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Grammar and Vocabulary Instruction for Diverse Learners CATESOL 2012 College/University Level Workshop Jan Frodesen, UC Santa Barbara Margi Wald, UC Berkeley.

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Presentation on theme: "Grammar and Vocabulary Instruction for Diverse Learners CATESOL 2012 College/University Level Workshop Jan Frodesen, UC Santa Barbara Margi Wald, UC Berkeley."— Presentation transcript:

1 Grammar and Vocabulary Instruction for Diverse Learners CATESOL 2012 College/University Level Workshop Jan Frodesen, UC Santa Barbara Margi Wald, UC Berkeley

2 Defining Good Writing Bennett, TESOL 2012: Good writing = Writing that meets expectations. Disciplines, courses, instructors “Features of good writing vary from one situation to another. These variations depend, for example, on the subject of the writing, its purpose, and the reader’s expectations. The form of writing used in a field of study often structures those expectations.” (Hjortshoj, 2001, p. 33)

3 Academic writing: Grammar/Vocabulary features If we think about this definition -- based on subject, purpose, and reader expectations -- what grammar and vocabulary features meet expectations for college/university academic writing?

4 Academic writing: Grammar/Vocabulary features

5 Are we meeting these expectations? Academic tone: Accurate and precise use of academic vocabulary Semantic categories: Change of state verbs and nouns (increase, decrease, alteration) Reason/cause and result/effect verbs and nouns (factor, influence, stems from, stimulate) Grammatical features not often covered in textbooks: Modified noun phrases (the dramatic increase in foreclosures) Prepositional connectors as cohesive devices (Given the dramatic increase in foreclosures)

6 Strategy #1 Teach students to be vocabulary investigators by providing resources and opportunities to practice using those resources

7 What it means to know a word Part 1 – Each pair of sentences below contains a shared word. For each pair, explain the difference in meaning between sentence (a) and (b). 1 a. The researchers counted the number of responses given my each participant. b. How much do student evaluations count in the reviews of instructors? Aspect: 2 a. Given the president’s high approval ratings, the public seems to be more forgiving of his difficulties than the press and Congress are. b. Silver is the most forgiving car color, as it shows the least amount of dirt, dents and scratches. Aspect:

8 Part 2 – Each pair of sentences below contains words with similar meanings. For each pair, explain the difference in tone, if any, between sentence (a) and (b). 3 a. After the plane crash, the investigators interviewed the pilots. b. After the plane crash, the investigators interrogated the pilots. Aspect: 4 a. Researchers compiled tons of evidence to support their position. b. Researchers compiled abundant evidence to support their position. Aspect: 5 a. Scholars dismiss this theory as risible. b. Scholars dismiss this theory as ridiculous. Aspect:

9 What it means to know a word Read through each of the following sentences. Underline or highlight the words, phrases, or clauses that you think sound awkward or may contain an error. If possible, list how you might change the sentence to address this concern. 1.Researchers are quite interested of the relationship between socio-economic status and acquisition of academic English 2.In her article, Santos sites several studies that examine this relationship. 1.It is also important to recognition the debates about bilingual education in the US. 1.Many people claim that bilingual education causes that learners develop English skills more slowly than English-only programs, whereas others believe the opposite. (Clue: Consider grammatical structure)

10 Resource: Learner’s Dictionaries

11 Learner’s Dictionaries: Training On your handout: Take a look at the example for permeate. Look back at the Aspects of a Word Charts. What do we learn about this word from the dictionary entry? What might we want to work on together with students to help them gain the most benefit from this entry? Here’s the sentence the student wrote: “New anti-immigration laws permeated fear throughout the immigrant community.” How would you help students understand what is wrong with the use of permeate?

12 Practice Interrogate: Connotation: What words in the definition tell you the connotation of the word? Derivatives: List the three derivatives or word forms given for this word. Figurative use: What is the difference in meaning between interrogate someone and interrogate something, like a commonly-held belief? Write two sentences, in your own words, one using the first meaning and one using the second meaning. Countability: The definition lists interrogation as both countable and uncountable. Nouns that can be countable and uncountable are often referred to as double nouns. Look at the two examples below. In which is interrogation countable and in which is it uncountable? In the US, during an interrogation of a child, the parents are often required to be in the room. Over the course of several hours, each suspect was taken for interrogation. Collocations: Read through the usage note. For each sentence below, choose a word that fits. The police decided to _________ an interrogation of the suspect, given the new evidence uncovered the night before. The suspect was still ______ interrogation three hours later.

