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1 Session 6 The Mental Lexicon Word association (WA) tests Comparing the L1 and L2 mental lexicons Pedagogic implications.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Session 6 The Mental Lexicon Word association (WA) tests Comparing the L1 and L2 mental lexicons Pedagogic implications."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Session 6 The Mental Lexicon Word association (WA) tests Comparing the L1 and L2 mental lexicons Pedagogic implications

2 2 Word Association Test

3 3 Word associations (English) Prompt WordAssociative wordRelationship green water open hill butterfly truth powerful blanket inclination hockey

4 Looking at your word associates 1. 1. Do you have the same word associates as your neighbours’? 2. 2. Compared to your neighbours’ responses, do you have similar or different ways of ogranising words in your mental lexicons? 4

5 5 Word association and the mental lexicon Cognitive processes -- how words and meanings are organized mentally (unobservable) ◄ = ► Language associative behavior (observable)

6 Word Associations greenGrass (collocation) Red (co-ordination) Color (super-ordination) waterDrink (collocation) Melon (compound noun) Clear (collocation) openClose (antonym) Door (collocation) inclinationInformation (sound – stress pattern) Intonation hockeyJockey (sound - rhyme)

7 7 How words are stored in the mental lexicon L1 / L2 equivalence (cognates in related languages) Orthographically Phonologically (rhyme, alliteration, stress pattern, etc.) Semantically (synonyms, antonyms, hyponyms e.g. color - red) Collocationally (e.g. make – a wish, catch – a bus) Morphologically (e.g. defensive-offensive; television- telescope) Encyclopedic associations (based on our knowledge / experience of the real world)

8 8 Meanings of words Meanings of words are often understood in relation to other words (like a web) e.g. you understand the meaning of ‘cold’ through your understanding of ‘hot’ e.g. you understand the meaning of ‘roses’ through your understanding of ‘garden’, ‘flowers’ or ‘lilies’

9 Word Associations and Language Proficiency How words are organised / stored in the brain is an indicator of language proficiency level Or how “native-like” you are 9

10 10 Paradigmatic associations Always belong to the same word class Substitutable in syntactic strings More semantics-oriented E.g. I want to get a doggie for my daughter. pet Terrier cat wombat Syntagmatic associations Usually belong to a different word class, but sometimes can belong to the same word class Collocate well with prompt words in a grammatical string More grammar-oriented E.g. Dogs bark. E.g. Walk the dog. E.g. Dog collar Phonological associations / Clangs E.g. dog - fog E.g. hockey - hockey

11 11 L1 mental lexicon Phonological Syntagmatic Paradigmatic (developmental) ( younger children older children ) Commonness / Homogeneity in the their mental lexicons (native speakers tend to give the same word associates) e.g. blanket: bed, warm, sheet, electric, cover, warmth, wool, soft, bath, snow

12 12 Mean proportion of NNS and NS response types for WA (Wolter, 2001)

13 13 L2 mental lexicon similar to L1 mental lexicon found t Earlier studies found NS had more paradigmatic associations than NNS. But later studies (e.g. Zareva, 2007) found the same shift in L2 learners, as they get more proficient in the language, and as they grow older Phonological Syntagmatic Paradigmatic

14 14 L2 mental lexicon different from L1 mental lexicon L2 acquisition usually takes place when there is an already existing mental lexicon Many of the meanings and meaning hierarchies that have already been internalized in the acquisition of the course of L1 development will be re-applicable in learners’ L2 Positive / negative influence from L1 lexicon Connections between words in mental lexicon of L2 learners are more loosely connected and less consistent than those of the L1 learners

15 Looking at your word associates 1. 1. What kinds of associations do you have most (phonological, syntagmatic, paradigmatic) in your WA tests? 15

16 16 Pedagogical Implications Developmental/ cognitive aspect: Younger learners tend to favor syntagmatic associations: dog-bark Older learners tend to favor/ are capable of handling paradigmatic associations / semantically-related groups e.g. synonyms, antonyms, hyponyms: dog-cat or dog-pet

17 17 Superordinates and Hyponyms Sports ??? LionTiger Hors e

18 18 Semantically related input Flat Living room BedroomKitchen FridgeUtensils Saucepan Frying pan Bathroom

19 19 Memory Number of items to be presented each time Memory loss Number of exposures for learning to happen Recycling (intervals, methods) Memory strategies (the Keyword technique / mental imaging / creating structure for input)

20 Memory Number of items you can hold in your short- term memory? How many times do you need to encounter a word before it is learnt? 20

21 Word retention teach 8-12 vocabulary items in a 60-minute lesson (Gairns & Redman, 1986) The chances of learning and retaining a word from one exposure is only 5-14% (Nagy, 1997) 5 – 16 times for a word to be learned (Zahar, Cobb & Spada, 2001) An important role for recycling (revisiting) of the vocabulary learnt

22 Importance of Revision

23 Spaced / Distributed Repetition

24 Recycling vocabulary Can you think of ways of helping students recycle vocabulary learnt previously other than using quizzes? 24

25 Recycling of vocabulary Horst & Meara (1999) – far more vocab is learnt if the same text is read several times (the first reading focuses on understanding meaning, while the later readings focus on the forms) Following a piece of news for several days (word repetitions and synonyms); encountering the same words in different contexts Vocabulary quizzes Different parts of speech (e.g. “shoulder” as a noun, and as a verb) Other meanings (polysemy) of a word (e.g. “head as a body part, the school head, the department head, head of a queue) Replacing general words by specific words (e.g. nice – attractive, elegant, terrific)

26 Assignment Due Oct 28 (Mon) Hard copy to Cecilia; soft copy on Turnitin All students have been given the cover sheet as well as the student Turnitin instructions. Assignments must be within the word limit: 2500 words excluding the reference list (+/-10% of the prescribed length). Assignments that are too long or too short should not be read and should be assigned a Fail grade. See page 7 of the Student Handbook. Assessment criteria on Course Website Assignments that plagiarize are assigned a Fail grade. Please paraphrase cited information in your own words and acknowledge the sources. 26

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