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Negotiating Individual Learner Vocabulary Acquisition Processes through Technology Brent A. Green, Ph.D Associate Dean ESL, College Readiness, Testing.

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Presentation on theme: "Negotiating Individual Learner Vocabulary Acquisition Processes through Technology Brent A. Green, Ph.D Associate Dean ESL, College Readiness, Testing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Negotiating Individual Learner Vocabulary Acquisition Processes through Technology Brent A. Green, Ph.D Associate Dean ESL, College Readiness, Testing Salt Lake Community College ITESOL 2014 Presentation

2 Presentation Outline Vocabulary Knowledge Defined Vocabulary Lists Learner Variability Use of Technology Practical Approaches Assessment

3 What is Word Knowledge? Receptive vs Productive Breadth and Depth (Anderson & Freebody, 1981)

4 Nation’s(2001) Definition of Word Knowledge Form Spoken R What does a word sound like? P How is a word pronounced? Written R What does a word look like? P How is a word written and spelled? Word parts R What word parts are recognizable in this word? P What word parts are needed to express meaning? Meaning Form and meaning R What meaning does this word form signal? P What word can be used to express this meaning? Concepts and referents R What is included in the concept? P What items can the concept refer to? Associations R What other words does this word make us think of? P What other words could we use instead of this one? Use Grammatical functions R In what patterns does the word occur? P In what patterns must we use this word? Collocations R What words or types of word occur with this one? P What words or types of word must we use with this one? Constraints on use R Where, when, and how often would we meet this word? P Where, when and how often can we use this word? R = Receptive P = Productive

5 Traditional Vocabulary Types (Nation, 2001) GeneralAcademicTechnicalLow Frequency The 2000 most frequent words of English A list of 570 frequently occurring word families in academic texts Words that occur with very high or moderate frequency level within a limited range of texts words at the 2, ,000 frequency level and beyond Provides 80% coverage of most texts Provides approximately 8-12% coverage of academic texts Provides 5% coverage of most texts most active college personal involvement principles maximize intensity underlining Engage spectator gateway bureaucracy abduct aberration circumvent

6 Touching the First Base of Community College Success: Active Involvement Research indicates that active involvement may be the most powerful principle of human learning and college success (Astin, 1993; Kuh, 2000). It could be considered the first base of college success because if it's not touched or covered you can't advance to any other base. This principle is the gateway to implementing all other principles of college success. The bottom line is this: To maximize your success in college, you cannot be a passive spectator; you need to be an active player in the learning process. The principle of active involvement includes the following pair of processes:  The amount of personal time you devote to learning in the college experience, and  The degree of personal effort or energy (mental and physical) you put into the learning process. Think of something you do with intensity, passion, and commitment. If you were to approach academic work in the same way, you would be faithfully implementing the principle of active involvement. One way to ensure that you're actively involved in the learning process and putting forth high levels of energy or effort is to act on what you are learning. Engage in some physical action with respect to what you're learning. You can engage in any of the following actions to ensure that you are investing a high level of effort and energy: Writing. Express what you're trying to learn in print. Action: Write notes when reading rather than passively underlining sentences. Speaking. Express what you're trying to learn orally. Action: Explain a course concept to a study-group partner rather than just looking over it silently. Organizing. Group or classify ideas you're learning into logical categories. Action: Create an outline, diagram, or concept map to visually connect ideas. The following section explains how you can apply both components of active involvement—spending time and expending energy—to the major learning challenges that you will encounter in college. (adapted from Green & Andrade 2014) The following example illustrates how the words match up an academic passage. Words are color coded to represent which list they belong to. Black words are GSL words, blue words are AVL words, and green words are common in specific academic disciplines.

7 What Do We Teach? Teach the most frequent 2000 words Teach the AWL/sub-technical vocabulary, if students are going on to academic study Teach the technical words of a subject after the first two sets of words have been learned Or learners can/will learn technical words once they begin their subject studies or enter their field of work Teach strategies for low-frequency words (D. Schmitt, 2013)

8 Challenges to the Traditional “List” Approaches “[General academic word lists fail] to engage with current conceptions of literacy and EAP, ignore important differences in the collocational and semantic behavior of words, and do not correspond with the ways language is actually used in academic writing. [They] …could seriously mislead students.” (Hyland and Tse, 2007: )

9 Considering the role of mid-frequency vocabulary (Schmitt and Schmitt, 2014) Hi-frequencyLow frequency vocabulary vocabulary Mid-frequency 3,001 – 8,999 3,000 9,000 families families See Nation & Anthony, 2013 for a discussion on how to give learners practice with extensive readers at Mid-frequency ranges. Link to the mid-frequency readers portal on Paul Nation’s web page. /paul-nation/paul-nation.

