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Rob Waring Notre Dame Seishin University Japan

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Presentation on theme: "Rob Waring Notre Dame Seishin University Japan"— Presentation transcript:

1 Rob Waring Notre Dame Seishin University Japan

2 A Typical Reading Text Short texts Many difficult words Many exercises Definitions given

3 What do learners need to know? Learners need word families to read native novels with high vocabulary coverage (98%). About 2000 General Service word families 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 nuances and shades of meanings Its derivations (useful, useless, uselessness, etc.) its collocations and colligations if it’s typically spoken, or written if it’s useful or rare, polite or pejorative the discourse domains the word lives in (e.g. science, music, biology)

4 What collocations do they 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 …

5 What collocations do they 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 …

6 What else do they 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 who’s just walked in. Plus THOUSANDS more

7 What else do they 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 Regular and irregular - has vs. have walked vs. bought Present perfect for ‘announcing news’, PP for ‘experiences’, etc. etc.

8 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?

9 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) Little research has been done 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

10 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 minimal additional practice in review units or workbooks has an overwhelming focus on new material in each lesson

11 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

12 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 …. …..

13 What happens to things we learn? We forget them over time unless they are recycled and memories of them strengthened Our brains forget most of what we meet Time Knowledge The Forgetting Curve

14 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 …. …..

15 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

16 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.

17 So what needs to happen? We have to ensure our curriculums and courses: build in recycling and repetition of words and grammar structures give students chances to see how the grammar and vocabulary are used together in real discourse 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

18 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

19 What is Extensive Reading? When reading extensively, students Read something Enjoyably and quickly with Adequate comprehension so they Don’t need a dictionary SSR = Sustained Silent Reading SURF = Sustained Uninterrupted Reading for Fun DEAR = Drop Everything And Read

20 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

21 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 …. …..

22 Graded readers

23 Non-fiction too

24 Beginner level Easy vocabulary Present tenses only Very simple plot

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

26 High Intermediate Some difficult vocabulary More difficult grammar

27 The number of words a learner will probably learn from course work plus graded readers Probably knownPartially KnownProbably unknown Total Course book only ,2613,275 Data from Sequences, Foundations, Page Turners and Footprints by Heinle Cengage 225,000 60, , ,000 (=1,029,000) Add one reader a week 1, ,3253,990 Add two readers a week 1, ,8826,572

28 Uptake rates When learning only from a course book over (3 years): Only 962 words will be learnt well (29.4%) A further 1,052 will be partially known (32.1% ) 1,261 words are likely to be forgotten (38.5%) Adding one graded reader per week: 1,556 words (40.0%) will be learnt well, plus 1,109 words (27.8%) will be partially known and only 33.2% unknown. Adding two graded readers per week: They will know 2,119 words well, plus partially know another 1,571 words

29 Notes: 40 function words (in, of, the, by etc.) accounted for 41.2% of the total words in the series Typically one’s productive vocabulary is 20-25% of the receptive Probably available Partially available Course book only Add one reader / week Add two readers / week This does not include the learning of collocations, colligations, idioms, phrases, multiple meanings, lexical chunks, sentence heads… etc.

30 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

31 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 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’

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

33 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

34 Some objections Nice idea but I have no time in my course. -> If you don’t have graded reading where will your 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 Summary Course books and graded readers are two sides of the same coin – they help each other Graded reading should be integrated into our courses. It should not be an option. Choose books at the right level for your students (so they can read fluently with high levels of understanding and without a dictionary) Students need to learn to listen fluently too.

36 Finally… You can review this presentation by downloading the ppt and the article from the following website. More information about Graded Reading (Extensive Reading) at… Thank you for listening


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