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Addressing the Vocabulary Gap with the GSL and the AWL TESL Ontario Conference October 2011 Daragh Hayes & Kristibeth Kelly.

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Presentation on theme: "Addressing the Vocabulary Gap with the GSL and the AWL TESL Ontario Conference October 2011 Daragh Hayes & Kristibeth Kelly."— Presentation transcript:

1 Addressing the Vocabulary Gap with the GSL and the AWL TESL Ontario Conference October 2011 Daragh Hayes & Kristibeth Kelly

2 A GENDA The Vocabulary Predicament - What do learners need to know? The General Service List (GSL) The Academic Word List (AWL) Approaches at Lower Levels Application at Intermediate/Advanced Levels

3 T HE V OCABULARY P REDICAMENT 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 T HE V OCABULARY P REDICAMENT 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 T HE V OCABULARY P REDICAMENT 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 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) H OW MUCH DOES A LEARNER NEED TO KNOW ?

7 H OW MUCH DOES A LEARNER NEED TO KNOW ? (O PTIMISM !) 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 Word spelling meaning grammar pronunciation frequency connotations W HAT DOES IT MEAN TO KNOW A W ORD ? formality collocations Vocabulary 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)

9 F ACILITATING V OCABULARY A CQUISITION How do we begin to address the gap? Incidental Learning? Extensive Reading? Explicit Vocabulary Instruction?

10 I NCIDENTAL L EARNING …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 …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) I NTENTIONAL L EARNING …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 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) F ACILITATING V OCABULARY A CQUISITION

13 Explicit Teaching Intentional Learning: - Explicit focus on target linguistic features results in learning that is: stronger more durable more consistent among learners with different learning styles Productive mastery Productive engagement (Schmitt, 2011)

14 E XPOSURE VS. L EARNING Reading does not teach you the word meanings Students need multiple exposures to words

15 H OW T O B EST T EACH A W ORD ? 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. Wilga Rivers, 1983 Vocabulary cannot be taught.

16 H OW C AN W E B EST T EACH A W ORD ? The most important deliberate learning part of a vocabulary course is the learners taking responsibility for their own learning. Paul Nation, 2008

17 General Service List (GSL) - 2,284 most common head words in English (i.e. be includes am, is, are, etc.) Academic Word List (AWL) words, ten sublists, excludes the GSL (Note: UWL updated to AWL) W ORD F REQUENCY L ISTS

18 (Hotta Dover & Dimeropoulos, 2010)

19 Text Coverage for a Range of Texts W ORD F REQUENCY L ISTS SourceGSL (first 2,000) UWLTotal Academic78%9%87% Newspapers80%4%84% Popular Magazines 83%4%87% Fiction87%2%89% (Nation & Waring, 1997)

20 Access to list Rationale & data Accountability Link to success in course (i.e. Test scores) GSL AT THE L OWER L EVELS % -First 1,000 level words8.79% -Second 1,000 level words3.12% -Academic Word List15.97% -Off List

21 Vocabulary Journal - Front L OWER L EVEL A PPROACH : V OCABULARY J OURNALS

22 Vocabulary Journal - Back L OWER L EVEL A PPROACH : L1 AS A L EARNING R ESOURCE

23 Establish a meaning – form link L1 as vehicle to establish this link quickly (Schmitt, 2011) L OWER L EVEL A PPROACH : L1 AS A L EARNING R ESOURCE

24 Cummins Dual Iceberg model Pre-existing schema relabeling L OWER L EVEL A PPROACH : L1 AS A L EARNING R ESOURCE (Cummins, 1980/2001, p. 118)

25 I NDIVIDUALIZED V OCABULARY Q UIZ … IN P RACTICE First three words only!

26 Access to list Explanation of Benefits - get buy in Multiple Exposures - reading texts - listening passages Practice - online - in class Accountability - rubrics Application - writing - speaking AWL IN THE I NTERMEDIATE /A DVANCED L EVELS

27 I NTERMEDIATE /A DVANCED A PPLICATION : AWL H IGHLIGHTER

28 vocab/awlhighlighter.htm

29 AWL HIGHLIGHTER IN U SE : S TUDENT E SSAY

30 A CCOUNTABILITY AT L OWER L EVELS Remember the individual vocabulary quiz? How much do you remember?

31 R ETENTION S TRATEGY R EHEARSAL & R EPETITION In what manner does a mind forget new information? (Schmitt, N., 2011)

32 R ETENTION S TRATEGY R EHEARSAL & R EPETITION (Schmitt, N., 2000, p. 131)

33 R ETENTION S TRATEGY : K EEP IT B RAIN F RIENDLY Reading Listening to speech Thinking about words Thinking about words & speaking Carter, R. Mapping the mind. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

34 S UGGESTIONS OF H OW TO I NCLUDE THE GSL & AWL IN AN ESL P ROGRAM : Raise awareness among faculty and students Link the GSL & AWL to student success Add vocabulary level questions to placement, diagnostic and/or exit level tests Assess current levels, set tangible learning targets Promote self-study and individual accountability Make explicit links to classroom evaluation Include GSL/AWL in all skill areas (Don't just limit vocabulary to reading & writing tasks alone)

35 I NTERMEDIATE /A DVANCED O NLINE R ESOURCES : AWL Websites Practice your knowledge of AWL words - AWL Highlighter - AWL Exercises & Pronunciation - Prefixes & Suffixes- Concordance - The GSL and AWL Lists of Words Exercises from all 10 sublists of the AWL - Reading Articles with AWL words - Academic Word Lists and Exercises - GSL - Games & Exercises General Service List Exercises - Student Choice in Vocabulary Testing -

36 Addressing the Vocabulary Gap with the GSL and the AWL Daragh Hayes Daragh Hayes - Kristibeth Kelly & Kristibeth Kelly –


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