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Role of repetition and frequency in language learning What every CEGEP teacher should know about its theory and practice. Elizabeth Gatbonton Concordia University. Presented at RASCALS, 2014. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Role of repetition and frequency in language learningWhat every CEGEP teacher should know about its theory and practice Elizabeth Gatbonton Concordia University Presented at RASCALS, 2014 Email: email@example.com
What every CEGEP teacher knows about the role of repetition in language learning •Repetition is important in language learning. •Language is a set of skills. •Language users must have automatic control of speech •Automatic means that utterances are: -easily retrieved from memory, -processed quickly, and _produced without hesitations and unnecessary pauses. •Automatization can be attained only through repetition
What every CEGEP teacher should know about the theory of repetition in SLA. Repetition is central in a recent theory about what drives second language acquisition (SLA): Frequency theory Ellis, 2002, Collins & Ellis 2009 This theory suggests: •exposure to comprehensible input Krashen 1993 •access to opportunity to produce output through interaction Long, 1997; Swain, 1998; 2005 are not what promotes acquisition.
What every CEGEP teacher should know about the theoryof repetition in SLA What promotes acquisition: •frequentexposure to comprehensible input Krashen 1993 •have repeated opportunities to be confronted with and successfully deal with language that is slightly above one’s level of competence •frequent access to opportunity to produce output through interaction Long, 1997; Swain, 1998; 2005 •have repeated opportunities to make hypothesis about how things work and have these hypothesis confirmed or disconfirmed while using language.
What every CEGEP teacher should know about the theoryof repetition in SLA What promotes acquisition: •frequent exposure to comprehensible input Krashen 1993 •have repeated opportunities to be confronted with and successfully deal with language that is slightly above one’s level of competence •frequent access to opportunity to produce output through interaction Long, 1997; Swain, 1998; 2005 •have repeated opportunities to make hypothesis about how things work and have these hypothesis confirmed or disconfirmed while using language.
Let’s illustrate how this works: A lesson in Inuttitut • Ben is asking a question • Peter: Pulesiuvunga. • SuKattaven? ‘ What do you do? • Tim; lliniatitsiuvunga. • One of them is a teacher. The other is a policeman?
To illustrate how it works • Pulesiuvunga • vunga • Pulesi • u • Ilinniatitsiuvunga • vunga. • u • ilinniatitsiji
To illustrate how it works: A lesson in Inuttitut Paitsik Selma • Pulesiuvunga • vunga • Pulesi • u • Ilinniatitsiuvunga • vunga. • u • ilinniatitsiji • vunga. • Paitsiuvunga • u • Paitsiji
Let’s test your knowledge • Can you remember? • Occupations • SuKattaven? • Paitsijik • Paitsijiuvunga • Pulesik • Pulesiuvunga • Ilinniatitsijiuvunga • Ilinniatitsijik
Analysis: • Why are you having difficulty with these utterances? • Not enough experience with them to allow you to make • a stable mapping: • between • their meaning • Their form Exposure too short to allow you to abstract the distributional probabilities of this form-meaning mapping. 3. Possible to achieve only through piecemeal learning of thousands of examples of this form meaning-mapping.
Analysis: • With frequent exposure to this mapping • You will begin to notice: • You will begin to notice: Inuttitut root words in citation forms always end in k but k drops when post base is attached. That vunga means I, and u is a bridging sound. That there is no be equivalent, that vunga becomes ven when you ask questions etc. a
Summary: • Repeated exposure to the same utterance is important • Each repetition increases the frequency of input and experience with these utterances. • Because every exposure to and experience with the same utterance help learners abstract general regularities about these utterances
What every CEGEP teacher should know about the practice of repetition . . . Research and anecdotal findings about what goes on in many language classrooms today. Whether they are meaning-based : Collins, Trofimovich, White, Cardoso, Horst, 2009), Lyster, 1994; Swain 1988, White, Collins, Trofimovich, Cardoso, & Horst, 2007) Or focused on grammar instruction. Lightbown, Halter, Meara, 1998; Duff, et al. Suggest that we cannot assume: That structures that students need to know will occur naturally in the classroom that if they occur, that they will be repeated enough to ensure acquisition.
