VLI8(1): Kida (2019)

Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning and the Type of Processing-Resource Allocation Model
Shusaku Kida
Hiroshima University
doi: https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.kida
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This paper argues the nature of adult foreign or second language (L2) vocabulary learning and points out the importance of word-form learning at the initial stage of vocabulary development. The Type of Processing-Resource Allocation (TOPRA) model is introduced as a prominent theoretical framework to capture it. Finally, some future studies are proposed to reinforce TOPRA-based studies with respect to (1) types of vocabulary processing tasks and (2) dimensions of vocabulary development.

L2 vocabulary learning, form-meaning connection, the type of processing-resource allocation model, semantic and structural processing, acquisition of word knowledge and fluent processing

Kida, S. (2019). Foreign language vocabulary learning and the Type of Processing-Resource Allocation Model. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 8 (1), 76–82. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.kida

VLI 8(1): Kitano & Chiba (2019)

Comparing the Effectiveness of Word Cards and List Learning with Japanese Learners of English
Magda L. Kitano and Katsuhiro Chiba
Bunkyo University
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This study investigated the recall of words learned through two deliberate
learning techniques, word cards and list learning. While the literature
points to word cards as being more effective, Japanese learners
of English are seen to prefer list learning, which may indicate unique
learning styles stemming from a non-alphabetic L1. To test the efficiency
of the two techniques for Japanese learners, 25 university students
of varying English proficiency were divided into four groups.
Following the within-subject design, all groups were subjected to both
treatments. Twenty low-frequency English words were learned within
a 20-min period using one method, and then 20 more words were similarly
learned with the other method. Subjects were tested immediately
after the treatments, after a 20-min distraction period, and after an interval
of 2 weeks. Results from all three testing stages indicated that list
learning was more effective than word cards for these students.

deliberate learning; word cards; list learning; Japanese learners

Kitano, M. L., & Chiba, K. (2019). Comparing the effectiveness of word cards and list learning with Japanese learners of English. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 8 (1), 70–75. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.kitano.chiba

VLI 8(1): Stubbe & Cochrane (2019)

Evaluating the Efficacy of Yes–No Checklist Tests to Assess Knowledge of Multi-Word Lexical Units
Raymond Stubbe (a) and Yumiko Cochrane (b)
(a) Nagasaki University; (b) Kyushu Sangyo University
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One of the many challenges facing Japanese university students studying
English is the multi-word phrase. The English language contains a
large number of such multiple-word items, which act as single words
with a single meaning. This study is concerned with evaluating the efficacy
of yes/no checklist tests to assess knowledge of multi-word units.
Participants (n = 206) took a yes–no test of 30 real words and 15 pseudowords.
The 30 real words were selected from the students’ textbook,
based on the teacher’s intuition of the words and multi-words posing the
greatest learning burden for the students. Twenty-one of the selected
words were single-word items. The remaining nine were multi-words,
such as “get up” and “take turns”. Forty-five minutes following completion
of the yes–no test, an English to Japanese translation test of the
same 30 real words was taken by the same participants to evaluate the
efficacy of yes/no test. Results suggest that the yes–no vocabulary test
format may be able to measure student knowledge of multi-word lexical
units as (or more) effectively than single-word units.

multi word lexical units; yes no vocabulary tests; translation tests; overestimation; Japanese EFL learners

Stubbe, R. and Cochrane, Y. (2019). Evaluating the efficacy of yes–no checklist tests to assess knowledge of multi-word lexical units. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 8 (1), 62–69. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.stubbe.cochrane

VLI 8(1): Stoeckel (2019)

An Examination of the New General Service List
Tim Stoeckel
University of Niigata Prefecture
doi: https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.stoeckel
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The New General Service List (NGSL; Browne, Culligan, & Phillips, 2013b) was published on an interim basis in 2013 as a modern replacement for West’s (1953) original General Service List (GSL). This study compared GSL and NGSL coverage of a 6-year, 114-million word section of the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), and used COCA word frequencies as a secondary data source to identify candidates for addition to the NGSL. The NGSL was found to provide 4.32% better coverage of the COCA than the GSL. Moreover, several candidates were identified for inclusion to the NGSL: three are current members of the NGSL’s companion list, the New Academic Word List (Browne, Culligan, & Phillips, 2013a); five are words whose usage has increased in recent years; and five are individual types that appear to have been miscategorized during the original development of the NGSL. Because NGSL word selection was based on not only empirical but also subjective criteria, the article calls for the addition of annotations to the NGSL to explain decisions regarding low-frequency NGSL constituents and high-frequency non-constituents.