13 Resource: Collocations Dictionary

14 Collocations Dictionaries: Training On your handout: Take a look at the example for evidence. Look back at the Aspects of a Word Charts. What do we learn about this word from this entry? What might we want to work on together with students to help them gain the most benefit from this entry? Here are some sample sentences. How would you help students understand what is wrong in these sentences? 1.The author presents really great evidence to support his position. I believe this evidence makes his argument is very persuasive. 2.Providing only a little bit of evidence, the author fails to convince his audience. 3.Much research on the link between athletic participation and leadership has been performed on US college campuses, providing big evidence that student athletes gain strong leadership skills.

15 Practice Sample sentence: It is important to conduct a complete inspection annually to ensure that all requirements have been done. Look up ‘requirements’ in a collocations dictionary. List three verbs below that are common collocations with requirement.

16 Resource: Online Concordancer Collocations: Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) What do we learn about collocations (preposition and types of nouns)?

17 Resource: Online Concordancer Frequency: Corpus of Contemporary American English Results in magazine, newspaper and academic registers: Risible: 50 times (newspaper, magazine, academic registers) Ridiculous: 2633 times Ludicrous: 730 times The infrequency of risible should make you stop, think, and investigate. Might there be a more frequent synonymous word? How exactly is this word used and in which contexts? Again, it might be fine to use this word once but not several times in one paper.

18 Resource: Online Concordancer Grammatical Environment (COCA)

19 Practice Look up the word factor, a common classifier word in academic writing. 1.List three adjectives that can co-occur with this noun: 1.List three verbs that co-occur with this noun: 1.(Advanced) In the MS Word thesaurus, the first four synonyms for factor are issue, influence, feature, aspect. Investigate these words – can they always be used in place of factor? Try looking up a couple words that are used in your field or perhaps general academic words (e.g., analysis, assertion, solution) to see what words collocate with them.

20 Strategy #2 Sequence assignments: assessing students’ knowledge investigating words/grammar manipulating words/grammar

21 Assessing: Noticing Highlight the words in the sentences below that express changes such as increases, decreases, a combination of both or other types of change. The changes could refer to people, places or things, ideas, activities, states or events. The first has been done as an example. 1.The altering of photographs, known as photo manipulation or retouching, has been practiced since the early 20 th century. However, the practice has mushroomed in recent years with advances in digital technology. Commonly referred by its slang term “photo-shopping,” photo manipulation is increasingly used to “enhance” an individual’s physical appearance through alterations such as adjusting eye color, diminishing facial wrinkles, and enlarging or reducing various parts of the body.

22 Assessing: Noticing 2. In measuring inflation, economists omit consumer items whose costs fluctuate greatly, either rising or declining sharply, from month to month. Items that swing widely in price include airline tickets and televisions. The prices of some foods can also vary considerably in a short period of time. 5. Critics of some current drug use laws contend that the laws have done little to curb the drug problems. Instead, they argue that these laws have inflated the prison population with individuals who pose no serious threat to society and who only aggravate existing problems within the prisons. Indeed, the surging prison population in many states resulting from numerous drug convictions has become a serious social and economic issue. 7. There is mounting evidence that children’s creative play has steadily declined as a result of extended periods of watching television and video games. Some researchers believe this decline in play may transform children’s cognitive and social developmental processes.

23 Assessing: Noticing 2. In measuring inflation, economists omit consumer items whose costs fluctuate greatly, either rising or declining sharply, from month to month. Items that swing widely in price include airline tickets and televisions. The prices of some foods can also vary considerably in a short period of time. 5. Critics of some current drug use laws contend that the laws have done little to curb the drug problems. Instead, they argue that these laws have inflated the prison population with individuals who pose no serious threat to society and who only aggravate existing problems within the prisons. Indeed, the surging prison population in many states resulting from numerous drug convictions has become a serious social and economic issue. 7. There is mounting evidence that children’s creative play has steadily declined as a result of extended periods of watching television and video games. Some researchers believe this decline in play may transform children’s cognitive and social developmental processes.

