Why Vocabulary? Without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed” (David Wilkins) “If you spend most of your time studying grammar, your English will not improve very much. You will see most improvement if you learn more words and expressions. You can say very little with grammar, but you can say almost anything with words!” (advice from a coursebook Innovations)
How many words does a learner need to know? An educated native speaker 20,000 word families Adult second language learners 5,000 if they’re lucky It has been calculated that a classroom learner would need more than eighteen years of classroom exposure to supply the same amount of vocabulary input that occurs in just one year in natural settings. interactive optimal Input that infants receive highly repetitive conditions patterned for learning What is the thresold level? (core vocabulary that one needs) About 2,000 high frequency words (The size most native speakers use in their daily conversations, nine out of ten words in most written texts)
How can vocabulary be transformed into long-term memory? Repitition: Repeated rehearsal of material while it is in the working memory. Repeat and organize new material at the same time What is important is the number of encounters with the word Retrieval: Retrieval practice effect Words that are retrieved from memory are more likely to be recalled (Using the new word in written sentences)
How can vocabulary be transformed into long-term memory? Spacing: Distributed practice Distribute memory work across a period of time (present test, present and backtrack) Interval between successive tests should gradually be increased Newly presented vocabulary should be reviewed in the next lesson Use: Use it or lose it Put words to use in some interesting way so that they can be added to long-term memory Cognitive Depth: The more decisions the learner makes about a word the better the word is remembered Use it to complete a sentence
How can vocabulary be transformed into long-term memory? Personal Organizing: Which group best recalled the words? Subjects who read a sentence aloud containing new words Subjects who silently rehearsed the words Subjects who made up their own sentences containing the words and read them aloud Imaging:Studies show that easily visualized words are more memorable than words that don’t evoke a picture Mnemonics: Techniques for remembering things which have a visual element and self-generated (keyword technique) Devising an image that connects the pronunciation of the SL word with the meaning of the L1 word
Why do we forget words? Forgetting is rapid at first but gradually slows down 80 % of material is lost within 24 hours of initial learning A study on learners’ retention showed that in the absence of opportunities to use the language rapid forgetting occured in the first 3 to 4 years, but then levelled out. Forgetting can be caused by both INTERFERENCE from subsequent learning and by INSUFFICIENT RECYCLYING. SPACED REVIEW of learned material can grammatically reduce the rate of forgetting Words that are easy to learn are better retained
What makes a word easy or difficult? Words that are identical both in meaning and form are the easiest to learn COGNATES (words that derive from a common origin LOAN WORDS X FALSE FRIENDS: sempatik and sympathetic Words that have concrete meanings are easier than ones with abstract meanings Factors that make a word difficult Pronunciation: Research shows that words that are difficult to pronounce are difficult to learn Spelling: Words that yield to sound-spelling mismatches are difficult to learn Length: Long words are more difficult to learn Grammar: the grammar associated with the word can make it problematic to learn (tell versus say)
What can be done for Effective Memorization When teaching students a new set of words it is best to 1. Present the first two or three items 2. Then go back and test these 3. Present some more 4. Backtrack again Need to take into account the principles of distributed practice (distribute memory work across a period of time). It is important to keep reviewing the previously introduced items. Teacher should allow learners to work at their own pace.
It is important to keep reviewing the previosly introduced items, preferably in a varying order Example: present shirt present jacket . present trousers review shirt review trousers present dress review jacket present sweater review dress review shirt present socks Etc.
As each word becomes better learned, the testing interval can gradually be extended. The aim is to teast each item at the longest interval at which it can reliably be recalled. Similarly, over a sequence of lessons, newly presented vocabulary should be reviewed in the next lesson, but the interval between successive tests should gradually be increased
How to Present Vocabulary? Using Translation İllustrating Meaning Explaining Meaning Highlighting the Form Involving the Learner
USING TRANSLATION Using translation is economical and especially suitable for dealing with incidental vocabulary that may crop up in a lesson. Disadvantages: Learners fail to develop an independent L2 lexicon (indirect access of L2 words by means of L1 equivalents) Words are less memorable Translation can develop too much reliance on direct translation from the mother tongue
Extract 1. Teacher: Pantolon İngilizcede trousers dır. Trousers. Hadi hep beraber trousers… Student: Trousers. • learners are deprived of valuable L2 input • Learners aren’t actively involved in the learning process other then merely repeating words
Extract 2. Teacher: Does anyone know the English for pantolon? No? Listen, it’s trousers. Trousers. Repeat. Students: Trousers • Students are exposed to a lot more English than simply the target vocabulary items
Extract 3. Teacher: What’s this? [pointing to picture of a pair of trousers] Do you know what this is in English? No? Listen, it’s trousers. Trousers. Repeat. Students: Trousers. Teacher: How do you say trousers in Turkish? Büket? Büket: Pantolon. Teacher: That’s right • The presentation is entirely in English and translation is used to check understanding.