What every CEGEP teacher should also be aware of about repetition . . . •General findingsof classroom corpus research on: Teacher talk during actual language instruction (Lightbown et al 2009, Duff & Polio, 2009), Teacher talk(Classroom corpus): Collins et al (2009). White et al, 2007 Few: Low frequency occurrence: Exemplars of targeted language structures Of commonly targeted but “late acquired” structures: 3rd person singular verbs, simple past verbs (e.g.,regular verbs), certain pronouns (e.g., his/his hers) Rare: Multiple repetitions of each exemplar-
What every CEGEP teacher probably does not know or is not aware of . . . 3. In vocabulary learning (Horst, 2010; Meara, Lightbownet al, Meara, et al) •Classrooms may be filled with student-teacher talk while performing tasks, and even explicit language instruction. However, •Most words used come from Nation’s first 1,000- 3,000 word lists •Very few rare words •Very few repeated words •Highest multiple repetition, if it occurs, is 2-3 at most.
What every CEGEP teacher should also be aware of about repetition . . . Conclusion: •learners are not hearing many exemplars of targeted structures in the classroom •they hear it at most 2 or 3 exemplars or tokens According to research on vocabulary learning: Minimum number of repetitions required for meaning of vocabulary items to be recognized andretained (e.g., Horst, Cobb, & Meara, 1998; Nation, 2001) •8 times at least
So why are we not doing more repetitions? Widely held beliefs about repetition that prevent us from doing so •Repetitions is boring •Repetition is incompatible with communicationg •Pattern practice does not work.
But hark. The news is not all gloom and doom. •We are now finding ways to increase input and output frequency in: •Task based classrooms *Grammar instruction classroom Gatbonton & Iwashita (2011) •Developed a task that could elicit many examples of regular and irregular past tense verbs. •We tested whether the increase in the frequency occurrence of these verbs led to accuracy in past tense morphology.
The Study-in brief •Task – ACCESS Alibi Game: •Used it teaching 33 adult Chinese learners of English during the first 4 hours of a 24-hour course in English. •Calculated how many propositions* containing past tense verbs were used from hour 1 to hour 4 of the lesson, how many of these were repeated and how many times each. •Examined whether there was an association between an increase in frequency of use of these utterances with an increase in accuracy gains with the past tense from hour 1 to hour 4. *word or group of words that contained a compete thuught
Results First, some stats on the speech corpus: *Data of 4 were excluded for incomplete data sets
Tokens of 10 Frequently used verbs Total: 2,452 tokens Mean: 245 Range: 69-786 So, massive amount of repetition
‘’Take home message: •Repetition is essential in language learning •Without it language cannot be fully learned. •Whatever the reasons, we do not promote repetition in our classrooms to a high enough level to trigger acquisition •But we can develop ways to do so •We will discuss these ways in the workshop following
‘Thank you for listening !!!! firstname.lastname@example.org
Rascals workshopPart 2 Elizabeth Gatbonton Concordia University
Grammar teaching Stages in the lesson: Some steps similar in both types Inductive Deductive •Presentation •Presentation -Elicit exemplars. -State the rule. -Give exemplars to illustrate rule -Analyze exemplars to show structure. -Abstract the rule and state it. -Check if students Understood rule •Practice rule •Practice rule •Produce: Apply rule in context •Produce: Apply rule in context
Repetition and frequency Promoting repetition in a traditional teaching approach Repeat after me Presentation Pattern practice Production Substitution drills Practice Expansion drills Transformation drills Repetition occurs in the Practice component of a PPP lesson, whether it is inductive or deductive
Repetition and frequency A traditional inductive grammar lesson: Sample Presentation a. Present exemplars (Exemplars not on same theme) He was killed in the war He saw film. The car was sold. His cousin took the car The tree was cut. He bought a house. b. Analyze the exemplars •Read each sentence. Underline the verb in each. •Underline the subject in each. •Is the subject the doer of the action in sentences in Column A? What about in Column 2? Is the subject the doer of the action in sentences ETC…
Repetition and frequency A traditional inductive grammar lesson c. Analyze the exemplars (continued). Is there a difference between the form of the verb in the sentences in Column 1 and those in Column 2? What is the form of the verb in the sentences in Column 2? Et cetera…….. d. Abstract the rule: How is the passive verb formed?. Is the subject the doer in a passive sentence? Etc……
Repetition and frequency A traditional inductive grammar lesson 2. Practice •Indicate whether sentence is passive or active •What is the passive form of these verbs? •Transform these active verbs into passive verbs. •Cloze exercise. Phil ___ wounded in the war. He ___ shot in his left left. He ____ left all alone in the field. He died. He ___ killed by neglect.
