Open Journal Systems

The role of bell work assignments in expanding EFL learners’ vocabulary breadth

Saban Kara

Article ID: 2074
Vol 6, Issue 1, 2024, Article identifier:

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The expectations from the teachers have transformed radically in the 21st century, which necessitates using all moments of the lesson efficiently. In this regard, bell work assignments take precedence to make students revise previous topics as a warm-up activity while the teacher is completing official procedures such as attendance, writing lesson plans on the board, or preparing extra teaching tools. Although numerous studies have been conducted to measure the effectiveness of bell work assignments on a global scale, primarily in the USA, a gap in the literature has been realized in the Iraq context for EFL learners at the tertiary level. To this aim, 40 freshman students who were studying in the IT department at a private university in Erbil, Iraq, were chosen via snowball sampling to represent the experimental or control group. Experimental group students received their instruction with a bell-work-enriched format, whereas control group students followed the curriculum in an orthodox format. The data collection lasted 12 weeks in the spring semester of the 2022–2023 academic year in the Academic Debate and Critical Thinking course. Gathered data through vocabulary exams, interviews, and questionnaires revealed that bell work assignments offer tremendous opportunities to enhance vocabulary knowledge and develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills, apart from increasing motivation and concentration. The findings of this study can have practical implications for stakeholders who contemplate that bell work assignments can be used efficiently as a formative assessment instrument on a global scale.


bell work; critical thinking; problem solving; vocabulary enhancement

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