10 How Do We Address Learner Variability in Vocabulary Acquisition? Variability occurs because of variation in learners’… depth of word knowledge breadth of word knowledge age levels of formal education academic literacy personal experiences

11 Practical Applications with Technology Courses: Developmental Reading Courses where 70-80% are English language learners Target Domain: Introductory level college texts Vocabulary Words: Ten words are self-selected from lists of 25. Words are Academic Vocabulary List (Gardner & Davies, 2013) taken from target language reading passages (Psychology 1010, Biology 1010, Economics 1010, etc).

12 Economics as Science Economics is a science in that it studies "demonstrable truths or observable phenomena” and is characterized by "the systematic application of the scientific method." But, economics as a social science, for the phenomena it addresses involve the social relationships among people. As in other social sciences, one must be careful to distinguish between two types of statements: normative and positive. Normative versus Positive Economics The statement, "Higher tariffs on foreign clothing manufacturers protect jobs in the American textile industry," is an example of positive economics. Positive economics deals with the consequences of certain conditions, actions, or behavior. We have not said in this statement that protection through tariffs is either good or bad, only that one consequence of the imposition of a tariff is to afford some workers job protection. If on the other hand, we say: "Tariffs ought to be raised so as to protect more American jobs," this is an example of normative economics. While positive economics investigates the consequences of certain actions, it makes no judgment as to which actions should be taken. Judgment is the realm of normative economics. In the statement above, the judgment is that tariffs are too low. The statement implies that some optimal level of tariffs exists—a level that apparently allows importing the proper amount of foreign-produced clothes while protecting the proper number of jobs in the textile industry. Many people who make such statements about the necessity of raising tariffs have no idea how to choose an optimal level of tariffs. They only know that they do not like the present level of tariffs. Other examples of normative statements are: "Unemployment is too high," “Income is not distributed equally enough," and "Interest rates are too high." These statements involve value judgments about where the level of unemployment, the degree of income equality, or the level of interest rates should be. For example, depending on the perspective from which we view interest rates, two people may look at the same rate and make different normative statements. If I want to borrow money to buy a house, I might think that current interest rates are too high. If I'm saving money in hopes of accumulating a sum sufficient to let me retire on the French Riviera, I might think that current interest rates are too low. Positive economics cannot tell us what the best policy on interest rates or tariffs is. Instead, it increases our knowledge about how the economy works so that once we have decided what is best (essentially a political process), we know how to attain that goal and avoid the pitfalls along the way. Without positive economics we may find that the policy we pursue works contrary to our goals. An example is the minimum wage. Some proponents of the minimum wage favor it because they believe it will achieve their goal of a more equal income distribution. The goal of achieving a more equal income distribution is in the realm of normative economics. But positive economics can be used to determine the actual impact of the minimum wage legislation on labor markets. Economic analysis finds that often the people who are hurt most by minimum wage legislation are the underprivileged and the disadvantaged—the very people the proponents of the minimum wage seek to help! We explore the effects of the minimum wage in more detail in Chapter 6, but the lesson should already be apparent. Without a firm understanding of positive economics, the normative judgments we make as consumers, investors, or voters may not actually lead us to the desired outcomes. What then are we going to discuss in this book? Will we present positive economic analysis or normative judgments? The aim is to focus on positive analysis. That is not to say that economists do not make normative statements. In fact, economists often make suggestions on what the government or others should do to achieve a particular goal. In these cases economists draw upon their understanding of the workings of the economy—positive economics—to anticipate how best to meet these goals. The next two sections present a brief overview of the scientific methodology of positive economics, where first we consider the role of economic models in focusing discussions and then examine the dilemma economists face in attempting to verify propositions that arise from positive economic analysis. Positive economics concerns the economic consequences of certain conditions, actions, or behavior. Normative economics deals with what economic actions should be taken. Scarcity and Economic Costs The 18th-century French philosopher Francois Quesnay was drawn to the study of economics by an observation of a small segment of the world around him — the market in central-city Paris. He noticed that people would go to the market daily to shop for food. Just as certain as the arrival of the daily shoppers was the arrival of farmers into the city with food. These suppliers of food came from the agrarian regions in the countryside surrounding Paris. Every day a flurry of activity would take place as shoppers and farmers exchanged money for