24 Assessing: Meaning Place the following verbs into the appropriate column. abate, amplify, augment, condense, deplete, depreciate, dwindle, escalate, lessen, proliferate, reduce, spread, subside IncreaseDecrease

25 Investigating: Collocations One excellent way of building your productive vocabulary is to become more familiar with the object nouns that commonly follow transitive verbs meaning to make something larger or smaller. Using an online concordancer, find five nouns that can follow each of the verbs below as objects. If you use a concordancer, check past tense verbs too since they are often more common. List them next to the verb. If possible, find ones that are used repeatedly. The first has been done for you. VerbsNouns that can follow as objects amplifyEffects, risks, signals, problems, voices augment deplete escalate lessen reduce

26 Investigating: Collocations The verbs in this next group are always or often used intransitively; that is, they describe things that become or grow larger or smaller without mention of a “doer” that causes the action. Use a concordancer or collocations dictionary to find four or five nouns that can occur as subjects with these verbs. (Again, keep in mind that you may find more concordancer examples with the past tense verbs, e.g., subsided, than present tense.) The first has been done for you. Nouns that can precede as subjectsVerbs Epidemic, pressures, symptoms, worries, violenceabate condense depreciate dwindle proliferate spread subside

27 Manipulating: Collocations For each sentence below, select one of the three verbs given that would be the best choice to express an increase or decrease. Using a dictionary, concordancer, or an internet search engine, identify the verb that best collocates with the underlined nouns and other underlined words and put the corresponding letter in the blank. 1.The counseling staff wants to ______ awareness of depression among college students. a. accumulate b. inflate c. heighten 2.I’m sorry to say that it appears we have completely ______ the resources for dealing with this problem. a. deflated b. exhausted c. lessened 3.The engineers needed to ________ the sound in the auditorium so that those in the back of the hall could hear. a. amplify b. enlarge c. multiply 4.The International Monetary Fund’s contribution of $13 billion has ________ fears that Greece could default on its debt. a. dwindled b. compressed c. eased

28 Manipulating: Transitivity Now consider the following sentences. Two are grammatically correct but the others are not. Underline the main verb in each sentence. If the sentence correctly uses a transitive verb that can be followed by an object, write C in the blank provided. If the sentence incorrectly uses an object after an intransitive verb write I; then rephrase the sentence, using the object as the subject of your new sentence. If needed, use a dictionary to check whether a verb can be transitive in the way used for the sentence. The first has been done for you. _I_ 1. Thousands of newly arrived immigrants boomed the population. Rephrased: The population boomed when thousands of new immigrants arrived. ___2. He dwindled his job opportunities by dropping out of school ___3. This internship will help to augment my qualifications for future positions in my field. ___4. We mushroomed the image to twenty times its normal size. ___5. Several aspirin and some rest subsided her bad headache. ___6. The economic recession has shriveled individual savings.

29 Your turn: Cause/Effect Verbs arise fromaccount forperpetuate be attributed toallow forprevent derive fromcontribute topromote emerge fromenableprovoke follow fromgeneraterender originate fromgive rise toresult in result fromhinderstimulate stem frominfluencetrigger restrainlead toyield

30 Strategy #3 Guide students in developing grammar and vocabulary for effectively connecting ideas in academic writing.

31 Connections and writing fluency The “grammar” for writing isn’t the “grammar” for speaking. (Bennett, 2012) Linguistic fluency: The use of linguistic structures appropriate to rhetorical and social purposes (Reynolds, 2005)

32 Key connecting structures in academic writing 1.Noun phrases 2.Logical connectors: Prepositions

33 Noun phrases in academic writing 1. Noun phrases Frequency 60% of lexical words in scholarly writing = nouns! (most = nouns with modification) Difficulty False impression: Clausal structures more difficult for learners than phrases (Clauses = major focus in ESL textbooks) Reality: Complex noun phrases pose significant challenges (Bennett, 2012)

34 Noun phrases in academic writing Vocabulary & grammar of noun phrases Classifier nouns : Help to organize and connect concepts; provide summary terms for previous discussion Examples: concept, differences, issue, tendency See handout, p. 5 for more examples

35 Noun phrases in academic writing Vocabulary & grammar of noun phrases Reference words and phrases : Combine with classifier nouns and logical connectors to produce multiple connections May also function as pronouns (e.g,. another, others)