Repetition and frequency A traditional inductive grammar lesson 3. Produce Complete the following sentences using a passive verb •The woman ______________________ •Her bag __________________________by a thief. •The thief ____________________by the police. •The bag was ___________________________ Observation: There are few exemplars used to illustrate the grammatical point and multiple repetition of the same utterances is rared.
Repetition and frequency Today’s inductive grammar lesson: A sample Present the exemplars: Role play the following mugging scene . Victim = woman -mugged, pushed, robbed. Object stolen: bag. Thief: grabs bag, pushes woman, runs, bumps into policeman. b. Using the role play elicit the exemplars: Describe what the thief did. What happened to the woman. What happened to the thief. Write down the answers. Separate active sentences from passive as they are given
Repetition and frequency Today’s inductive grammar lesson: A sample c. Call the students’ attention to the exemplars The woman was mugged. The thief saw a woman. She was pushed. He grabbed her bag. She was robbed. He pushed her down. Her bag was stolen. He tried to ran away. The thief was arrested. He bumped into a policeman. The bag was returned to the woman. The policeman arrested him.
Repetition and frequency Today’s inductive grammar teaching lesson: A sample c. Analyze the exemplars i. Lead students to read each sentence ii. Have them notice the difference in meaning between the sentences in Column 1 and those in Column 2. Have them notice the difference between the forms of the active verbs and that of the passive verb. q. Abstract the rules i. Help students abstract the rules.
Repetition and frequency Today’s inductive grammar teaching lesson: A Sample c. Practice i. Indicate whether the sentence is passive or not Peter called the newspaper to report the mugging. It was already reported. The headline read: Woman was mugged. Her bag was stolen. A thief grabbed her bag. The police arrested the thief. The bag was returned to the woman
Repetition and frequency Today’s inductive grammar teaching lesson: A sample c. Practice: continued • Complete this cloze: • I ____ the story of the woman who ___ ____the other day. Her bag ___ ____by a thief. She was waiting for a bus when the thief _____ her bag. The woman ______. Her shout ___ _____by a policeman nearby. He ______ the thief the next day. He ___ him mugging another person. The woman’s bag ___ _____the next day. Someone ___it into the bushes. The thief ___ ____ in prison.
Repetition and frequency Today’s inductive grammar teaching lesson: A sample 3. Produce a. Write the story as though it happened to you or to someone you know. Adjust the details to fit the situation b. Record your story as a news cast and read it in class
Repetition and frequency How was the repetition accomplished in that lesson? Use a role play to elicit the exemplars. Use extension activity in the production exercise Elicit the exemplars so that a coherent story is told.Ask your eliciting questions so that the answers illustrate the form you want to focus upon. Ensure that you have enough exemplars to illustrate your point. 3. Make sure the same set of utterances are used in your practice and Production exercises (Same theme different setting
Promoting repetition in a reading to grammar lesson • Not always done • Usual approach: *move from reading to oral fluency *move from reading to vocabulary development •Easy to move from reading to grammar if text is structure focused
Example: Clear grammatical structure in text: The Sonar Cane: The sonar cane looks a bit like a traditional white cane but has a semicircular black box on two wheels attached to its bottom end. As a person pushes the cane along, it transmits ultrasonic pulses that bounce off obstacles up to six feet ahead and reflect back to sensors at the base of the case. The cane then automatically turns its wheels to steer around theobstacle. The person feels the movement and follows along, also sidestepping the object. "It's With the price of guide dogs running into the tens of thousand of dollars, the white cane is still the most commonly used aid for the visually impaired. The venerable tool is the focus of research of Johann Borenstein and Iwan Ulrich, mechanical engineers at the University of Michigan. They have developed a cane that uses sonar to steer the cane's user around obstacles.
