The Semantic Field of Technical Terms in Mathematics and Sciences for the 7th Grade English Program in Thailand

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Teeraporn Plailek
Achara Wongsothorn
Suphat Sukamolson
Cholthicha Sudmuk

Abstract

  The aims of this study are 1) to analyze the semantic field of technical terms in Mathematics and Sciences in the relation of hyponymy; 2) to create the MS Word Net on the smartphone application for Thai grade 7 English program students; and 3) to evaluate the MS Word Net on the smartphone application. The research procedures consist of analyzing the semantic features of the technical terms by using Componential Analysis and classifying the technical terms based on the Semantic Field Theory in the relation of hyponymy.


         The results revealed that the semantic field of mathematics technical terms was divided into eight main groups: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, binary operation, property rule, Mathematical symbol, and variable. The semantic field of Sciences technical terms was divided into four main groups: Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, and Biology. Each group was further divided into several subgroups. According to the semantic feature analysis, the technical terms that had common semantic features were classified under the same concept to form a semantic field (Ullmann, 1977).  Furthermore, the technical terms’ meanings in the same sematic field were related and they had at least one different semantic feature. Consequently, the analysis of the technical terms’ meanings by Componential Analysis assisted to classify them into the semantic fields.


The findings of the evaluation of the MS Word Net on the smartphone application usage revealed that the items with highest average were the “systematic data linking” on the MS Word Net application and  the “benefits on the learners” of the MS Word Net (x̄ = 4.54, S.D. = 0.62),  followed by the “appropriate graphics” on the MS Word Net application (x̄ = 4.53, S.D. = 0.74) and the “increases in the learners’ memory of   the technical terms” using the MS Word Net (x̄ = 4.48, S.D. = 0.62).

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