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Word puzzles lead to effective vocabulary acquisition with mental efforts at upper primary level: Study
It is commonly felt that at the primary education level, use of rhymes, flash cards, board games, etc, is done to build the vocabulary, but at upper primary level, where disciplinary studies start, no serious attempts are made for vocabulary building of different subjects, rued one of the researchers of the study OP Kulhari and it became the motivation for the study.

The paper "Making Use of Word Puzzles for Effective Vocabulary Acquisition of a Subject at Elementary Education Level: Trialing and Favourable Response of Bridge School Students", co-authored by Jaipur-based researchers, Kishore and Kulhari, made use of three types of simple word puzzles to engage students cognitively by providing challenge of solving the puzzles.

The paper has expected in the 'education science' section of the 7th International Science Congress (ISC-2017) on 8th-9th December 2017, at College of Science and Technology Rinchending, Phuentsholing, Chukkha, Bhutan.

The abstract of the paper states that many educators, teachers and researchers hold that word puzzles can be effective cognitive tools for acquiring new words since they provide challenge, encourage conscious thinking, inculcate a habit making mental effort and acquire correct spelling. Word puzzles as learning and thinking tools can be explored further since the practice of such in a classroom, which can yield some encouraging and interesting results. In some courses, creating word puzzles can work to upswing the learning curve.

According to researchers, an intervention cum action research was undertaken for acquiring new vocabulary with intent and mental effort on environment and health topics through the teacher constructed three types of word puzzles. The ten word puzzles created were the word-search, word-fare and word criss-cross types. These puzzles were used by the practitioner during one-hour zero-session daily for a fortnight. The puzzles were used at grade level five. Also, the process of creating puzzles was demystified to enable children to create and share their own puzzles on different lessons of the environmental studies textbook.

The results show that the intervention was favoured by the students (N=20, bridge school rural girls, age: 9-14 year) at 0.05 levels of significance with degree of freedom of 2 and use of chi-square test. The typical comments of students involved the words like think; play with words; challenge and fun. In some teacher training sessions, science teachers were given the experience of creating word puzzles and urged to make children to acquire science vocabulary by creating word puzzles as part of weekly homework.

The keywords of the study are the action research, active memory, cognitive development, mental rigour, vocabulary learning, and word puzzles.

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