abbasibe.persianblog.ir Website Value
Website Value Calculator learnt vocabulary - آموزش انگلیسی به عنوان زبان دوم

آموزش انگلیسی به عنوان زبان دوم

بانک سوالات دبیرستان و پیش دانشگاهی . مکالمه . مقالات . آپدیت روزانه Nod 32

learnt vocabulary
نویسنده : غلامعلی عباسی - ساعت ۳:٢٢ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٤/۳
 

 

One might be tempted to suggest given the rather slow rate at which vocabulary is learnt from incidental reading, that the multiple meanings, colligations, collocations, register, pragmatic values and so forth could be learnt intentionally. While this may be possible in theory and even in practice, we have to then ask where is the material to do this with? Where are the books that systematically teach this “deeper” vocabulary knowledge and recycle it dozens or hundreds of times beyond the form-meaning relationship (collocation etc.) for even the 1000 most frequent words? A few books exist but do not even come close to more than random selection of a choice few collocations, whereas as we have seen, learners need vastly more. In short, these materials do not exist. Even if they did, it would take a monumental amount of motivation to plough through such books intentionally and I doubt few, if any, learners have this stamina.

Moreover, there are as yet no available data to tell us which collocations might be the most frequent and useful for which words and without these data we could not systematize the learning and teachers would be left to the ad hoc teaching of collocations. Moreover, there are simply far too many individual collocations for each word for learners to try to master intentionally and each collocation is far rarer than the words that it is made up of. For example, the word woman and beautiful occur hundreds of times more frequently with other words than as beautiful woman together. No course book could ever be written to encompass them all. This leaves the learner only one realistic option, which is to pick the vast majority of them up incidentally.

3. The structure of language courses

No learner has the time to methodically go through and learn all the above. No course  book, or course, can possibly hope to teach even a tiny fraction of them. There is too much to do. But our course books were not designed to teach all of this. Let us look at what course books and course typically are designed to do. Our course books concentrate on introducing new language items with each appearing in new units or lessons, with new topics all the time. For example, learners may meet copula be and jobs in Unit (or lesson) 1, and in Unit 2 they may meet the present simple tense and learn some words for simple actions (play, go, watch). In Unit 3 might come the present continuous and sporting activities. The structure of our courses and course books allows each unit/lesson to present something new – new grammar, new vocabulary, new reading skills, new pronunciation points, and so on in a linear way. Figure 1 illustrates this linearity.

Figure 1: The structure of a typical beginning level course

 

 

The structure of course books and linear courses in general, shows us that they are not concerned with deepening knowledge of a given form, only introducing it or giving minimal practice in it beyond a token review unit, or test. They do not concentrate on the revisiting, recycling and revising necessary for acquisition. The assumption underlying most courses and course books is that our learners have “met” or “done that now” and we do not need to go back to it, so we can move on. Adopting this default view of language teaching (that “teaching equals learning” implicit in these materials) is a massive mistake if that is all we do because it undersells what our learners need – which is massive language practice with the things taught in course books but under the right conditions. But how well do course books actually present their vocabulary?

Tables 2, 3 and 4 present a vocabulary analysis four levels of a typical four-skills course book (Sequences by Heinle Cengage) that a typical class may use. The series analyzed here is quite typical of those currently on the market. It has a four-skill focus plus a grammar and vocabulary focus and includes readings and listenings as well as speaking activities. Each unit is about a particular topic or theme (such as home, family, sports, or the environment). As each unit has its own vocabulary, the words tend not to be re-taught or even met again (even in review units) as there is a constant focus on learning new words and new grammar at the expense of recycling previously taught words.

Table 2 shows the number of types (defined as a word family) for each of six recurrence levels (more than 51 recurrences, 21-50, 10-20, 5-9, 4-3 and 2-1) at four frequency bands - the 1-1000 most frequent words in English (the same list was used for the Table 1 analysis), the 1001-2000, the 2001-300 and the over 3000 list. 40% of the types in the top band (3000+) is made up of proper nouns with the remaining 60% are words over 3000 most frequent words. Table 3 presents the data from Table 2 as a percentage of the total types used.

Table 2: The total number of occurrences by type by frequency band level

                 

  51+

    21-50

    20-10

 9-5

  4-3

  2-1

Not used*

1-1000

347

221

143

110

    60

    60

    59

1001-2000

26

    96

119

151

    91

    175

    342

2001-3000

10

    13

    58

 79

    60

    139

    641

3001 +

17

    65

157

305

351

    1502

    -

Total

400

395

477

645

562

    1879

     

*The words in the not used category refer to words in that frequency band that did not appear in the series.

Table 3: The percentage of types by recurrence rate by frequency band

     

    51+

    21-50

    20-10

    9-5

    4-3

    2-1

1-1000

7.97%

    5.07%

    3.28%

    2.53%

    1.38%

    1.38%

1001-2000

0.60%

    2.20%

    2.73%

    3.47%

    2.09%

    4.02%

2001-3000

0.23%

    0.30%

    1.33%

    1.81%

    1.38%

    3.19%

3001 +

0.39%

    1.49%

    3.61%

    7.00%

    8.06%

    34.49%

Total

   9.18%

    9.07%

   10.95%

14.81%

    12.90%

    43.08%

Tables 4 and 5 presents the number of tokens for each frequency band for each of the recurrence rates at the four frequency bands. The four books in the series comprise a total of 162,175 tokens. The percentages of the total tokens by recurrence rate and by frequency band are shown in Table 5.