Sessions / Vocabulary
When reading in a second language (L2), we often come across words that we do not know. At such times, we may guess word meaning by using available information, such as sentence context. We may also notice similarities in form (i.e., spelling and/or the expected pronunciation) with words that we know in our first language (L1). Cognates and loanwords, which typically share some degree of form and meaning across languages, may be particularly helpful for guessing unknown L2 word meanings. However, it has been reported that learners often fail to notice cross-linguistic similarities and thus fail to take advantage of them during inferencing. The present study investigated whether a brief training intervention, which raises awareness of Japanese loanwords derived from English (e.g., イルミネーション / irumineeshon/ ‘illumination’), can improve word guessing accuracy. Initial findings from a study with Japanese learners of English reveal small but significant increases in guessing accuracy for unknown English words that have loanwords in Japanese. This presentation will describe the research design, preliminary findings, and implications of the ongoing study.
The Coverage Comprehension Model: Matching learners with lexically appropriate meaning-focused materials #1222
The features of existing vocabulary levels tests and lexical profilers are based on convention and have limited construct validity (Schmitt, Nation & Kremmel, 2019). Recent research (much of it from Japan) questions the appropriateness of the construction of vocabulary level tests and lexical profilers when used with Japanese learners (Stoeckel, McLean & Nation, 2020). Thus, this presentation introduces meaning-recall (English to Japanese) and form-recall (Japanese to English) vocabulary levels tests (vocableveltest.org) which allow teachers to estimate their learners’ lexical reading, writing, or listening level. Teachers can select the wordlist (SKEW-J, NGSL, JACET, SUBTLEX, NAWL, AWL, TSL), word counting unit (lemma, flemma, word family) the band size (1000, 500, 250, 100 words), word band range of created tests, and the number of questions to represent each band. Teachers can also select their own questions, to create none frequency-based tests. After completing tests, students are presented with a graph showing their lexical profile. Further, teachers can select for students are receive feedback and correct answers on all responses. Teachers can download automatically marked responses, actually typed responses, the time taken to complete each question, and lexical profiles for individual students and groups of students. Importantly, to match learners with lexically appropriate materials, parallel lexical profilers are introduced (nwlc.pythonanywhere.com).
Academic Vocabulary Acquisition (AVA) represents a major concern in ESL and EFL contexts (Cox, 2013; Nation, 2012). However, a gap in AVA research between and within English as Second Language (ESL) and English as Foreign Language (EFL) university cohorts still exists. Thus, this pilot study examines variances in academic vocabulary acquisition utilizing Stoeckel and Bennett’s (2015) New Academic Word List (NAWL). During the Spring 2019 semester, the researchers administered Stoeckel and Bennett’s (2015) New Academic Word List Test (NAWLT) as pre and posttest to evaluate AVA variations amongst ELLs at a national university in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan (n= 261) and an intensive English language program at a state university in Nevada, USA (n= 53). Results highlighted statistically significant differences (p < .05) from pre to posttest between and within ESL and EFL cohorts in motivation, length of self-study, between different modality (e.g. reading versus speaking/listening), English usage outside of the classroom, and future career goals. This study suggests concrete pedagogical implications for EFL/ESL practitioners and researchers focusing on academic vocabulary acquisition.
Japan is known to be highly permissive of the use of loanwords in Japanese, and this has resulted in lexical borrowing on a scale rarely seen in recent years. France has adopted a contrasting position, going so far as to enact a law to prohibit the use of foreign languages in advertising and a variety of other contexts in order to protect the French language. Loanword usage can have far-reaching implications not only for the languages in which the loanwords are used, but also for learners of the languages from which the loanwords originate. Some studies have argued that loanword cognates can serve as an invaluable resource for language learners, whereas others have pointed out that loanwords can negatively impact grammatical and pragmatic competence when learners perceive loanwords and their source words to be similar in meaning and usage. This presentation compares loanword usage and language policy in Japan and France and considers whether the language policy and sociolinguistic environment of each country have an effect on the proficiency of English language learners.
