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Sometimes it is better to have it small.. Size Matters in Teaching Vocabulary in EFL IATEFL 2011, April 14-19 The 45 Annual Convention and Exhibition,

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Presentation on theme: "Sometimes it is better to have it small.. Size Matters in Teaching Vocabulary in EFL IATEFL 2011, April 14-19 The 45 Annual Convention and Exhibition,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sometimes it is better to have it small.. Size Matters in Teaching Vocabulary in EFL IATEFL 2011, April The 45 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Brighton Burcu Tezcan-Unal, April 18 Istanbul Bilgi University, Laureate Network Universities

2 How many words are there? Does knowing a word mean that you know the meaning of that word? a)13 b) 11 c) 9

3 Session Stages Introduction A race for answers on Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists Whats knowing a word? Transforming vocabulary into long-term memory Characteristics of Effective Vocabulary Tasks BİLGİ Vocabulary Project Questions and comments

4 1. What is a word family? 2. How many word families does the large Websters dictionary contain? 3. How many words are there in English language when all the words (root words, derivatives, borrowed words, scientific, technical words, etc. ) are included? 4. How many word families does a typical 5-year-old English native speaker know? 5. How many word families does an average adult native speaker KNOW? 6. How many word families does an educated native speaker USE actively? 7. How many new words does a native speaker child learn a year when s/he starts school? 8. What percentage text coverage do you get if you know 2,000 word families ? 9. How many word families do you need to know to achieve a 97,8% text coverage? 10. How many words would allow minimum autonomy to a second language learner? 11. How many words would allow a second language learner to read a text without the constant need of referring to the teacher or a dictionary (text coverage of 84%)? 12. How many word families would allow a second language learner to follow an academic program at tertiary level? Questions

5 15,851 1,000 3, ,000 A collection of words whose stem has the same meaning, e.g. decide, decision, decisive, decisively.. Race for Answers 84 % 2,000,000 The highest frequency 2,000 and 570 academic word families (used frequently across a wide range of disciplines). 4,000-5,000 10,000-12,000 18,000-20,000

6 Answers and notes 1. What is a word family? A collection of words whose stem has the same meaning, e.g. decide, decision, decisive, decisively.. 2. How many word families does the large Websters dictionary contain? 128, How many words are there in English language when all the words (root words, derivatives, borrowed words, scientific, technical words, etc. ) are included? 2,000,000 The question is actually hard to answer because English keeps getting new words – probably in excess of 500 per year are added in major dictionaries. 4. How many word families does a typical 5-year-old English native speaker know? 4,000-5, How many word families does an average adult native speaker know? 18,000-20,000

7 Answers and notes (cont.) 6. How many word families an educated native speaker use actively? 10,000-12, How many new words does a native speaker child learn a year when s/he starts school? 1,000

8 Answers and notes 8. What percentage text coverage do you get if you know about 2,000 word families ? 84.0% 9. How many word families do you need to know to achieve a 97,8% text coverage? 15,851 NOTE: The gap is huge and the gain is not much of a difference- strategy training is a must as very very few non-native speakers reach to this size of vocabulary

9 from OKeefe, McCarthy, Carter, 2007

10 The Good News How many words would allow minimum autonomy to a second language learner? 2, How many words would allow a second language learner to read a text without the constant need of referring to the teacher or a dictionary (text coverage of 84%)? 3, How many word families would allow a second language learner to follow an academic program at tertiary level? The highest frequency 2,000 and 570 academic word families (used frequently across a wide range of disciplines. )- more useful than the third 1,000 chosen by overall frequency in modern English. PS: These academic items have been shown to form 8.5% of a corpus of academic texts, and to be well spread across disciplines; and indeed form over 4.5% of newspaper text.

11 In short.. All the remaining 124,000 word families in Webster s dictionary only constitute between 7.8% (conversation) and 15.7% (newspapers) of texts. It is obviously desirable for fluent speakers to acquire a knowledge of a substantial number of these, but they would have low priority for explicit vocabulary teaching. Resource Nation, I.S.P. Learning Vocabulary in Another Language, Cambridge Applied Linguistics, 2001, UK, CUP, Nation& Waring- Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists, page 8. form Vocabulary, Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy, edited by Schmitt N, McCarthy M. Cambridge Language Teaching Libarary, 1997, UK, CUP

12 How many words do you know? Nations Vocabulary level test (http://www.er.uqam.ca/nobel/r21270/levels/5kc.htmlhttp://www.er.uqam.ca/nobel/r21270/levels/5kc.html

13 Whats knowing a word? To understand it when it is spoken and /or written To recall it when you need it To use it with the correct meaning To use it in a grammatically correct way To pronounce it correctly To know which other words you can use with it To spell it correctly To use it in right situation To know if it has positive or negative associations Taken from Learning to learn English, A course in Learner Training, Ellis G. & Sinclair B., CUP, 1989

14 Being able to recognize the word when it is heard Being familiar with its written form so that it is recognized when it is met in reading Recognizing that it is made up of the parts under-, -develop- and –ed, and being able to relate these parts to its meaning Knowing that underdeveloped signals a particular meaning Knowing what the word means in the particular context in which it has just occurred Knowing the concept behind the word which will allow understanding in a variety of contexts Knowing that there are related words like overdeveloped, backward and challenged Being able to recognize that underdeveloped has been used correctly in the sentence in which it occurs Being able to recognized that words such as territories and areas are typical collocations. Nation, 2003, p.26 Knowing a word involves form meaning and use; e.g. underdeveloped

15 How are Words Remembered? The Atkinson-Shiffrin model, 1968

16 Pronunciation: Research shows that words that are difficult to pronounce are difficult to learn Spelling: Words that yield to sound-spelling mismatches are difficult to learn Length: Long words are more difficult to learn Grammar: the grammar associated with the word can make it problematic to learn (eg tell versus say) Factors that make a word difficult

17 How can vocabulary be transformed into long-term memory? How did/do you transform the words you learn into long-term memory? How/when do your students transform vocabulary into long-term memory?