food. What fascinated Quesnay about the process was the absence of any central coordination. It would have been easy to understand the entire process if someone had been in charge of feeding Paris and had given the instructions necessary for the exchanges to occur. The central coordinator could have told the Parisians where to go to buy their food, and he could have told the farmers which fruits and vegetables to grow, how much of each to grow, and finally what price to charge for each item. But no central coordinator told buyers and sellers what to do. The necessary information came to them through the trial-and-error process we know as the market. Farmers who grew the wrong kinds of vegetables, who grew too much of one kind of vegetable, or who attempted to charge too high a price for their vegetables received signals from the market that they were doing something wrong and made adjustments accordingly. If you walked through the marketplace at the end of the day and saw some farmer with unsold, rotting vegetables, you might be struck by the failure of the market to coordinate the activities of buyers and sellers. What you would be overlooking, however, is that on any given day the market successfully coordinates the actions of the vast majority of buyers and sellers. The key mechanism for coordinating this activity is the price system. So important is the price system in coordinating economic activity that the bulk of this book is devoted to explaining how prices affect the actions of buyers and sellers. In our Parisian market example, for instance, suppose the sellers of truffles discovered that they could sell more truffles at prevailing prices, as buyers cluster around their empty stalls at the end of most days clamoring for more truffles. Truffle sellers would respond by raising prices. The higher prices would induce additional individuals to forsake production of other goods and take to the woods in search of truffles. At the same time, the higher prices would induce some buyers to substitute truffleless dishes in place of their regular gourmet meals. In this simple example, you can begin to see how prices—in this case the higher price of truffles—serve to allocate resources among competing uses and users. This small slice of experience from the Paris market is the "stuff" economics. Truffles—tuber-shaped edible underground fungus (like mushrooms) with a unique flavor that are collected in the wild. Often pigs are used to sniff out the location of truffles. Truffles are used in a variety of gourmet dishes and are considered by many to be delicacies. Scarcity and Economic Costs The 18th-century French philosopher Francois Quesnay was drawn to the study of economics by an observation of a small segment of the world around him — the market in central-city Paris. He noticed that people would go to the market daily to shop for food. Just as certain as the arrival of the daily shoppers was the arrival of farmers into the city with food. These suppliers of food came from the agrarian regions in the countryside surrounding Paris. Every day a flurry of activity would take place as shoppers and farmers exchanged money for food. What fascinated Quesnay about the process was the absence of any central coordination. It would have been easy to understand the entire process if someone had been in charge of feeding Paris and had given the instructions necessary for the exchanges to occur. The central coordinator could have told the Parisians where to go to buy their food, and he could have told the farmers which fruits and vegetables to grow, how much of each to grow, and finally what price to charge for each item. But no central coordinator told buyers and sellers what to do. The necessary information came to them through the trial-and-error process we know as the market. Farmers who grew the wrong kinds of vegetables, who grew too much of one kind of vegetable, or who attempted to charge too high a price for their vegetables received signals from the market that they were doing something wrong and made adjustments accordingly. If you walked through the marketplace at the end of the day and saw some farmer with unsold, rotting vegetables, you might be struck by the failure of the market to coordinate the activities of buyers and sellers. What you would be overlooking, however, is that on any given day the market successfully coordinates the actions of the vast majority of buyers and sellers. The key mechanism for coordinating this activity is the price system. So important is the price system in coordinating economic activity that the bulk of this book is devoted to explaining how prices affect the actions of buyers and sellers. In our Parisian market example, for instance, suppose the sellers of truffles discovered that they could sell more truffles at prevailing prices, as buyers cluster around their empty stalls at the end of most days clamoring for more truffles. Truffle sellers would respond by raising prices. The higher prices would induce additional individuals to forsake production of other goods and take to the woods in search of truffles. At the same time, the higher prices would induce some buyers to substitute truffleless dishes in place of their regular gourmet meals. In this simple example, you can begin to see how prices—in this case the higher price of truffles—serve to allocate resources among competing uses and users. This small slice of experience from the Paris market is the "stuff" economics. Truffles—tuber-shaped edible underground fungus (like mushrooms) with a unique flavor that are collected in the wild. Often pigs are used to sniff out the location of truffles. Truffles are used in a variety of gourmet dishes and are considered by many to be delicacies. Economics: A Survey by Barron, Blanchard, and Lynch (2006)

