2018 UNDERSTANDING VOCABULARY LEARNING AND TEACHING: IMPLICATIONS FOR LANGUAGE PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT

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    The input-based incremental approach to vocabulary in meaning-oriented instruction for language program directors and teachers
    (Cengage, 2018-01-01) Barcroft, Joe
    The tenets of input-based incremental (IBI) vocabulary instruction (Barcroft, 2012) include (a) planning for vocabulary-learning opportunities; (b) presenting target words as input in particular ways while considering research findings and theoretical advances on lexical input processing; (c) specifying how different types of tasks promote different types of processing and, in turn, different aspects of vocabulary knowledge; (d) respecting the incremental nature of developing vocabulary knowledge; and (e) promoting learning of all aspects of vocabulary knowledge, including language-specific meanings and usage, over time. This chapter explains how language program directors (LPDs) and instructors can integrate the IBI approach within programs of meaning-oriented instruction in order to increase vocabulary learning in a theoretically grounded and evidence-based manner. The first section of the chapter reviews how meaning-oriented approaches provide necessary ingredients for successful L2 acquisition. The second section reviews some background issues related to what it means to “know” vocabulary. The third section summarizes the specific proposals of the IBI approach to vocabulary instruction, followed in the fourth section by examples of research findings that support them. The fifth section explains how IBI proposals can be seamlessly integrated into language programs focused on meaning, such as communicative language teaching and task-based instruction. The sixth section presents concrete lesson plans that demonstrate the integration of the IBI approach in meaning-oriented lessons at different levels of L2 proficiency. The seventh and final section provides six recommendations for LPDs and teachers on how to incorporate IBI vocabulary instruction within the multiple levels of a language program.
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    Setting the lexical EAP bar for ESL students: Lexical complexity of L2 academic presentations
    (Cengage, 2018-01-01) Zareva, Alla
    This study was conducted with three primary goals in mind: (1) to determine how the academic presentations of native speaking (L1) college students and Englishas- a–second- or subsequent-language (L2) users compared in their lexical complexity profiles; (2) to establish guiding baselines of several measures associated with lexical complexity, which includes lexical density, lexical sophistication, and lexical diversity as subcomponents of its three-dimensional framework; and (3) to determine the relationship among the subcomponents. The study was based on two corpora of L1 and L2 academic presentations (N = 70) delivered by individuals during regular classes. The analyses allowed us to establish not only the common lexical complexity ground shared by the L1 and L2 presentations but also some typical lexical baselines that both L2 learners and instructors should monitor in courses focused on the use of language for academic purposes. The findings are discussed in light of their pedagogical implications for language programs that include in their curricula and assessments the development of presentational competence in a foreign language.
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    Language corpora for L2 vocabulary learning: Data-driven learning across the curriculum
    (Cengage, 2018-01-01) Vyatkina, Nina
    Empirical Instructed Second Language Acquisition research on L2 vocabulary has shown that Data-Driven Learning (DDL), or teaching and learning languages with the help of corpora (large, structured electronic collections of texts), is beneficial for L2 vocabulary acquisition. Nevertheless, it is still far from becoming a common pedagogical practice, not least because few pedagogical manuals and user-friendly corpus tutorials have been published to date. This chapter describes how DDL with an open-access German language corpus has been used across the curriculum in a German Studies program at a North American university. I report empirical results and present specific pedagogical suggestions and activities for using a corpus to enhance L2 vocabulary knowledge at all proficiency levels and show how DDL can help learners improve not only the breadth of their L2 vocabulary knowledge (the number of words the basic meaning of which the learner knows) but also the depth of this knowledge, including collocations, frequency, and grammatical patterns. Although this chapter uses a German program as a case study, its pedagogical suggestions can be applied to teaching any language for which open-access electronic corpora are available.
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    der|die|das: Integrating vocabulary acquisition research into an L2 German curriculum
    (Cengage, 2018-01-01) Rankin, Jamie
    While there has been broad consensus in L2 research regarding the importance of learning L2 vocabulary, and that high-frequency vocabulary should be the primary focus of that learning at the outset of L2 development, both priorities are strikingly absent from current L2 textbooks on the market. This is true both in terms of the vocabulary items presented (which bear astonishingly little resemblance to the ranked frequency lists now available), and the ways that the textbooks provide (or fail to provide) focused study and systematic review of vocabulary in general. This chapter describes a collaborative project that was designed to address this problem. It narrates the development of a lexically focused curriculum for Beginning German at the college and university level that bases its core (i.e., active) vocabulary on a recently published frequency list of German (Jones & Tschirner, 2006) and describes how the presentation and review mechanisms were designed to reflect recent research on vocabulary acquisition and retention. The intention is not to argue that this particular curriculum should serve as a model, but rather to provide a window into the process of integrating research and instructional praxis in a relatively neglected domain of foreign language curriculum development.
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    Vocabulary coverage and lexical characteristics in L2 Spanish textbooks
    (Cengage, 2018-01-01) Sánchez-Gutiérrez, Claudia ; Miguel, Nausica Marcos ; Olsen, Michael K.
    This chapter reports on a study that examined the vocabulary coverage of elementary and intermediate Spanish textbooks used in U.S. universities, as well as the lexical characteristics of the words they contain. Concretely, glossaries from 16 textbooks were analyzed to determine the coverage of words found among the 3,000 most frequent words in Spanish, the length and concreteness of the words, and the development of these characteristics between elementary and intermediate textbooks. Results indicate that textbook vocabulary generally does not represent the most frequent words in Spanish and that words in intermediate textbooks are significantly longer and less concrete than words in elementary textbooks. According to these findings, language program directors and teachers should complement textbook glossaries with words drawn from the 3,000 most frequent words of the target language as well as incorporate techniques that ease the learning burden of long and abstract words. This analysis can also guide textbook authors on how to improve vocabulary selection for their textbooks.