An English renowned linguist Wilkins said: "without grammar, tiny can be conveyed; without vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed". It can be seen that as one of the three basic language units (pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar), vocabulary plays an foremost role.
It is about the meanings of words and how the words are used. In the process of learning English, the most difficult issue facing middle school students is the lack of vocabulary. As we know if there is no vocabulary, there will be no listening, reading and even no writing. The importance of vocabulary decides that vocabulary teaching is an valuable part of English curriculum. But some former vocabulary-teaching methods seem to isolate words from the context or break away from the scientific rules, in that way, they cannot help students to develop language competence in the long run but cause them to lose interest in English. Middle school English teachers are the premier ones who introduce students to the field of English, thus they should take great accountability for this. To comprehend why vocabulary teaching is foremost in middle schools and find scientific methods to improve English teaching is necessary.
D.A.Wilkins, a renowned British linguist, once said: "Without grammar we can carry a little, but without vocabulary we can carry nothing." Some studies also recite that students with good grammar and large vocabulary can do much good than those with good grammar but tiny vocabulary.
In China, however, English teachers sometimes tend to overlook the importance of the lexical ideas and neglect the vocabulary teaching, which is especially clear in middle-schools.
Lexical items may also have appeared to be of secondary importance because they have sometimes been seen as that which is used to "flesh out" the buildings or to exemplify parts of the sound system. However, words are the basic of language and without lexicon the major meaning-caring element in language is missing.
In this situation, we must put emphasis on vocabulary teaching and seek some scientific techniques of it. The following part will analyze from two aspects: six main drawbacks of the gift vocabulary teaching, and three distinguishing features of English words and some scientific techniques for middle school teachers to teach students.
Vocabulary Teaching in Middle Schools