edb vocabularyworkshop august2007 revised

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Enhancing the Effectiveness of English Vocabulary Learning and Teaching at Primary Level :  Enhancing the Effectiveness of English Vocabulary Learning and Teaching at Primary Level 27 August 2007 Arthur McNeill & Tony Lai Department of Education Studies Hong Kong Baptist University English Language Education Section, CDI Growing global concern about inadequate vocabulary of L2 learners:  Growing global concern about inadequate vocabulary of L2 learners “… there is mounting evidence that many learners, particularly in EFL contexts, are not developing their lexicons to levels that would permit them to communicate, read, or write adequately in English, despite years of formal study.” (Atay and Kurt 2006: 256) L2 vocabulary learning at primary school is still largely un-researched :  L2 vocabulary learning at primary school is still largely un-researched “… it seems likely that limited L2 vocabulary would affect elementary school EFL learners in carrying out the basic skills in English. Given the importance of vocabulary to oral and written language comprehension, it is astounding that there have been few experimental studies on English vocabulary learning among elementary school children.” (Atay and Kurt 2006: 256) Slide4:  Recent evidence of inadequate vocabulary of HK university entrants Most 2004 entrants to CUHK knew between 2000 and 3000 English words only International research suggests that students need at least 5000 words to cope with university study in English Growing interest in students’ vocabulary in Hong Kong Vocabulary projects conducted by EDB:  Vocabulary projects conducted by EDB Sources of input for the EDB wordlists:  Sources of input for the EDB wordlists Teachers familiar with the respective KS Frequency data about how vocabulary is used in English: General English Academic English Topics and themes listed in CGs Vocabulary content of the recommended textbooks Vocabulary Study Vocabulary Study:  Vocabulary Study General Service List (GSL) - West, 1953 Academic Wordlist (AWL) - Coxhead, 2000 British National Corpus (BNC) References of the frequency-based wordlists Slide8:  GSL BNC AWL Classic list of the most frequent 2000 words. Very widely used and respected. 100 million word collection of written and spoken English. A new ‘standard’. 570 words which occur frequently in academic texts across disciplines Frequency-based lists/corpora Frequency-based lists/corpora:  Frequency-based lists/corpora GSL BNC AWL “General” words “Academic” words Principles guiding final selections:  Principles guiding final selections Relevance to learners (now and later) Usefulness Combinability (collocations) Word class distribution Superordinates Design of the vocabulary selection procedure:  Design of the vocabulary selection procedure Vocabulary targets:  Vocabulary targets 1000 1000 1000 2000 1500 3500 1500 5000 Wordlists:  Wordlists In alphabetical order By category Does L2 vocabulary teaching need to change?:  Does L2 vocabulary teaching need to change? Possible pedagogical problems:  Possible pedagogical problems Over-reliance on reading as a source of vocabulary acquisition Over-reliance on learner training and indirect learning (i.e. assuming that students will learn vocabulary by themselves provided they learn effective strategies) How much vocabulary do L2 students learn from reading?:  How much vocabulary do L2 students learn from reading? Finally some empirical evidence of the low extent of vocabulary gains from L2 reading Claims about number of encounters required to learn a new word vary between 6 and 20 ESL learners in Canada learn 70 new words a year from reading, i.e. 2000 words in 29 years. (Zahar, Cobb & Spada 2001) Extensive reading revisited:  Extensive reading revisited Disappointing gains from reading of novels (Horst 2000) Subjects able to select only one correct definition in 12 of the new words in text Far more vocabulary is learned if the same text is read several times (Horst & Meara 1999) Learning new words from context revisited:  Learning new words from context revisited Encouraging learners to infer the meaning of new words from context may be useful for their academic development. However, inferring the meaning of new words from context does not lead to vocabulary acquisition. For words to remain in the memory, learners should confirm the guesses by referring to a dictionary or asking their teacher (Mondria & Wit de-Boer 1991). Insights from genre: we need to select texts carefully:  Insights from genre: we need to select texts carefully Expository texts provide greater repetition of key lexis than narrative texts. Success reported with primary learners who read more expository texts (Gardner 2004). Key priorities in vocabulary teaching :  Key priorities in vocabulary teaching Providing multiple exposures to target words Cognitive ‘elaboration’ of the form-meaning relationship Activities which require students to focus on vocabulary appear to promote retention (e.g. “reading plus”, pre-task and post-task vocabulary focus). Some teaching implications:  Some teaching implications Enhance L2 vocabulary acquisition through instructional intervention More direct teaching of vocabulary More vocabulary-focused activities Vocabulary now: Cinderella has arrived at the ball:  Vocabulary now: Cinderella has arrived at