36 Reference forms Reference FormNoun Phrase Examples thisthis critical issue thatthat outdated notion thesethese two competing hypotheses thosethose considerations suchsuch accusations the + noun phrasethe first topic that was discussed anotheranother important question other/the otherother factors/the other concern

37 Noticing Task : Reference Words Read each of the sentence pairs below. Then do the following: 1) Circle or highlight the words or phrases in sentence b. that refer to something in sentence a. 2) Put brackets around the words or phrases in sentence a. that are being referred to. In some cases, there may be more than one referent in sentence b. The first one has been done as an example. 1. a. [Childhood] is a term that usually refers to the human developmental period between infancy and adulthood. b. In psychology, it is typically divided into several stages. 2. a. Early childhood is the stage that comes after infancy. b. This stage begins when a child starts speaking or walking and ends around the age of seven or eight.

38 3. a. All U.S. states have laws requiring a period of educational attendance for children. b. Most of these laws, known as compulsory education, allow home schooling. 5. a. One benefit of compulsory education worldwide is that it has discouraged child labor. b. Another is that it helps to prepare individuals for vocations and professions in adulthood.

39 Connecting structures in academic writing 2.Logical Connectors: Prepositions Writing textbooks: Tend to focus on linking adverbials (e.g., however, therefore, in addition, nevertheless) Importance of prepositions as logical connectors Used to create “multiple links” common to academic writing Logical connector + reference words + classifier phrase In addition to these obvious advantages

40 Connecting structures in academic writing 2.Logical Connectors: Prepositions Logical connector + reference word + classifier phrase In addition to these obvious advantages If we used a sentence connector (linking adverbial) to express the same idea, we might need something like: These are some of the obvious advantages. In addition, there are some less obvious ones.

41 Let’s look at a real example! Summarizing previous information in the text: Given the growing gap between the amount of data we produce and the amount of data we can process, communicate and store, systems like ARGUS-IS and CMS will become more the norm than the exception over time. Source: Baraniuk, R More is less: Signal processing and the data deluge. Science, ,

42 Causal connection Given the growing gap between the amount of data we produce and the amount of data we can process,...

43 Classifier noun Given the growing gap between the amount of data we produce and the amount of data we can process, …

44 Pre-modifier Post-modifier Given the growing gap between the amount of data we produce and the amount of data we can process, communicate and store, …

45 Pre-modifier Post-modifier Given the growing gap between [the amount of data we produce] and [the amount of data we can process, communicate and store,] …

46

47

48 Manipulating grammar/vocab Work with a partner or in a small group. Read the paragraphs below. Discuss with your partner how the last sentence or sentences relate(s) to the earlier ones. Then discuss what logical connector + reference form + classifier term you might use in the blank. The first one is done for you. Ex.: Tomorrow night, we are organizing the charity dinner for our client’s organization. The original plan, according to my notes, the chef has planned an Italian menu. I have just learned that one colleague is allergic to wheat; one is vegetarian; and one likes to avoid acidic food. In light of these dietary restrictions, we need to meet with the chef to change the menu plan.

49 Manipulating grammar/vocab 1. Over the past several years, the public has received more and more negative information about eating fast food. The nutritional value of fast food has been questioned: often fast food lacks vegetables and whole grains, which provide nutrients and fiber. This food may contain large quantities of sugar, fat, and salt, which have been linked to obesity and type II diabetes. _________________________, more and more people seem to be eating at fast food restaurants, probably for the convenience and low prices. 2. The fast food industry, however, has responded. Now customers are greeted with signs on the windows of restaurants stating that the food is made without trans-fats. And, menus have begun to include salads, fruit, and lighter options that are lower fat and carbohydrates. In fact, restaurants even publish the nutritional information about each item on the menu. ______________________________, it might now be possible to find healthier options at fast food restaurants.

50 Your turn With a partner, create one three-sentence paragraph modeled after the items in the previous task.

51 References Bennett, G. (2012, March). What and how: Grammar for university-bound academic writers. Annual TESOL convention, Philadelphia, PA. Bennett, G. (2010). Using corpora in the language learning classroom. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Hjortshoj, K. (2001). The transition to college writing. Boston, MA: Bedford. Reynolds, D. (2005). Linguistic correlates of second language literacy development: Evidence from middle-grade learners’ essays. Journal of Second Language Writing, 14, 19–45.

52 Resources Corpus of Contemporary English Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary Oxford Collocations Dictionary


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