New General Service List

Stoeckel, T. (2019). An examination of the New General Service List. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 8 (1), 53–61. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.stoeckel

VLI 8(1): Tono (2019)

Commentary on Four Studies for JALT Vocabulary SIG
Yukio Tono
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
doi: https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.Tono
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The four papers in this volume focused on mainly three areas: readability (Pinchbeck), wordlist evaluation (Ishikawa; Culligan), and data-driven learning (McGuire). The author would argue that whilst applied corpus linguistics and L2 vocabulary research are closely related to each other, there has not been much interaction between the two disciplines. The review of the four papers has also shown such lack of interaction between the two fields. By reviewing each study, some additional concepts and previous related studies in corpus linguistics will be presented in order to fill those gaps.

corpus linguistics/ wordlist/ data driven learning/ parallel corpus

Tono, Y. (2019). Commentary on four studies for JALT Vocabulary SIG Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 8 (1), 39–52. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.Tono

VLI 8(1): Culligan (2019)

Evaluating Corpora with Word Lists and Word Difficulty
Brent A. Culligan
Aoyama Gakuin Women’s Junior College
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This study examines the application of an IRT analysis of words on lists including the General Service List (GSL), New General Service List (NGSL), Academic Word List (AWL), New Academic Word List (NAWL), and TOEIC Service List (TSL). By comparing line graphs, density distribution graphs, and boxplots for the average difficulty of each word list to related lists, we can get a visualization of the data’s distribution. Japanese EFL students responded to one or more of 84 Yes/No test forms compiled from 5,880 unique real words and 2,520 nonwords. The real words were analyzed using Winsteps (Linacre, 2005) resulting in IRT estimates for each word. By summing the difficulties of each word, we can calculate the average difficulty of each word list which can then be used to rank the lists. In effect, the process supports the concurrent validity of the lists. The analysis indicates the word family approach results in more difficult word lists. The mean difficulties of the GSL and the BNC_COCA appear to be more divergent and more difficult particularly over the first 4000 words, possibly due to the use of Bauer and Nation’s (1993) Affix Level 6 definition for their compilation. Finally, just as we should expect word lists for beginners to have higher frequency words than subsequent lists, we should also expect them to be easier with more words known to learners. This can be seen with the gradual but marked difference between the different word lists of the NGSL and its supplemental SPs.

IRT, word difficulty, corpus validity, measurement, vocabulary testing, Yes/No test

Culligan, B. A. (2019). Evaluating corpora with word lists and word difficulty. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 8 (1), 29–38. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.Culligan

VLI 8(1): McGuire (2019)

Toward Written Error Correction with a Japanese-English Parallel Corpus: Data-Driven Learning in the Japanese EFL Classroom
Michael McGuire
Kansai Gaidai University
doi: https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.McGuire
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The concept of data-driven learning (DDL) – direct student use of corpora – has been gaining attention among researchers and teachers. DDL gives learners the chance to take an inductive approach to learning by recognizing patterns in corpus data rather than following abstract rules. However, very few studies focus on presenting clear practices that other teachers can readily use in their classes, particularly related to written error correction. This paper begins by reviewing research pertaining to DDL in student writing as well as using Japanese-English parallel corpora. It then outlines a recent study by Jenifer Larson-Hall (2015), notes weaknesses in the study, and outlines a current project (McGuire & Larson-Hall, under preparation).

data-driven learning; written error correction; parallel corpora; corpus linguistics

McGuire, M. (2019). Toward written error correction with a Japanese-English parallel corpus: Data-driven learning in the Japanese EFL classroom. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 8 (1), 17–28. doi: 10.7820/vli.v08.1.mcguire

VLI 8(1): Pinchbeck (2019)