the ball Landmarks of the 1990s: Lexical Syllabus (Willis) Lexical Approach (Lewis) Some excellent books for teachers about vocabulary teaching (e.g. Nation, Schmitt & McCarthy) Vocabulary software (concordancing; frequency profiling) Corpus linguistics Enormous expansion in L2 vocabulary research What has changed since vocabulary became “centre stage”?:  What has changed since vocabulary became “centre stage”? Language teaching now attaches importance to: Collocation: “blond+girl”; “torrential+rain”; “rising+prices” Multi-word units/formulaic language: “see you later”; “have a nice day” Word-building: compounding; affixation Lexical relations such as antonyms: “high/low”; “ancient/modern” Vocabulary building skills recommended in CG :  Vocabulary building skills recommended in CG Word formation Affixation (e.g. unhappy, careless) Compounding (e.g. foot+ball=football) Conversion (e.g. cook a meal, a cook) Derivation (e.g. excite, exciting, excited, excitement) Vocabulary building skills recommended in CG :  Vocabulary building skills recommended in CG Word association Synonyms (e.g. happy, glad) Antonyms (e.g. bright, dark) Homonyms (e.g. catch a bus, catch a cold) Collocation (e.g. make a wish, watch TV) Lexical sets (e.g. furniture – table, chair, desk, cupboard) *please refer to CG (CDC, 2004): pp. 168-171 What challenges does L2 vocabulary present to teachers?:  What challenges does L2 vocabulary present to teachers? AREAS OF FOCUS BREADTH DEPTH Slide35:  Productive vocabulary What are the main vocabulary issues in HK students’ writing? Text written by a primary school pupil in a HK exam:  Text written by a primary school pupil in a HK exam I have a rubber, an old, small rubber. Although it is so small that I can not use it anymore, I still keep it carefully in my drawer as it is so important for me. That is a long, long time that I have my rubber. Four years ago, when I was still an eight-years-old child, my parents bought me a rubber as my birthday present. I put it into my pencil-box and brought it to school everyday. We had an interesting game in the past. We used our rubber to play with in the game. We pushed our rubber one by one and tried not to be pushed out at the desk by another rubber. We pushed and pulled our rubbers, soon our rubbers became older and smaller one day than one day. Vocabulary Profile (VP) provides the following breakdown (RANGE, 2002):  Vocabulary Profile (VP) provides the following breakdown (RANGE, 2002) Slide40:  I have a rubber, an old, small rubber. Although it is so small that I can not use it anymore, I still keep it carefully in my drawer as it is so important for me. That is a long, long time that I have my rubber. Four years ago, when I was still an eight-years-old child, my parents bought me a rubber as my birthday present. I put it into my pencil-box and brought it to school everyday. We had an interesting game in the past. We used our rubber to play with in the game. We pushed our rubber one by one and tried not to be pushed out at the desk by another rubber. We pushed and pulled our rubbers, soon our rubbers became older and smaller one day than one day. Lexical characteristics of L2 student writing:  Lexical characteristics of L2 student writing Repetition of key words rather than lexical substitution Under-use of super-ordination Need for lexical enrichment (in particular, adjectives and adverbs) What vocabulary skills are involved in developing lexical richness?:  What vocabulary skills are involved in developing lexical richness? Avoiding repetition of words (e.g. by lexical and pronominal substitution) Knowing and using synonyms Ability to give definitions Knowing the name of the immediate superordinate Knowing the name of the member of the group (e.g. “item”, “piece”, “article”, etc.) Use of metaphor (e.g. using known words in a metaphorical sense) “General” superordinates can also help:  “General” superordinates can also help EXAMPLES: Stuff Problem Issue Thing Material Business Behaviour Phenomenon Trend Pattern Lexical expansion of a first draft:  Lexical expansion of a first draft “My hobby is swimming. Every Saturday I go to the swimming pool in Ma On Shan. I swim for one hour. At the end, I feel good. Then I go to McDonald’s with my friend.” Lexical feedback on a first draft:  Lexical feedback on a first draft “My [adjective] hobby is swimming. Every Saturday I go to the [adjective] swimming pool in [precise location] Ma On Shan. I swim [how exactly do you swim?] for one hour. At the end, I feel good [a better adjective?]. Then I go [better verb of movement] to McDonald’s with my friend.” 