Vocabulary is one of the hottest issues among Chinese students and teachers. Many students have difficulty in vocabulary learning, and teachers try their best in vocabulary, but the result is still not so pleasant. This phenomenon arouses many thinking and reflections. Someone pointed out there exist some misunderstandings in vocabulary teaching and learning. For example, the vocabulary teaching was cut off from the language situation; vocabulary learning without strategy guiding; and the enhancement of vocabulary lacked practice. The traditional way to vocabulary teaching is based on the word list in the textbook, which is boring for the students. Even the teachers make effort to complete the task, but the result is still unpleasant. Thus an action research was designed to try to solve the vocabulary teaching and learning problem. The results show that: The action research could improve students’ vocabulary knowledge and the ability of language use, and then internalize the knowledge; the action research could guide students in effective strategy of learning and remembering words; the action research could enhance the review job; the personal notebook could help student form a good habit of systematically review. Also to the teacher, they could know the students’ study condition. This can form a positive cycle between the teacher and the students.
Key words: vocabulary teaching, effectiveness, action research, contextual approach.