The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Second Advisor

Michael Schwartz

Third Advisor

Maria Mikolchak

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

noun, verb, concrete, abstract, strategy, memorization, meaning, ESL, vocabulary, VLS.


It is hardly possible to find a learner of a second language who does not use any vocabulary learning strategies. Students might do it unconsciously. The aim of the study is to investigate the strategies that second language learners use to memorize the meanings of the concrete and abstract nouns and verbs and see if they are different. Twenty-seven participants were recruited for the research. One hour interview was held during which students attempted to memorize new words. The results show that the most commonly used strategies for concrete and abstract nouns and verbs were simple word rehearsal, writing of a word and/or its meaning, sound link, cumulative rehearsal, mnemonic use. According to results of the final test nouns had advantage over verbs within concrete category. No other significant differences were found. As for the strategy choice, the research showed that there is no significant difference in the use of strategies between such categories as concrete nouns, concrete verbs, abstract nouns, and abstract verbs. Only abstract verbs seem to stimulate deeper processing which results in the use of more strategies.