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RE: [ExtensiveReading] Re: Discrete Vocabulary Teaching

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  • dk
    I can t remember the last time I consulted a dictionary. But I do remember a time when I was a teenager and getting interested in following the news that a
    Message 1 of 132 , Mar 1, 2011
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      I can’t remember the last time I consulted a dictionary. But I do remember a time when I was a teenager and getting interested in following the news that a dictionary could have really helped me out.

       

      There was all this news about Africa and these foreigners there who were feeding people and passing out Bibles one minute and killing people the next minute. So confusing. At that time I didn’t quite notice the difference in the words “missionary” and “mercenary”.

       

       

       

      From: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Rob Waring
      Sent: Monday, 28 February, 2011 20:10
      To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [ExtensiveReading] Re: Discrete Vocabulary Teaching
      Importance: Low

       

       

      Dave,

       

      Do you own a dictionary? Do you believe in them?

       

      Rob
      Skype: waring_robert

       

                    The First Extensive Reading World Congress 
                        Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyoto, Japan  
                      3-6 Sept 2011  
      http://erfoundation.org/erwc1

       

      On Feb 28, 2011, at 8:34 PM, Brett Reynolds wrote:

       

       


      On 2011-02-28, at 5:30 AM, Dave wrote:
      >
      > In other words, explicit teaching still needs extensive comprehensible input to work. Extensive comprehensible input does not need explicit teaching to work.

      Hi, Dave

      I'm curious about what you would do if you were being shipped out to, say, the Czech republic in six months (I'm assuming you don't speak the language, but it if you do, simply substitute for a country where you don't: Russia, Iran, Indonesia.) Assuming further that it's important that you arrive with a solid base in the language, would you include discrete vocabulary learning in your preparations?

      Best,
      Brett

      -----------------------
      Brett Reynolds
      English Language Centre
      Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
      brett.reynolds@...

       

    • Rob Waring
      Hi Actually I haven t tried. She s lost to the winds, none of her friends can contact her. I ll try again. Rob Skype: waring_robert
      Message 132 of 132 , Mar 7, 2011
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        Hi

        Actually I haven't tried. She's lost to the winds, none of her friends can contact her.

        I'll try again.
        Rob
        Skype: waring_robert

                      The First Extensive Reading World Congress 
                          Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyoto, Japan  
                        3-6 Sept 2011  http://erfoundation.org/erwc1

        On Mar 8, 2011, at 12:01 AM, dk wrote:

         

        Rob,

         

        Last month you referred to your student Akemi's undergraduate paper and said you can't release without her permission and she's out of contact. Have you been able to get in contact with her yet? Or can you get in contact with her? In this day and age it seems like either a matter of clicks or six-degrees of separation to get in contact with someone. It would really be nice to see her paper.

         

        Dave

         

         

        From: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Rob Waring
        Sent: Saturday, 26 February, 2011 22:05
        To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [ExtensiveReading] Re: Discrete Vocabulary Teaching

         

         

        Kriss,

         

        Most of the research I have is from conference papers from the 1990s and early 2000's when this was an issue several colleagues were working on. I can't recall off the top of my head of any research directly Comparing reading for comprehension with wordcard learning except Akemi's undergraduate paper which I said I can't release without her permission and she's out of contact.  But here are some data from her thesis. 

         

        Students were given 20 minutes to learn some words or read a text with the test words embedded in the text in a rotated design.   The texts were from 400 headword level books from OUP and these were intermediate high students so it wouldn't have caused comprehension problems. The test words were embedded in the text by substituting words with different spellings e.g. angry -> splonk ensuring 97% coverage of the original words (only 3% of the words were unknown - both types and running words) so it was at a good rate for ER learning. 

         The experimental groups

        Group

        First learning

        Second leanring

        A

        (15)

        Reading a text 1

        (ALittle Princess )

        Do recognition test →translation test

        Remember words from text 2 (Set 2) word card

        Do recognition test →translation test

        B

        (15)

        Remember words from text 1 (Set 1) with word card

        Reading a text 2

        (The Lottery Winner )

         

        Word learning rates for word card learning and learning from reading for the two groups

         

        Time taken

        Recognition test

        learning rate per hour

        L2-L1 Translation test

        Learning rate per hour

         

        Word cards

        Reading

        Word cards

        Reading

        Word cards

        Reading

        Mean

        Standard deviation

        14.7

        20.0

        62.4

        49.0

        58.0

        3.6

        5.1

        0.0

        35.7

        35.3

        36.2

        3.4

         

        Note the word card learners finished early (14.7 mins) although the readers took the full 20 mins. The 16.1 times faster data refers to the learning rate for time taken (words per hour) and shows that word learning  (58.0) per hour of study time, was faster than from reading (3.6) for the translation (meaning test). This test shows how well they know the word's meaning not just how well they can recognize having seen it on a 'Have you seen this word before - yes/no' recognition test, and is thus the more reliable test of 'learning'.

         

        Note also the very close scores for both recognition and translation for Word cards - 62.0 vs 58.0 (93% transfer) - but a HUGE difference between recognition level (49.0) vs understanding (3.6) for reading - only 7% of the recognition level. Thus 93% of the learning from word cards is of BOTH meaning AND form recognition, but from reading only 7% of the knowledge is both recognition and meaning. This shows even more strongly that the reading can help recognition, but does not help at the meaning level when learning words for _the first time_ one meets words (initial learning level). The quality of learning is significantly better from word cards at the form-meaning level and shows the learning of meanings from reading is much more fragile.

         

        One could of course state that they learnt other things, sure. However, one could make a case with the meaning of almost all the words not being learnt from the reading probably meant that they didn't actually understand the text well. If they didn't understand it well, the chance they'd have working memory space to learn 'other things' I'd suggest would be low. These data thus suggest a rate higher than 97% of known words would be better.

         

        And yes, this is only form-meaning knowledge and it should be followed up with reading afterwards. But this experiment shows that it is 16 times faster to learn the _initial stage_ of word learning from word cards than from ER reading. This means that the reading can begin straight after the discrete learning (to deepen the knowledge) as 93% of the words are both recognized and understood.  If the readers only learnt from reading, these data show conclusively that the learners have to suspend understanding for much longer - and may not understand what they are reading as they can't guess meanings well, thus they are likely to be frustrated. It's going to take them ages before they get to the meaning level of word knowledge for these words.

         

        Thus my call for the pre-learning of vocab learning BEFORE ER.

         

        Rob
        Skype: waring_robert

         

                      The First Extensive Reading World Congress 
                          Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyoto, Japan  
                        3-6 Sept 2011  http://erfoundation.org/erwc1

         

         



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