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Rob Waring Notre Dame Seishin University. What do learners need to know? Learners need 7000-8000 word families to read native novels easily About 2000.

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Presentation on theme: "Rob Waring Notre Dame Seishin University. What do learners need to know? Learners need 7000-8000 word families to read native novels easily About 2000."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rob Waring Notre Dame Seishin University

2 What do learners need to know? Learners need word families to read native novels easily About 2000 everyday words occur in all types of English. Learners need ‘specialist words’ as well. There are two stages in word learning. 1. The form-meaning relationship (its pronunciation, spelling and meaning) 2. The deeper word knowledge its different meanings Its derivations (useful, useless, uselessness, etc.) if it’s typically spoken, or written if it’s useful or rare, polite or rude the topic are we usually find it in (e.g. science, music, biology) its collocations and colligations

3 What’s a collocation? Collocations are words which often appear together. We sayWe don’t (usually) say beautiful girl handsome girl blonde hairyellow hair big surpriselarge surprise black and whitewhite and black go to workgo to job catch firedo fire / go fire high costexpensive cost demand a responseask a response make a mistakedo a mistake

4 What’s a colligation? Colligations are words which often appear together grammatically We sayWe don’t (usually) say depend on someonedepend of someone be good at somethingbe good on something ask for something ask on something

5 What collocations do you need to learn? Verb uses of one word - Idea… “Abandon an idea.” abandon, absorb, accept, adjust to, advocate, amplify, advance, back, be against, be committed/dedicated/ drawn to, be obsessed with, be struck by, borrow, cherish, clarify, cling to, come out/up with, confirm, conjure up, consider, contemplate, convey, debate, debunk, defend, demonstrate, develop, deny, dismiss, dispel, disprove, distort, drop, eliminate, encourage, endorse, entertain, explode, explore, expound, express, favor, fit, fit in with, follow up, form, formulate, foster, get, get accustomed/used to, get rid of, give up, go along with, grasp, hammer out, have, hit upon, hold, implement, imply, impose – on sb, incorporate, inculcate, instill, jot down, keep to, launch, meet, modify, negate, oppose, pick up, pioneer, plant, play with, popularize, present, promote, propose, put an end to, put forward, put – into practice, raise, refute, reinforce, reject, relish, resist, respond to, revive, ridicule, rule out, spread, squash, stick to, subscribe to, suggest, support, take to, take up, test, tinker with, toy with, turn down, warm to …

6 What collocations do you need to learn? II Adjective uses. “An idea is ………...” abstract, absurd, advanced, ambitious, arresting, basic, bizarre, bold, bright, brilliant, classical, clear, common, commonsense, confused, controversial, convincing, crazy, diabolical, disconcerting, elusive, enlightened, entrenched, exaggerated, extravagant, extreme, false, familiar, fantastic, far-fetched, feasible, feeble, fixed, flexible, foolish, grotesque, hazy, heretical, imaginative, inflated, ingenious, ingrained, innovative, instinctive, intriguing, irresponsible, mad, misconceived, mistaken, monstrous, new-fangled, novel, original, old-fashioned, outdated, out-of-date, outrageous, peculiar, persuasive, preconceived, preposterous, prevalent, provocative, (un)real, (un)realistic, remarkable, revolutionary, ridiculous, risky, sensible, silly, splendid, strange, striking, superficial, untenable, useful, vague, valid, well-defined …

7 What else do you need to know? III Lexical phrases and chunks of language How’s things? I’d rather not … If it were up to me, I’d … So, what do you think? We got a quick bite to eat. What’s the matter? What do you mean by that? Well, what do you know? Look what the cat just dragged in Plus THOUSANDS more

8 What else do you need to know? IV The grammar systems (e.g. the present perfect tense) A government committee has been created to … He hasn’t seen her for a while, has he? No, he hasn’t. Why haven’t you been doing your homework? There’s been a big accident in Market Street. Have you ever seen a ghost? It’s very hard to see the patterns – there are many forms: Statement, negative, yes/no and wh- question forms, Simple or continuous Active or passive Short answers and questions tags (Yes, I have. …… hasn’t he?) Regular and irregular - has vs. have walked vs. bought Present perfect for ‘announcing news’, PP for ‘experiences’, etc. etc.

