Applying Second Language Research to Classroom Teaching
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Michigan Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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For years, second language learners have complained about their lackof vocabulary in their new language. During this time, experts in ourfield did not give much importance to vocabulary, as evidenced in thedearth of second language research studies on vocabulary. Instead, sec-ond language research dealt with syntax, motivation, contrastive analy-...
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This book is the result of years of teaching and studying languages inmany settings all over the world. I thank the teachers and students thatI wish to thank Batia Laufer and Jan Hulstijn for their encourage-ment and help during my early studies of second language vocabulary.Their works were some of the first vocabulary research that I read, and...
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An Introduction to Second Language Vocabulary
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THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK is to discuss eight pervasive myths or mis-conceptions regarding the teaching and learning of second language vocabulary. To better appreciate this discussion, a simple overview ofbasic concepts in second language vocabulary study are in order.This overview is divided into two parts. The first part addresses the...
Myth 1: In learning another language, vocabulary is not as important as grammar or other areas
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IN 1988, I TOOK A JOB TEACHING ENGLISH at a university in Urasa, asmall, rural town in Niigata Prefecture in Japan. It was so rural at thatIf you’ve ever lived abroad for any extended period, you know thatthere often comes a time when all you can think about is a certain kindof food or drink that reminds you of home—even if you rarely, if ever,...
Myth 2: Using word lists to learn second language vocabulary is unproductive.
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AT A WORKSHOP IN JAPAN IN 1993, THE NOTED second language acquisi-tion expert Rod Ellis asked the audience, which was composed of per-haps 90 percent Japanese EFL teachers and 10 percent English-speakingteachers, “I assume that most of you teachers here today learnedEnglish as a Foreign Language. What methods or techniques did your...
Myth 3: Presenting new vocabulary in semantic sets facilitates learning
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...years deal with vocabulary either directly or indirectly, about a dozenof these books are explicitly aimed at increasing ESL learners’ base ofknown vocabulary: Talk a Lot (1993), Beginning Reading Practices(1997), Discussion Starters (1996), Targeting Listening and Speaking(with Bologna 2003), and Intermediate Reading Practices, 3rd Ed....
Myth 4: The use of translations to learn new vocabulary should be discouraged
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WHEN I TAUGHT IN JAPAN, I HAD THE great opportunity to actually be astudent in an intensive Japanese course for nonnative speakers. Thoughmany ESL and foreign language teachers have studied a language in aforeign language classroom, not many of us ever have the chance to bea student for 25 hours a week. Having done both, I can say that being...
Myth 5: Guessing words from context is an excellent strategy for learning second language vocabulary
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I REMEMBER AN EXAMPLE OF USING context clues to decipher the mean-Spanish. At that time, I had many friends from Nicaragua who werestudying at the same university where I was a student. On one occa-sion, I went with a small group of three or four to the supermarket tobuy some ingredients that they needed to cook a special dish from...
Myth 6: The best vocabulary learners make use of one or two really good specific vocabulary learning strategies.
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IN 1984, I WAS 24 YEARS OLD AND HAD an MA in TESOL with four yearsESL teaching experience. In July of that year, I took my first EFL/over-The teaching was tough. We had to be at school at 5 A.M. six days aweek. The curriculum was based on the Defense Language Institute ma-terials, which at that time were very formulaic and rather dry. (Shortly...
Myth 7: The best dictionary for second language learners is a monolingual dictionary.
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AFTER MORE THAN TWO DECADES OF learning foreign languages, I do notown a single monolingual dictionary. In all of my language studies, Ihave used a bilingual dictionary. To be sure, some of these were moreuseful than others. In addition, some of these were more difficult toforward. Skills needed to look up the correct meaning of a word in-...
Myth 8: Teachers, textbooks, and curricula cover second language vocabulary adequately
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PART OF BEING A GOOD LANGUAGE TEACHER is being able to empathizewith your students and understand their language needs. With this inEnglish program at a university where I was teaching. The course waseight weeks long and consisted of one 50-minute class per day. Thus,there were 40 hours of class time. In this program, students had five...
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FROM THE VIEWPOINT of second language learners, learning vocabulary—Unfortunately, it is also a very frustrating one. Until very recently, rela-tively little research had investigated the teaching and learning of secondlanguage vocabulary. Teachers, for example, received almost no realguidance from well-designed research studies on vocabulary. The larger...
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Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2013