vocabulary teaching n.
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Vocabulary teaching

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Vocabulary teaching

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  1. Vocabulary teaching

  2. General approaches that teachers and teaching materials can adopt • Traditional direct approach: Teach vocabulary items • Indirect1, learner training approach: Teach conscious vocabulary-related strategies • How to help a poor man? • Indirect2, natural approach: Create opportunities for spontaneous acquisition via communicative tasks . The three hypotheses.

  3. Direct teaching • Selection and ordering • Amount and rate • Presentation • Practice • Production • Assessment • TASK Which are in the teacher’s hands?

  4. Selection and ordering… the vocab syllabus • Who does it? • What criteria are relevant? • TASK

  5. Importance, aka utility • Frequency lists e.g. http://www.lextutor.ca/vp/bnc/nation_14/ • Ministry lists • Other student needs • Ease, aka learnability, teachability • Interlingual, intralingual, extralingual • Interest

  6. Amount and rate • What would be the ideal amount of vocabulary to be learnt overall in a course? • What is a suitable rate per hour of new words? • TASK

  7. Presentation • What actually is a pedagogically useful vocabulary item to present? • Words? • Word families? • Lexical chunks aka lexical phrases, formulae, readymades…?

  8. Beyond phrasal verbs (e.g. bring up), multiword compounds (e.g. hard disk) and idiomatic phrases (e.g. pull someone’s leg) to: • polyword at any rate, by and large, as well [= ‘also’] • frame or slot the [adj.]-er the [adj]–er, as [adj]….as, so [adj]…that… , Little did…realize that… • sentence head Could you....., God only knows wh-… • sentence tail …, if you would., …and so on. • cliché There's more than one way to skin a cat.

  9. What is there to present about a lexical item? • ..beyond the basic ‘form – one meaning’ link • How can presentation be done? • Traditional deductive presentation • Inductive presentation

  10. Deductive presentation • Three basic ways to present word meaning • Extension to other aspects of words like collocation • E.g. More Words You Need (Rudzka et al., 1985, MacMillan) http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~scholp/corptask2.htm

  11. Inductive presentation, requiring learner strategies • To present word meaning • Teacher provides a ‘pregnant context’ , e.g. a situation or story from which the meaning of the word can be easily guessed • For other aspects of words like collocation, grammatical behaviour, stylistic value • Students work on corpus concordance lines or statistics e.g. at http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/

  12. Practice… Production • Any repetition / practice of vocab has some at least minimal value… but • ….there are many types of vocab exercise/task • Teacher needs to choose suitable ones in the light of what kind of work needs to be done on vocab that has been presented • So what are the functions of exercises / practice?

  13. X = what the teacher presented about the lexical items • Confirm that X has been correctly learnt • Reinforce prior learning, i.e. aid memory of X • Recycling, repetition • Establishment of associations • Deepening of processing • Activation: automatise /proceduralise what has been learnt of X so that learners access it more fluently • Activation: extend knowledge of the items beyond X • Activation: turn passive/receptive/recognition mastery of X into active/production/recall ability

  14. Recycling… or lack of it

  15. Exercise types in P and W • Selective attention: Make students identify/notice wordform (e.g. underline the word wherever it occurs in the text) a • Recognition: Make students show recognition/receptive knowledge of meaning (e.g. match word with picture) b • Manipulation: make students show wordformation knowledge (e.g. change word from noun to adjective) • Interpretation: make students show knowledge of collocation and syntactic properties (e.g. guess meaning from context, give grammatical function of word in text) • Production: make students show recall/production word knowledge (e.g. open cloze) c

  16. Communicative practice/production • Often seen as ultimate goal of vocab teaching • ‘Deep end’ approach… reverse PPP • Indirect 1 approach needed here

  17. Indirect1 teaching • Vocabulary related strategies potentially to teach • To help learner where (s)he does not know vocabulary, esp. in real communicative use: Coping • Some of those involve learning: Discovery • Some involve managing without the needed vocab • To help learner remember vocabulary previously met/taught: Consolidation • TASK… think of examples

  18. Coping • Skip/avoid • Make do with existing L2 resources (and maybe Discover) • Appeal (so Discover) • Consolidation • Self-selection and note keeping • Repetition • Association • Integrative practice

  19. What the teacher needs to check • What strategies do students already know from L1? • What strategies have been already taught, maybe implicitly, through direct teaching? • For more demanding strategies, check if students have the threshold language prof to be able to exploit them / transfer them from L1

  20. Three general approaches: • Allow or encourage them (e.g. ‘Use your dictionary’, ‘Try guessing it’, ‘Why not put that in your vocab notebook?’) • Teach them overtly as opportunities arise during a reading task, on specific instances • Inductively: e.g. ‘What did/could you do here to get the meaning?’ • Deductively: e.g. ‘Look at the phrase after the word and guess’ • Teach them overtly and separately from reading task • Inductively: e.g. ‘What do you do when you meet an unknown word?’, ‘What do you do to try to remember words?’ • Deductively: e.g. ‘I am going to show you how to use your dictionary properly’. Note: examples used may be known words

  21. After strategy teaching… • Implement ‘deep-end’ approach • Indirect2 should work better now

  22. Indirect2 teaching • Incidental spontaneous learning in extensive communicative language use • The three hypotheses claiming major sources of this • Input (Krashen) • Output (Swain) • Interaction (Long)

  23. What really occurs? • Incidental learning/acquisition • ..but is it unconscious/implicit? • The need for noticing • So consciousness is involved • … but the teacher does not teach vocab or strategies in this approach/phase

  24. Conditions the teacher needs to create • Interesting communication opportunities • Motivated students • ?Input modification • Incidental learning may be planned to be • Vocab acquisition tasks: required vocab at i+1… but not i+2 • Vocab fluency tasks: required vocab at i or i-1 • Strategy development tasks?

  25. References • Thornbury, S. 2002. How to Teach Vocabulary. London: Longman. • Gairns, R. and Redman, S.1986. Working with words: a guide to teaching and learning vocabulary.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. • Carter, R. and McCarthy, M.1988. Vocabulary and language teaching. London: Longman. • Sökmen, A. 1997. ‘Current trends in teaching second language vocabulary.’ In Schmitt, N. and M. McCarthy (eds) Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press • Hatch, E. and C. Brown. 1995. Vocabulary, Semantics and Language Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (parts only) • Nation, I.S.P. 2001. Learning Vocabulary in another Language. Cambridge: Cambridge Applied Linguistics Series, CUP • Read, J. 2000. Assessing Vocabulary.