13 Technology Corpora and concordancing programs for list analyses Corpus of Contemporary American English WordandPhrase.info Lextutor SCREENCAST-O-MATIC Teacher Generated Video Instructions SCREENCAST-O-MATICTeacher Generated Video Instructions Google Docs Mail Merge Database Management

14 Academic Vocabulary List The AVL words that are found in the reading passages for this chapter are listed in the table below. Review each word and check the box which corresponds to your current knowledge of the word. Select 10 words, then complete the AVL Chapter 4 Worksheet for the 10 words you have selected. Guide Meaning = I know the word’s meaning Collocations = I know what common words come before or after this word. Part of Speech = I know the word’s part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) Form = I know other forms of this word (a word’s relatives) Use = I can use the word correctly in an academic sentence of my own.

15 Word ContextMCPFU acquire In making such decisions, individuals weigh the values and costs of various choices. In this context, the cost of acquiring a particular good or taking a particular action is the highest valued alternative you sacrifice. approximately While approximately half of the lakefront units sell for market rates, prices for the remaining units are constrained far below market rates—as low as $25 per month in some instances. attempt The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) manages 78 housing developments for families and senior citizens. In an attempt to improve public housing, the CHA approved a $1.5 billion plan in February 2000 to substantially renovate and redevelop 25,000 apartments, including 490 units in a complex along Lake Michigan. benefitTo assess whether you have allocated your scarce resources of time and money in the most advantageous way, you would have to look at the costs and benefits of your collage education. conflictThe Occupy Wall Street movement no longer occupies Wall Street, but the issue of class conflict has captured a growing share of the national consciousness. desireWithout a firm understanding of positive economics, the normative judgments we make as consumers, investors, or voters may not actually lead us to the desired outcomes. determineHowever, violence is not the common method by which individuals or groups compete for scarce goods within a society or even on an international scale. Rather, governments establish and enforce rules that determine how we compete. emergeYet even with income as a rationing criterion, there often remain more people who would like to have the apartment units than there are units available. What other rules might emerge under these circumstances?

16 WordContext Part of Speech Frequent words before Frequent words after Other forms of the word DefinitionSentence 1 acquire In making such decisions, individuals weigh the values and costs of various choices. In this context, the cost of acquiring a particular good or taking a particular action is the highest valued alternative you sacrifice. 2 approximately While approximately half of the lakefront units sell for market rates, prices for the remaining units are constrained far below market rates—as low as $25 per month in some instances. 5 conflictThe Occupy Wall Street movement no longer occupies Wall Street, but the issue of class conflict has captured a growing share of the national consciousness. Academic Vocabulary List Chapter 4 Name: ____________________ Instructions: Select 10 words you would like to study (leave blank those you won’t be using). Underline the word in its context. Search Word and Phrase or the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) to discover the most frequently occurring words before and after your chosen word. You can choose an on-line dictionary to lookWord and PhraseCorpus of Contemporary American English (COCA)on-line dictionary up the definition of the word and write it in the definition box, include the part of speech and other forms of the word (Hint: you can find a list of words and their families on the class webpage). Finally, write your own sentence using the word. (Hint: When you paste from the Internet select “Paste Special” “unformatted text” )

17 Assessment Approaches Ask students to report via Google forms their list of words.Google forms Create a database of words and test itemsdatabase Create your test formform Use mail merge to generate individual tests for learners Practicality Issues Selected and constructed response items Item scoring

18 The End

19 References Green, B. A. & Andrade, M. S. (2014) Developing academic literacy skills. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt. Gardner, D. & Davies, M. (2014). A new academic vocabulary list. Applied Linguistics, 35 (3), Nation, I. S. P. (2001). Learning Vocabulary in Another Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Nation, P. & Anthony, L. (2013) Mid-frequency readers. Journal of Extensive Reading, 1, Schmitt, D. (2013). Academic Vocabulary: What is it and how can it be incorporated into a language teaching program? TESOL Convention Presentation, Dallas, Texas (http://www.norbertschmitt.co.uk/uploads/27_5155de4671a0c ppt )http://www.norbertschmitt.co.uk/uploads/27_5155de4671a0c ppt Schmitt, N., & Schmitt, D. (2014). A reassessment of frequency and vocabulary size in L2 vocabulary teaching. Language Teaching, 47(4),


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