Rodman, R. & Hyams, N. (2003) AN INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE. USA THOMSON 

- Geeraerts, D. (2010) Theories of Lexical Semantics. UK Oxford University Press.

- Goddard, C. (2007) Semantic Analysis: A Practical Introduction UK Oxford University Press

- Griffiths, P. (2006) An Introduction to English Semantics and Pragmatics. UK Edinburgh University Press

- Harmer, J. (2012) The Practice of English language Teaching. Pearson/ Longman UK

- Hedge, T. (2003) Teaching and Learning in the Language Classroom. Oxford Oxford University Press

- Hughes, A. (2003) Testing for Language Teachers. UK Cambridge University Press

- Hurford, J. & Heasley, B. (1996) SEMANTICS: a Course-book. USA Cambridge University Press

- Lyons, John (1996) LINGUISTICS SEMANTICS: An Introduction. USA/ Australia Cambridge University Press

- Johnson, K. & Johnson, H. (1996) Encyclopedic Dictionary of APPLIED LINGUISTICS. UK/USA Blackwell Publishers

- Kearns, Kate (2011) Semantics. UK Macmillan.

- Kumaravadivelu, B (2012) Language Teacher Education for Global Society. USA/UK Routledge

- Light, T. P. & Chen, H. L. & Ittelson, J. C. (2012) Documenting Learning with ePortfolios USA JOSSEY-BASS

- Lobner, S. (2002) Understanding Semantics London

- LoCastro, V. (2012) Pragmatic for Language Educators New York/ UK Routledge

- Mathews, P. H. (2007) Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. Oxford Oxford University Press

- Nunan, D. & Bailey, K. I. (2009) Exploring Second Language Classroom Research. Canada HEINILE    

- Richard, C. J. & Schmidt, R. (2002) Dictionary of Language teaching & Applied Linguistics. London Longman

- Richards, J. C. & Farrell, T. S. (2012) Professional Development for Language Teachers UK Cambridge University Press

- Rose, K. & Kasper, G. (2001) Pragmatics in Language Teaching. Cambridge. UK

- Reynolds, C. R. & Livingston, R. B. & Willson, V. (2005) Measurement and Assessment in Education USA Pearson Education

- Scrivener, J. (2012) Learning Teaching. UK Macmillan Books

- Senior, R. M. (2006) The Experience of Language Teaching. UK Cambridge University Press

- Spolsky, B. & Hult, F. M. (ed-2008) The Handbook of Educational Linguistics. USA/Australia Blackwell Publishing

- Spolsky, B. (ed-1999) Concise Encyclopedia of Educational Linguistics. Oxford. UK Elesevier Science Ltd.

- Ungerer, F. & Schmid, H-J. (2006) AN INTRODUCTION TO COGNITIVE LINGUISTICS UK Pearson-Longman

- Van den Brandon, Kris (ed-2006) Task-Based Education. USA/UK Cambridge University Press

- Widdowson, H. G. (2003) Defining Issues in Language Teaching. Oxford USA Oxford University

- White, V. R. (1999) The ELT Curriculum: Design, Innovation and Management. Oxford UK & Cambridge USA BLACKWELL