Illustrating Meaning An alternative to translation is to somehow illustrate or demonstrate especially if vocabulary items are concrete. This can be done by: Using real objects (realia) Pictures or mime Using Visual Aids Flashcards(published and home made) Wall charts Transparencies projected on the board or wall using the overhead projector Board drawings
Explaining Meaning We can teach concrete objects by showing or demonsratıng them,but for abstract words, such as intuition, become or tustworthy we should create new methods. An alternative way of conveying the meaning of a new word is simply to use words- other words. Non visual, verbal means of clarifying meaning include: Providing an example situation Giving several example sentences Giving synonyms,antonyms,or superordinate terms Giving a full definition.
Explaining Meaning Although a verbal explanation may take a little longer than translation, or visuals or mime, the advantages are that the learners are getting extra ‘free listening’ practice which justifies the relatively long time spent on just one or two vocabulary items By being made to work a little a harder to get to the meaning of a word they are cognitively engaged. The defining words used to explain the new words should be within the learners’ current range.
Providing an Example Situation A situational approach presentation involves providing a scenerio which clearly contextualises the target word or words. You can make the example situation more intelligible and memorable by Reinforcing the situation with pictures and board drawings Making use of personal experiences when making up the situations
One day I was at the bus stop waiting for the bus. There was a man in front of me. His back was turned but from the behind he really looked like a friend of mine from school. I wanted to scare him so I sneaked behind him and suddenly I hit him on the shoulder quite hard and said “hey you!” My friend turned around and I realized he was a complete stranger. • How would you feel? I felt terribly embarrased. IT WAS A VERY EMBARRASİNG SITUATION.
Providing Example Sentences Each example sentence should be a typical instance of the target word in context. From the cumulative effect of the sentences, the students should be able to hypothesize the meaning of the target word--using induction
An example of a teacher using example sentences to teach the word “fancy” Listen to these sentences and see if you can work out what the verb “fancy” means: Sentence One: He’s really nice, but I don’t fancy him. [pause] Sentence Two: I fancy eating out tonight. Don’t you. [pause] Sentence Three: Do you fancy a cup of coffee? [pause] Sentence Four: fancy a drink? [pause] Sentence Five: That guy on the dance floor-he really fancies himself. Sentence six: I never really fancied package holidays much. [pause[ OK, talk to your neighbor and then I’ll read them again….
Allow the students as many hearings of the sentences as they think they need. • For particularly difficult words, students can write down the sentences. • The teacher can elicit a translation of the target word, or, alternatively, a synonym or definition.
Advantages of using the example sentences approach Hearing the word several times increases the likelihood of retention in memory Students are able to hear the word in a variety of typical contexts (rather than just one) so they can start to get a feel for its range of uses as well as its typical collocations (e.g., fancy a drink, fancy eating out) They get information on the word’s form and grammar- whether, for example, it is irregular or transitive (if a verb), or countable (if a noun)
Highlighting the form • Highlighting the spoken form of a word is very important in terms of ensuring it is appropriately stored.This in turn means drawing learners’ attention to the way the word sounds.There are a number of ways of highlighting the spoken form of the word.Essentially these are: • Listening drills • Oral drills • Boardwork
Listening Drill: Repeat the word two or three times drawing learners’ attention to the syllable structure and stress of the word. (use of fingers for visual stimulus , asking class to identify the stressed syllabus, using the board). In the beginning do not want students to repeat after you. However encourage them to mumble or mutter the word to themselves at their own pace. (use subvocalization rather than instant vocalization. Subvocal repitition triggers the functioning of the articulatory loop which enables the short-term store to be kept freshed) .
Oral Drills Get learners to vocalize the new words after they have first subvocalized them, by means of individual or choral repitition. When teaching students a new set of words it is best to 1. Present the first two or three items 2. Then go back and test these 3. Present some more 4. Backtrack again
Boardwork • After dealing with sounds of words,how soon should learners meet the written form of a new word? • Should it be postponed until learners are thoroughly familiar with the spoken form? Does written form INTERFERE with correct pronunciation habits?
Should the written form be postponed? • NO! • Students should be introduced to the written form as soon as possible. • Students form mental representations of words once they hear them. Seeing the written form helps them avoid making inaccurate mental representations’ • Its easier to make sense of the word once students see it. Handbag can sound like hambag.