2. Pre-requisites for vocabulary building:  2. Pre-requisites for vocabulary building Paradigmatic approach (topic strand):  Paradigmatic approach (topic strand) Deliberate organization of words into hierarchies Develops associative networks Encourages efficient vocabulary learning Paradigms are fixed (but ‘open’) Other associations are more personal (e.g. acoustic, visual, ‘linkword’) Assumptions about paradigmatic arrangement:  Assumptions about paradigmatic arrangement Allows for efficient vocabulary growth because the system is ‘open’ and allows for additions Associated with receptive vocabulary knowledge in particular Retrieval of words operates through the ‘cohort’ principle Slide49:  Example One: Slide50:  Example Two: Teaching the names of the superordinates:  Teaching the names of the superordinates Teaching the names of the superordinates:  Teaching the names of the superordinates What is the missing word?:  What is the missing word? Slide54:  What is the missing word? Slide55:  Paradigmatic Association Syntagmatic Association Slide56:  Paradigmatic Association Syntagmatic Association Slide57:  Paradigmatic Association Syntagmatic Association Receptive Slide58:  Paradigmatic Association Syntagmatic Association Receptive Productive Syntagmatic approach (collocation strand):  Syntagmatic approach (collocation strand) E.g. Topic: transport Car – drive – fast – wet – road Brakes – skid – collide - accident Develops associative networks Word combinations are the key to productive use of English Focus on multi-word units (e.g. ‘See you later.’, ‘Have a good trip!’) Collocations (e.g. ‘go shopping’, ‘have a shower’, ‘play football’) Assumptions about syntagmatic arrangement :  Assumptions about syntagmatic arrangement Associated with productive vocabulary because it is based on the words which tend to occur together in sentences The associations are based on collocations rather than semantic categories Slide61:  From receptive to productive Providing opportunities to combine words Slide62:  From receptive to productive Providing opportunities to combine words Helping learners to create useful word associations:  Helping learners to create useful word associations ACTIVITY: FINDING/CREATING PATTERNS IN A LEXICAL SET KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment :  KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment:  KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Possible associations - Collocations (e.g. verb + noun) Recycle waste Reduce crime Protect (the) environment Serve (the) community KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment:  KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Possible associations - Compounding (e.g. noun + noun) Community care Energy waste Pollution crime Government volunteer KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Finding semantic categories:  KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Finding semantic categories KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Finding semantic categories:  KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Finding semantic categories PROBLEM SOLUTION KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Finding semantic categories:  KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Finding semantic categories PROBLEM Pollution (smoke, spit, waste,..) SOLUTION KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Finding semantic categories:  KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Finding semantic categories PROBLEM Pollution (smoke, spit, waste,..) SOLUTION Save energy Reduce waste KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Other categories?:  KS2 Wordlist: Caring about our community and environment Other categories? People? Organisations? Nouns? Abstract nouns? Concrete nouns? Verbs? Words which can be both nouns and verbs? THE MAIN PURPOSE OF THIS ACTIVITY IS TO DEVELOP LEARNERS’ ASSOCIATIONS BY ENGAGING WITH THE WORDS 3. From Form to Meaning:  3. From Form to Meaning Starting with a focus on word form Activity: reading a postcard Find the words which end in “-ing”:  Find the words which end in “-ing” Dear Chris, This summer our family holiday is really interesting. We’re spending a week in a mountain hotel in Japan. The hotel activities include walking, mountain climbing and canoeing. The view is amazing. We can see wild birds flying around and hear the river flowing past. In the evening, we eat in the hotel dining room, then watch TV. The programmes are a bit boring, mostly singing contests and game shows. The trip is tiring but great fun. I’m looking forward to showing you the photos. Andy Find the words which end in “-ing”:  Find the words which end in “-ing” Dear Chris, This summer our family holiday is really interesting. We’re spending a week in a mountain hotel in Japan. The hotel activities include walking, mountain climbing and canoeing. The view is amazing. We can see wild birds flying around and hear the river flowing past. In the evening, we eat in the hotel dining room, then watch TV. The programmes are a bit boring, mostly singing contests and game shows. The trip is tiring but great fun. I’m looking forward to showing you the photos. Andy Put each “-ing” form into a category:  Put each “-ing” form into a category Put each “-ing” form into a category:  Put each “-ing” form into a category Put each “-ing” form into a category:  Put each “-ing” form into a category Using mini-activities or games in vocabulary learning and teaching:  Using mini-activities or games in vocabulary learning and teaching Key priorities in vocabulary teaching :  Key priorities in vocabulary teaching Providing multiple exposures to target words Cognitive ‘elaboration’ of the form-meaning relationship Some teaching implications:  Some teaching implications GENERAL APPROACH Enhance L2 vocabulary acquisition through instructional intervention IN PRACTICAL TERMS WE NEED MORE: Direct teaching of vocabulary Development of learners’ own word associations Vocabulary-focused activities Process-writing with lexical feedback Conscious reflection about words Systematic re-cycling of target vocabulary (multiple exposures)

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