Presentation on theme: "Addressing the Vocabulary Gap with the GSL and the AWL"— Presentation transcript:
1 Addressing the Vocabulary Gap with the GSL and the AWL TESL Ontario ConferenceOctober 2011Daragh Hayes & Kristibeth Kelly
2 Agenda The Vocabulary Predicament - What do learners need to know? The General Service List (GSL)The Academic Word List (AWL)Approaches at Lower LevelsApplication at Intermediate/Advanced Levels
3 The Vocabulary Predicament Spoken Discourse:2,000 words everyday spoken conversation (Schonell et al., 1956)2,000 – 3,000 words for 95% comprehension (Laufer, 1989)6,000 – 7,000 words for 98% comprehension (Nation, 2006)
4 The Vocabulary Predicament Written Discourse:8, ,000 words to comprehend the average newspaper article (Jeffries, 2011)10,000 word families to read most university textbooks (Hazenburg & Hulstijn, 1996)15,000 – 20,000 word families for a native speaker-like proficiency (Nation & Waring, 1997)(Lemmas = inflections: adapt adapts; no change in Part of Speech)
5 The Vocabulary Predicament Written Discourse:8, ,000 words to comprehend the average newspaper article (Jeffries, 2011)10,000 word families to read most university textbooks (Hazenburg & Hulstijn, 1996)15,000 – 20,000 word families for a native speaker-like proficiency (Nation & Waring, 1997)(Word Families = adapt adaptation; the other Parts of Speech)
6 How much does a learner need to know? Reading Comprehension:95% of the words in any given text to facilitate comprehension (Schmitt, 2000)For full comprehension, 98% coverage is necessary (Jeffries, 2011 via Nation)
7 How much does a learner need to know? (Optimism!) 50% of the words in an average passage (e.g. newspaper article) are common function words (the, it, to, is, etc.).If a learner knows the 2,000 most frequent words, he/she knows 85-90% of the words in most reading texts.(Jeffries, 2011, Extensive Reading, via Nation)
8 What does it mean to ‘know’ a Word? spellingmeaninggrammarpronunciationfrequencyconnotationsVocabulary is not an all-or-nothing piece of learning for any particular word… It is a gradual process of one meeting with a word adding to or strengthening the small amounts of knowledge gained about the word from previous encounters.(Nation, 2001)collocationsformality
9 Facilitating Vocabulary Acquisition How do we begin to address the gap?Incidental Learning?Extensive Reading?Explicit Vocabulary Instruction?
10 Incidental Learning…learning which accrues as a by- product of language usage, without the intended purpose of learning a particular linguistic feature. An example is any vocabulary learned while reading a novel simply for pleasure, with no stated goal of learning new lexical items.(Schmitt, 2010: 29)…learning which accrues as a by- product of language usage, without the intended purpose of learning a particular linguistic feature. An example is any vocabulary learned while reading a novel simply for pleasure, with no stated goal of learning new lexical items. (Schmitt, 2010: 29)
11 Intentional Learning…is learning which accrues as a result of a focused and deliberate attempt to learn a particular linguistic feature. An example is any vocabulary learned from explicitly studying a word list with the intention of memorizing the words on it.(Schmitt, 2011)…is learning which accrues as a result of a focused and deliberate attempt to learn a particular linguistic feature. An example is any vocabulary learned from explicitly studying a word list with the intention of memorizing the words on it.(Schmitt, 2011)
12 Facilitating Vocabulary Acquisition 7 - 10, up to 20 encounters, depending on the word, the context, the type of text, etc (Jeffries, 2011)Learning = Function of repetition & time (Mikulecky, 2011)
13 Facilitating Vocabulary Acquisition Explicit Teaching Intentional Learning:Explicit focus on target linguistic features results in learning that is:strongermore durablemore consistent among learners with different learning stylesProductive mastery Productive engagement(Schmitt, 2011)