Obvious grammatical point • The sonar cane takes the place of guide dogs. • It looks like a traditional white cane. • It weighs eight pounds. • It has a semicircular box on two wheels attached to its bottom end. • It also has a small on board computer and an array of ultrasonic sensors.
What happens if no particular struture leaps out? MEDICINE - Pain reliever, fever reducer, anti-inflammatory, preventive medicine for heart attack and stroke -- the humble aspirin looks increasingly like a miracle drug. Last March two studies confirmed that it might also help prevent the growth of polyps associated with colon cancer. The first study was conducted from1999 to 2003 at the Digestive and Nutrition Division of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, under the direction of Dr Robert Sandler, Professor of Medicine in that institution. In this study 635 patients between 30 and 80 years old, with a history of colon or rectal cancer were the participants. The researchers first screened the participants to make sure it was safe for them to take the aspirin daily, and monitored them for their motivation and adherence to the dosing schedule. Following the initial three-month evaluation period, 635 patients were randomly assigned to either the aspirin or placebo group.
The patients remained under the care of their regular physicians, and the investigators monitored the findings of their colonoscopies or sigmoidoscopies. These examinations were periodically conducted during routine follow-up care for colon cancer patients. Researchers measured the proportion of patients in each group who developed polyps, the size and extent of the polyps and how long it took for the polyps to first appear. Statistics revealed that only 17 percent of patients in the aspirin group had developed one or more adenomatous polyps compared to 27 percent of those in the placebo group. The aspirin also decreased the number of adenomas each patient developed and prolonged the time to their initial appearance. These findings held true even after controlling for age, sex, cancer stage, the number of colonoscopies and the time to the initial colonoscopy.
When no particular linguistic structure leaps out, use comprehension check questions to elicit the structures: E.g., past verbs • Why does the author say that aspirin looks increasingly a miracle drug? • What else does the article say that aspirin might be able to do in addition to the above? • How many studies were conducted to determine this effect • How many people participated in the first study? • What did these people do during the first study? • How did the researchers measure the effects of aspirin? • What were the result of the first study? • Were the results of the second study similar? • How many participated in the second study? • What were the results?
Another set of comprehension check questions for the same text, bringing out different target structure: Passive construction. • What is the article about? • Why is aspirin considered by the author to be a miracle drug? • What new effect was aspirin found to have? • On what basis was aspirin determined to have this effect? • How many studies were conducted on the effects of aspirin? • Who conducted the first study? • How many participants were asked to participate? • How were the participants chosen? • What was the experimental group instructed to do? • What was the Placebo group instructed to do? • How was the effect of aspirin measured in these patients? • What were the result of the first study.
Ask the class questions to elicit the target structures • Aspirin was considered by the author to be a miracle drug. • Aspirin wasfound to have ___ effect • Aspirin was determined to have this effect by… • How many studies were conducted on the effects of aspirin? • Who conducted the first study? • How many participants were asked to participate? • How were the participants chosen? • What was the experimental group instructed to do? • What was the Placebo group instructed to do? • How was the effect of aspirin measured in these patients? • What were the result of the first study. • … Conitinue: Have learners pair up tor answerthe rest: Havethe leaners classify the sentences and put those that have the same structures together.