9 The forms of the present perfect tense I have given. You have given. He/she/it has given. We have given. They have given. Have I given? Have you given? Has he/she/it given? Have we given? Have they given? I haven’t given. You haven’t given. He/she/it haven’t given. We haven’t given They haven’t given. What have I given? What have you given? What has he/she/it given? What have we given? What have they given? I have been given. You have been given. He/she/it has been given. We have been given. They have been given. Have I been given? Have you been given? Has he/she/it been given? Have we been given? Have they been given? I haven’t been given. You haven’t been given. He/she/it hasn’t been given. We haven’t been given They haven’t been given. What have I been given? What have you been given? What has he/she/it been given? What have we been given? What have they been given? I have been giving. You have been giving. He/she/it has been giving. We have been giving. They have been giving. Have I been giving? Have you been giving? Has he/she/it been giving? Have we been giving? Have they been giving? I haven’t been giving. You haven’t been giving. He/she/it hasn’t been giving. We haven’t been giving They haven’t been giving. Yes, I have. No, I haven’t. Yes, you have. No, you haven’t. Yes, he/she/it has. No, he/she/it hasn’t. Yes, we have. No, we haven’t. Yes, they have. No, they haven’t ……, have I? ….., haven’t I? ……, have you? ……, haven’t you? ….., has he/he/it? ….., hasn’t he/she/it? ….., have we?..…, haven’t we? ….., have they? ….., haven’t they?

10 How long will it take to teach them? An average word needs meetings for it to be learnt receptively from reading (more for productive use) An average word’s meaning takes meetings to learn from word cards or word lists To learn the collocations and ‘deeper’ aspects of language learning takes MUCH longer. There’s little research into the rate learning of collocation, colligation or lexical phrases from reading We know nothing at all about how long it takes to master a particular grammatical form e.g. a tense

11 How well are our courses presenting the language students need? Research suggests an average language course: does not systematically recycle the grammatical forms outside the presentation unit / lesson has an almost random vocabulary selection without much regard to frequency or usefulness (mostly based on topic) rarely, if ever, recycles taught words either later in the unit, the book, or the series provide little additional practice in review units or workbooks has an overwhelming focus on new material in each lesson

12 How often do words appear in course books?

13 The structure of our industry We break the language up into ‘teachable chunks’ – years, semesters, weeks, lessons, and exercises The focus is on new. Every unit has something new – A new vocabulary focus A new grammar focus A new pronunciation point A new a new reading skill A new function Etc. etc. etc. Course books have a LINEAR structure with a constant focus on new

14 A linear structure to our syllabuses Each unit has something new Little focus on the recycling of vocab, grammar and so on The theory is “We’ve done that, they have learnt it, so we can move on.” i.e. teaching causes learning Unit 1 Be verb Simple adjectives Unit 2 Simple present Daily routines Unit 3 Present continuous Sporting activities Unit 4 can Abilities Unit 5 …. …..

15 What happens to things we learn? We forget them over time unless they are recycled and memories of them strengthened Our brains are designed to forget most of what we meet - not to remember it Time Knowledge The Forgetting Curve

16 What will naturally happen to the learning? Unit 1 Be verb Simple adjectives Unit 2 Simple present Daily routines Unit 3 Present continuous Sporting activities Unit 4 can Abilities Unit 5 …. …..

17 What does this all imply? A linear course structure is focused on introducing new words and grammatical features does not fight against the forgetting curve by its very design cannot provide enough repetitions of words and grammar features for long-term acquisition to take place is not focused on deepening and consolidating older knowledge because the focus is always on new things

18 Does this mean course books are bad? This is NOT a criticism of course books. There’s too much to actually teach. Thousands of words plus their collocations, multiple meaning senses etc. Thousands of lexical phrases The grammar systems The pronunciation, reading skills, listening skills etc. etc. etc. No course book can teach all this. Course books are designed to introduce new language and give minimal practice with it not to deepen that knowledge.