18 How can vocabulary be transformed into long- term memory? Repetition (What is important is the number of encounters with the word ) Retrieval: (Using the new word in written sentences) Spacing: (Distributed practice) Use: (Use it or lose it ) Cognitive Depth: (The more decisions the learner makes about a word the better the word is remembered-negotiating meaning) Personal Organizing: (keeping notebooks, word cards, etc) Imaging: ( Studies show that easily visualized words are more memorable than words that dont evoke a picture)

19 Identifying & Recognizing Selecting Matching Categorizing Ranking and Sequencing Personalization/Production Vocabulary Task Types

20 Cognitive depth (i.e. getting the Ss brain working!) Affective depth (i.e. making it personal in some way, getting the Ss to relate the language to their own life). Contextualizing (even just at sentence level, also helps Ss understand it and store it). Using synonyms, antonyms and hyponyms Awareness of Affixation Including the Grammar of words (Colligation) Helping with the Phonetics and the Spelling Awareness of Collocations Considering Different Learning Styles Characteristics of Effective Vocabulary Tasks

21 Vocabulary Task Analysis I Activity Read the sentence and guess the meaning of the words in bold. 1.Quebec has excellent restaurants, so visitors can eat well. a) dangerous b) too expensive c) very good Type Identifying & Recognizing Selecting Matching Categorizing Ranking and Sequencing Personalization/ Production Characteristics Cognitive depth Affective depth Contextualizing Using synonyms, antonyms and hyponyms Awareness of Affixation Including the Grammar of words Helping with the Phonetics/ the Spelling Awareness of collocations x x x x x x

22 Activity WORD SEARCH Find the hidden colours in the following Word Search puzzle and circle them. S R E D F I H G R E E N L L I X N E O R B E U L B S R D B L A C K F T x x Characteristics Cognitive depth Affective depth Contextualizing Using synonyms, antonyms and hyponyms Awareness of Affixation Including the Grammar of words Helping with the Phonetics/ the Spelling Awareness of collocations Type Identifying & Recognizing Selecting Matching Categorizing Ranking and Sequencing Personalization/ Production Vocabulary Task Analysis II

23 Activity Below is Richards list of favorite hobbies. Rank the following free time activities in an order (from your most favorite to the least). 1.Hiking 2.Swimming 3.Fishing 4.Dancing 5.Going to the cinema Type Identifying & Recognizing Selecting Matching Categorizing Ranking and Sequencing Personalization /Production Characteristics Cognitive depth Affective depth Contextualizing Using synonyms, antonyms and hyponyms Awareness of Affixation Including the Grammar of words Helping with the Phonetics/ the Spelling Awareness of collocations x x x x x x x

24 Activity Choose 5 characteristics of an ideal partner for you from the list below and write why they are important for you. Generous Compassionate Honest Successful Confident Considerate Romantic Helpful Educated Type Identifying & Recognizing Selecting Matching Categorizing Ranking and Sequencing Personalization Vocabulary Task Analysis III x x x x Characteristics Cognitive depth Affective depth Contextualizing Using synonyms, antonyms and hyponyms Awareness of Affixation Including the Grammar of words Helping with the Phonetics/ the Spelling Awareness of collocations x x x

25 BİLGİ Vocabulary Project Main Aim: To introduce and recycle 2000 words and 587 academic words in prep and in the first year program (to reach 80%+text coverage) Sub-aims: to create a common understanding of word frequency both for prioritizing teaching and learning vocabulary. to create a target vocab focus for the course books in the program and for each week for teaching and assessment purposes

26 BİLGİ Vocabulary Project Stages 1. Scanning the word lists of Touchstone Books, CUP 1-4 in terms of the most frequent 2000 words from GSL 2. Scanning the word lists of Strategic Reading and Academic Encounters for 587 AWL 3. Giving training on Vocab frequency to the teachers 4. Selecting the words to organise recycling activities/games/ puzzles ( to be used as part of the weekend worksheets, in the CALL centres, as online activities, in BWC, etc.) 5. Incorporating the target vocab materials into the programme. 6. Check effectiveness of this awareness

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28 What type of activities are necessary? Step 1 Recognition/Identification/ Introduction to the items Step 2 Negotiation of meaning Step 3 Production /Personalization

29 Some Activity Worksheet Samples are in another document

30 Coker B, Teaching Vocabulary, 9 Eylül University Laufer B & Hulstijn J- Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition in a Second Language: the Construct of Task-Induced Involvement, Applied Linguistics 22/1:1-26 Oxford University Press McCharty M., OKeeffe A., Walsh S. Vocabulary Martix Understanding, Learning, Teaching, 2010, UK, Heinle Cengage Learning Nation, I.S.P. Learning Vocabulary in Another Language, Cambridge Applied Linguistics, 2001, UK, CUP Nation, P. & M. McCarthy (eds) 1997 Vocabulary, Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy, Cambridge Language Teaching Libarary, UK, CUP Nation& Waring- Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists, page 8. form Vocabulary, Description, Acquisition and Pedagogy, edited by Schmitt N, McCarthy M. Cambridge Language Teaching Library, 1997, UK, CUP OKeefe A., McCarthy M. & Carter R. From Corpus to Classroom, 2007, UK, Cambridge University Press Resource

31 For the handouts and any further information


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