How to involve the learners • Elicitation technique • Personalization • Peer Teaching
Elicitation technique • A standard elicitation procedure is for the teacher to present the meaning of word and asking learners to supply the form. • The rationale underlying elicitation is that: • It actively involves the learners in the lesson • It maximises speaking opportunities
It keeps the learners alert and attentive • It challenges better learners who might otherwise ‘’turn off’’ • It acts as a way of checking the learners’ developing understanding • In the case of form-first presentation, it encourages learners to use contextual clues.
Disadvantages: • If overused,only the better learners may be involved,while the others remain passive bystanders • Prolonged elicitation sequences can end up being very frustrating for learners if they simply do not know the answers the teacher is seeking
Personalisation Personalisation is simply the process of using the new word in a context that is real for the learner personally. Example: Ask learners to write a true sentence using the new word, preferably applying it to themselves or someone they know. To help, provide a sentence frame such as “The last time I felt frightened was when…. OR The biggest waterfall I have ever seen…
Peer Teaching (Information Gap Exercises) Finally,an alternative to teacher presentation is peer teaching. This is an activity in which information is distributed between students in pairs or small groups. In order to complete task, students must exchange information.
HOW TO PUT WORDS TO WORK • Integrating new knowledge into old • Decision–making tasks • Production tasks • Games
INTEGRATING NEW KNOWLEDGE INTO OLD The presentation of new language items should swiftly be followed by the practice of these items. New knowledge needs to be integrated into existing knowledge. As we also saw in the discussion on memory, there is a greater likehood of the word being integrated into this network if many decisions have been made about it. In other words, to ensure long-term retention and recall, words need to be ‘put to work’. They need to be placed in working memory. They might best be thought of as integration activities.
DECISION-MAKING TASKS There are many different kinds of tasks that teachers can set learners in order to help move words into long-term memory. Some of these tasks will require more brain work than others. Tasks in which learners make decisions about words can beroughly arranged in an order from least cognitively demanding to most demanding:
identifying • selecting • matching • sorting • ranking and sequencing
Identification Tasks List all the clothes items that you hear Raise your hand when you hear a clothes item Put these items in the order that you hear them Listen for clothes words and write them in the correct coloumn Find words connected with fying in the text Find eight comparative adjectives in the text
Selection Tasks More complex than identification tasks Involves both recognizing and making choices amongst them Work in pairs. Choose five words to describe yourself. Careful, interesting, clever, cold, confident, fit, funny, imaginative, intelligent, kind, lazy, nervous, patient Choose the odd one out in each group: 1. trousers socks jeans t-shirt 2. blouse skirt tie dress 3. T-shirt suit shorts trainers
A matching task involves first recognising words and then pairing with them with – for example – a visual representation, a translation, a synonym, an antonym, a definition, or a collocate. Sorting activities require learners to sort words into different categories. The categories can either be given, or guessed. Ranking and sequencing activities require learners to put the words into some kind of order. This may involve arranging the words on a cline.
Decision-making tasks • Decision-making tasks are RECEPTIVE • Learners make judgments about words, but necessarily don`t produce them • We also need learners to produce them either in speaking or writing
Production tasks Tasks which are productive from the outset require learners to incorporate the newly studied words into some kind of speaking and writing activity. These can be classified as being of two main types: • Completion-of sentences and texts • context is provided and students are required to slot the right word in • creation –of sentences and texts • Learners are required to create the contexts for the given words
Completion tasks • Complete the text by writing an appropriate word in each space (open gap) • Choose words from the text to complete these sentences (close gap) • Listen to the song and fill in the blanks
Creation tasks • Use each of these words to make a sentence which clearly shows the meaning of the word • Use each of these words to write a true sentence about yourself or someone you know • Work in pairs. Ask and say how you feel about your town or village. • I love it It`s all right I can`t stand it • Which of the following adjectives can you use to describe your town or village? • Interesting boring annoying depressing beautiful noisy • Can you explain why? • I find it boring because there is nothing to do in the evenings
Games The more often a word is successfully retrieved from memory, the easier it becomes to recall it. Therefore, useful games are those that encourage learners to recall words and, preferably, at speed. Consistent with the principle that learners need to make multiple decisions about words useful games are those which let learners do many tasks such as the dictionary game. (sorting words into alphabetical order, then into parts of speech and then into lexical sets)
games • Since many word games deal solely with isolated-rather than contextualised-words, and often require only shallow processing on the part of the learner, they should be used judiciously.
Here are some word games: • Word clap • Categories • Noughts and crosses • Coffeepot • Back to board • Pictionary • Word snap • Word race • Spelling race