14 Students need multiple exposures to words Exposure vs. LearningReading does not teach you the word meaningsStudents need multiple exposures to words
15 How To Best ‘Teach’ a Word? Vocabulary cannot be taught. It can be presented, explained, included in all kinds of activities, and experienced in all manner of associations … but ultimately it is learned by the individual.Vocabulary cannot be taught.Wilga Rivers, 1983
16 How Can We Best ‘Teach’ a Word? The most important deliberate learning part of a vocabulary course is the learners taking responsibility for their own learning.Paul Nation, 2008
17 Word Frequency Lists General Service List (GSL) 2,284 most common head words in English (i.e. “be” includes “am”, “is”, “are”, etc.)Academic Word List (AWL)- 570 words, ten sublists, excludes the GSL(Note: UWL updated to AWL)GSL:Original by Michael West, 1953, taken from corpus of written English;Billuroğlu and Neufeld (2005) confirmed that the General Service List was in need of minor revision, but the headwords in the list still provide approximately 80% text coverage in written English.-Version used in my classes updated by John Bauman and Brent Culligan in early 1995AWL:-Averil Coxhead (2000) at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand-excludes words contained in the GSLUWL:-published originally in 1984, Xue & Nation, predecessor to the AWL Xue Guoyi and Nation, I.S.P, 1984, A University Word List, Language Learning and Communication 3, 2: )
18 Word Frequency Lists(Hotta Dover & Dimeropoulos, 2010)
19 Word Frequency Lists Text Coverage for a Range of Texts Source GSL UWL (first 2,000)UWLTotalAcademic78%9%87%Newspapers80%4%84%Popular Magazines83%Fiction2%89%Nation & Waring: Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists, 6-19.From Schmitt & McCarthy (1997), Vocabulary: Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy.(Nation & Waring, 1997)
20 GSL at the Lower Levels 72.15 % 8.79% 3.12% 15.97% Access to list First 1,000 level words8.79%Second 1,000 level words3.12%Academic Word List15.97%Off ListAccess to listRationale & dataAccountabilityLink to success in course(i.e. Test scores)
21 Lower Level Approach: Vocabulary Journals Vocabulary Journal - Front
22 Lower Level Approach: L1 as a Learning Resource Vocabulary Journal - Back
23 Lower Level Approach: L1 as a Learning Resource Establish a meaning – form linkL1 as vehicle to establish this link quickly (Schmitt, 2011)
24 Lower Level Approach: L1 as a Learning Resource (Cummins, 1980/2001, p. 118)Cummins’ ‘Dual Iceberg’ modelPre-existing schema relabeling
25 Individualized Vocabulary Quiz… in Practice First three words only!
26 AWL in the Intermediate/Advanced Levels Access to listExplanation of Benefits- get “buy in”Multiple Exposures- reading texts- listening passagesPractice- online- in classAccountability- rubricsApplication- writing- speaking
33 Retention Strategy: Keep it Brain Friendly Listeningto speechReadingThinking about words & speakingThinking about wordsCarter, R. Mapping the mind. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.
34 Suggestions of How to Include the GSL & AWL in an ESL Program: Raise awareness among faculty and studentsLink the GSL & AWL to student successAdd vocabulary level questions to placement, diagnostic and/or exit level testsAssess current levels, set tangible learning targetsPromote self-study and individual accountabilityMake explicit links to classroom evaluationInclude GSL/AWL in all skill areas(Don't just limit vocabulary to reading & writing tasks alone)
35 Intermediate/Advanced Online Resources: AWL WebsitesPractice your knowledge of AWL words -AWL Highlighter -AWL Exercises & Pronunciation -Prefixes & Suffixes-Concordance -The GSL and AWL Lists of WordsExercises from all 10 sublists of the AWL -Reading Articles with AWL words -Academic Word Lists and Exercises -GSL - Games & ExercisesGeneral Service List Exercises -Student Choice in Vocabulary Testing -
36 Addressing the Vocabulary Gap with the GSL and the AWL Daragh Hayes -& Kristibeth Kelly –
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