A FREE Team Challenge Vocabulary Study Tournament will start on June 14th and end on July 25th. Winning teams will receive virtual trophies and merchandise awards. Thousands of students in hundreds of classrooms from seven countries have participated in the prior Team Challenge tournaments. Participating students will learn from 1,500 to 5,500 new high-frequency words during the six-week tournament period. Best of all, because high-frequency words occur so often in both authentic and inauthentic English (eg graded readers) your students' newly learned words are highly likely to be repeated, reinforced, and internalized through multiple near-future encounters in your classroom and beyond. All participating students will be provided with 8 weeks of free access to the WordEngine online mobile vocabulary study application. All participating teachers will receive free progress reports and tournament updates for their teams. This presentation will answer your questions about the FREE Team Challenge Tournament and take reservations from those who wish to participate.
This presentation is a recommendation for a pedagogical practice as well as a basis for future research. Word frequency lists (BNC/ COCA) are often used to teach vocabulary words. These word lists often based on lemma and do not contain much information on the word. This presentation argues that word lists should contain definitions and contextual examples of more than one sense of a word. This is because learners will encounter a wider range of context such as new senses and collocates as they become more proficient in another language (Bogaards, 2000; Schmitt, 2014; Wesche & Paribakht, 1996). These new senses of the word can be considered polysemous. Polysemy can be defined as a word with multiple meaning senses that are semantically related (Hoshino & Shimizu 2018). Furthermore, a word with polysemous senses is usually believed to have a core sense of the word (Csabi, 2004; Huang 2004; Khodadady and Khaghaninzhad 2012; Morimoto & Loewen 2007; Taylor 2012; Verspoor & Lowie 2003). The problem of polysemy can become even more complex when it comes to L2. Jiang (2000) classifies polysemous words as falling into his false friends category where there is only a slight overlap between the L1 and L2 meanings of the word. This makes it difficult for learners to create a distinct sense of the word in their mind. This type of ambiguity could prevent students from being able to distinctively understand the meaning of the word. This can be disadvantageous to learners as they may encounter unfamiliar meaning senses on tests like Eiken and TOEIC. If learners are not aware of alternative meanings of the words their scores may negatively be affected.
TL;DR? Here is the ELI5: Language has always been fluid. The speed of language change has increased with each advance in communication technology: the printing press, radio, movies and TV. The internet has connected people worldwide and possibly has made the single largest single impact on English since Shakespeare added 1,700 common use words to the language. This presentation will cover some notable and curious changes in vocabulary propelled by the internet. Some changes in language, brought about by online gaming chat, tumblr, Facebook, and other popular sites have spread so far (and fast) that they surpass classification as slang and have become colloquialisms. This presentation will have a strong focus on vocabulary introduced into popular usage by Reddit (the world’s most popular social news aggregator website). Reddit has added dozens of words to popular usage but in January of 2021, the world may have witnessed the fastest ever changes and additions to the English language. Because of the GME (GameStop) and Wall Street saga going viral, literally overnight, millions of people worldwide began buying stonks and making tendies.
The limitations of existing levels tests inhibit them from meeting their stated purposes (Stoeckel, et al, 2020) as they are based on the word family (McLean, 2018), utilize a meaning-recognition format (McLean et al, 2020), and represent 1,000 words with too few items (Gyllstad et al, 2020). Thus, vocableveltest.org was created. Test administrators are able to base online vocabulary tests on various lists (BNC/COCA, COCA. NGSL. JACET, SUBTLEX, EVKS-J), various word counting units (lemma, flemma, word family), various word band sizes (100, 500, 1000), and various sampling rates (10/1000 to 1000/1000). Students can be provided with feedback on completed items, along with a profile of their lexical knowledge. Test administrators can download automatically marked dichotomous data, actually typed responses, and the time taken to mark each item, for individual or groups of students.