19 So what needs to happen? We have to ensure our curriculums and courses: build in some recycling and repetition of words and grammar structures give students chances to see how the grammar and vocabulary are used together in real language give students chances to deepen and consolidate the language they learn in their course books (or they forget it) allow students to develop their own ‘sense’ of how the language works give students chances to use language rather than just study it

20 How do we expose them to massive amounts of language? Massive amounts of easy fluent reading with graded readers Massive amounts of fluent listening The focus should be on deepening and consolidating knowledge of things they learnt in their course books

21 Course work and Graded Readers work together Consolidating and deepening language knowledge GRADED READING (Extensive Reading) Unit 1 Be verb Unit 2 Simple present Unit 3 Present continuous Unit 4 can Unit 5 …. Introducing language

22 What are graded readers? They are books written for learners of English written at various difficulty levels Level 1 books have very few words and only the simplest grammar Level 2 books have slightly harder vocabulary and grammar Level 3 increases the difficulty … and so on The students progress through the levels reading books that mirror what they learnt in their course work

23 Course work and Graded Readers work together II Level 1 books Level 2 books Level 3 books …. Unit 1 Be verb Simple adjectives Unit 2 Simple present Daily routines Unit 3 Present continuous Sporting activities Unit 4 can Abilities Unit 5 …. …..

24 Graded readers

25 Non-fiction too

26 Beginner level Easy vocabulary Present tenses only Very simple plot

27 High beginner level Little bit more difficult vocabulary More difficult grammar Harder plot

28 High Intermediate Some difficult vocabulary More difficult grammar

29 The aim of graded reading To recycle important and useful words and grammar time and time and time again to aid acquisition To provide massive fluent reading practice To build reading speed To be enjoyable – so they read more To build depth of knowledge To consolidate and strengthen partly known language

30 Reading at the right level Students MUST read at their comfortable reading level so they: can read it quickly can read it fluently (so they can read fast) can read a lot (as they need to meet a lot of language) can read with very high levels of understanding (i.e. something they can read without a dictionary) can enjoy the reading can get the reading habit which they can keep all their lives Read something Enjoyable with Adequate understanding so you Don’t need a dictionary

31 The missing piece of the puzzle Graded readers: allow students to see how the language in their course books is actually used provide the massive practice course books are not designed to do recycle, revise and consolidate the language give fluency practice and help build reading speed allow students to build a “sense” of language

32 If the reading is too difficult If students read something too difficult: the reading is slow and they can’t read much the students can get tired easily it becomes a form of ‘study’ It’s easy for students to give up

33 How much reading should we do? About a book a week or more. Beginners - A book at week at your ability level They can meet unknown words easily, so you don’t need to read much. Intermediates - A book at week at your ability level They don’t meet unknown words all the time, but your books are thicker, so you are reading more. Advanced – 2 books at week at your ability level They rarely meet unknown words, so you have to read more to meet language you don’t know.

34 Some objections from teachers and schools Nice idea but I have no time in my course. -> If you don’t have graded reading where will the students get the massive exposure they need? -> How else will they get the ‘sense of language’ they need? We don’t have the money for this. -> Ask your schools to reallocate funds so this reading is done; ask for donations; get some free samples etc. We have to go through our set curriculum. -> Speak with your course designers to build in graded reading. Re-allocate resources and re-set class hours We have to prepare the students for tests. -> Research shows students perform better on tests if they have a general sense of language, not a deconstructed ‘bitty’ one.

35 What to read? Read something interesting to you Don’t be afraid to read something ‘childish’ – you may like it Read something that is easy

36 Summary Course books and easy reading are two sides of the same coin – they help each other Everyone needs to do easy reading. It should not be an option. Choose books at the right level (so you can read fluently with high levels of understanding and without a dictionary) You need to learn to listen fluently too.

37 Finally… You can review this presentation by downloading the article from the following website. More information about Graded Reading (Extensive Reading) at…


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