Validating the Construct of Readability in EFL Contexts: A Proposal for Criteria
Geoffrey G. Pinchbeck
Carleton University
doi: https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.pinchbeck
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This article examines how English as a foreign language learners might be better matched to reading texts using automatic readability analysis. Specifically, I examine how the lexical decoding component of readability might be validated. In Japan, readability has been mostly determined by publishers or by professional reading organizations who only occasionally publish their lists of readability ratings for specific texts. Without transparent readability methods, candidate texts cannot be independently evaluated by practitioners. Moreover, the reliance on centralized organizations to curate from commercially available texts precludes the evaluation of the multitudes of free texts that are increasingly available on the Internet. Previous studies that have attempted to develop automatic readability formulas for Japanese learners have used surface textual features of texts, such as word and/or sentence length, and/or they have used word-frequency lists derived from large multi-
register corpora. In this article, I draw upon on the findings of a study that examines how such word-lists might be validated for use in matching Japanese learners to texts (Pinchbeck, manuscript in preparation). Finally, I propose a list of general criteria that might be used to evaluate the components of readability formulas in general.

readability, vocabulary, matching texts, Japan, cloze test

Pinchbeck, G. G. (2019). Validating the construct of readability in EFL contexts: A proposal for criteria. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 8 (1), 8–16. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.pinchbeck

VLI 8(1): Ishikawa (2019)

A Reconsideration of the Construct of “A Vocabulary for Japanese Learners of English”: A Critical Comparison of the JACET Wordlists and New General Service Lists
Shin’ichiro Ishikawa
Kobe University
doi: https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.ishikawa
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By comparing the vocabularies included in the Japan Association of College English Teachers (JACET) wordlists (1993, 2003, and 2016 editions) and recently released New General Service Lists (Brezina & Gablasova, 2013; Browne, 2013), we tried to identify the construct of “the vocabulary for Japanese learners” with which JACET researchers have been concerned. Our quantitative analysis has shown that it includes the vocabulary concerning (a) family and people, (b) houses and daily life, (c) foods and cooking, (d) clothes and fashions, (e) sports, (f) social meetings, (g) transportation, and (h) emotions and mental states, as well as (i) spoken English vocabulary and (j) non-basic forms. This finding will shed new light on the discussion of what kind of vocabulary should be included in pedagogical wordlists.

vocabulary selection; corpus-based approach; pedagogical adjustment

Ishikawa, S. (2019). A reconsideration of the construct of “A vocabulary for Japanese learners of English”: A critical comparison of the JACET wordlists and New General Service Lists. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 8 (1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v08.1.ishikawa

VLI 6(2): Anthony (2017)

Corpus Linguistics and Vocabulary: A Commentary on Four Studies
Laurence Anthony
Waseda University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Anthony
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Tools and methods developed in the field of corpus linguistics play an often understated but important role in much of vocabulary research. This article offers a commentary on four vocabulary studies that explicitly reference the use of corpus linguistics in the development of new vocabulary resources, tools, and concepts. First, the article categorizes corpus linguistics research into two distinct areas and then positions the four studies in these areas. Next, the article summarizes the results of the four studies, before making suggestions for strengthening the works from the perspective of mainstream corpus linguistics research. The article concludes with a general comment on the value of the studies as they relate to corpus linguistics and vocabulary research in general.

Anthony, L. (2017). Corpus linguistics and vocabulary: A commentary on four studies. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (2), 79–87. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.2.Anthony

VLI 6(2): Romanko (2017)

Measuring the Vocabulary Burden of Popular English Songs
Rick Romanko
Wayo Women’s University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Romanko
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This study measured the vocabulary burden of popular English songs to determine what vocabulary is needed to understand 95% and 98% of the words in songs. The researcher analyzed the vocabulary in 2,175 songs, which consisted of 678,309 tokens. The results showed that knowledge of the most frequent 2,000 word families and proper nouns and marginal words provided 96.05% coverage, and knowledge of the most frequent 5,000 word families and proper nouns and marginal words provided 98% coverage of the English used in songs in the corpus.

Romanko, R. (2017). Measuring the vocabulary burden of popular English songs. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (2), 71–78. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.2.Romanko