VLI 6(2): Lyddon (2017)

Discovering Language Properties through Corpus-Based Dictionary Data Analysis
Paul A. Lyddon
Osaka Jogakuin College
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Lyddon
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To reveal underlying patterns in real language use, linguists have increasingly come to rely on corpus analyses, involving the evaluation of statistical frequencies in generally sizable bodies of natural linguistic data. However, accessing and analyzing large samples of raw language is neither always practical nor even truly necessary, especially in cases pertaining to structural characteristics. In fact, the requisite data can oftentimes be gleaned from a state-of-the-art (i.e., corpus-based) dictionary. Moreover, given the widespread availability of easily searchable electronic dictionaries nowadays, almost any language teacher or learner can use one to answer a number of these types of queries. This paper illustrates this claim with a step-by-step analysis of corpus-based dictionary data for the purpose of formulating the sound-symbol relations in English words with vowels preceding –gh.

Lyddon P. A. (2017). Discovering language properties through corpus-based dictionary data analysis. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (2), 61–70. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.2.Lyddon

VLI 6(2): Mizumoto (2017)

Initial Evaluation of AWSuM: A Pilot Study
Atsushi Mizumoto
Kansai University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Mizumoto
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This article reports on a pilot study to evaluate usability, effectiveness,
and impact of Academic Word Suggestion Machine (AWSuM), a webbased,
innovative tool, powered by the combination of rhetorical moves
and lexical bundles with an auto-complete feature. Eight L2 writers participated
in the study. Their open-ended comments after using the tool
were qualitatively analyzed and classified in thematic categories. The
results showed that the developed tool brought about beneficial effects
that genre writing pedagogy explicitly aims to achieve. Implications are
discussed in terms of the potential role that a tool like AWSuM could
play in the teaching and learning of technology-enhanced genre writing.

Mizumoto, A. (2017). Initial evaluation of AWSuM: A pilot study. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (2), 46–51. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.2.Mizumoto

VLI 6(2): Matsuda (2017)

Impact of talker variability on L2 word recognition among Japanese EFL learners
Noriko Matsuda
Aino University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Matsuda
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This article is a pilot study investigating auditory word priming in 40 Japanese
learners of English using speeded repetition tasks to measure the impact
of talker changes on second language (L2) word recognition. The results
showed that by focusing more on the perceptual dimension, in single-talker
conditions, word recognition time was statistically significantly shorter and
a perceptual learning effect was seen. However, with talker changes, word
recognition time significantly increased and the repetition effects were nullified.
The results indicate that Japanese English as a foreign language (EFL)
learners have high sensitivity to individual attributes of speech and seem to
need some variations in auditory input for some period of time without any
need for comprehension in order to form robust representations of L2 words.

Matsuda N. (2017). Impact of talker variability on L2 word recognition among Japanese EFL learners. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (2), 8–22. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.2.Matsuda

VLI 6(2): Larson-Hall (2017)

L2 Lexical Attrition and Vocabulary Re-learning in Three L1 English L2 Japanese Children
Jenifer Larson-Hall
Kitakyushu University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Larson-Hall
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In this paper I review the evidence for the role of age in affecting second language attrition, and find it strongly supports a large difference in attrition around a breakpoint of age 8. I propose a Dynamic Attrition Model which posits that attrition sets in immediately upon the loss of contact with a language but the speed of loss differs depending on age. Three children who began their incubation periods at age 6, 8 and 10 are examined when they are re-exposed to Japanese 6 years later. All children showed strong savings rates but large losses to their L2 Japanese.

Larson-Hall, J. (2017). L2 Lexical attrition and vocabulary re-learning in three L1 English L2 Japanese children. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (2), 1–7. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.2.Larson-Hall

VLI 6(2): Kanazawa (2017)

Emotion-Involved Semantic Processing and L2 Vocabulary Memory: A Micro-Level Emotion Manifesto
Yu Kanazawa
Otemon Gakuin University; Kwansei Gakuin University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Kanazawa
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Emotion is a pervasive phenomenon whose pivotal impacts on cognition have been proposed and increasingly acknowledged (e.g., operator effect and “(de-)energizing” effect; cf. Ciompi & Panksepp, 2005; Damasio, 2003; LeDoux, 2012). In accordance with this, second language acquisition (SLA) studies have recently seen an “affective turn” (Pavlenko, 2013) and several theories have been proposed and studies conducted concerning the effect of affect in SLA from such perspectives as motivation (Dörnyei & Ushioda, 2011), foreign language anxiety/enjoyment (Dewaele & MacIntyre, 2016), Directed Motivational Currents (Dörnyei, Henry, & Muir, 2016), and emotional intelligence (Gregersen & MacIntyre, 2017; Kanazawa, 2016b).
The purpose of the experiments was to examine whether emotion-involved semantic processing (EmInvSemProc) results in better incidental L2 memory performance compared to other types of semantic processing (viz., a lexical decision task [LDT] for Experiment A and an imageability judgment task [IJT] for Experiment B).

Kanazawa, Y. (2017). Emotion-involved semantic processing and L2 vocabulary memory: A micro-level emotion manifesto. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (2), 23–30. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Kanazawa

VLI 6(2): Bennett (2017)

Using Cognitive Linguistic Principles to Encourage Production of Metaphorical Vocabulary in Writing
Phil Bennett
Miyazaki International College
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Bennett
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Learners in academic English environments face considerable demands
on their lexical knowledge. The problem is more than just the acquisition
of a large vocabulary; they must also develop an awareness of
the range of meanings that words can convey. Academic discourse is
known to make frequent use of metaphorical vocabulary to express
abstract notions. This article reports on a two-semester investigation
into learner production of conventional metaphorical vocabulary in an
anthropology course. Analysis of written output revealed that control
group metaphor use correlated strongly with overall proficiency, but
that experimental group learners responded to the treatment in a more
complex fashion.

Bennett, P. (2017). Using cognitive linguistic principles to encourage production of metaphorical vocabulary in writing. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (2), 31–39. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.2.Bennett

VLI 6(2): Beglar (2017)

Vocabulary Instruction and Learning: A Commentary on Four Studies
David Beglar
Temple University, Japan Campus
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Beglar
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Four papers were presented by Jenifer Larson-Hall, Noriko Matsuda,
Yu Kanazawa, and Phil Bennett. As the discussant, it is my
pleasure to comment on these four interesting studies concerning
language attrition, the effect of a speaker’s voice on the speed of
word recognition, affect and lexical acquisition, and the use of metaphor
in teaching academic vocabulary. A unique aspect of these
papers is their focus on areas in the fields that have received little
attention in the past. This feature makes the studies quite valuable,
as they illuminate aspects of lexical acquisition that are yet to be
understood in any detail.

Beglar D. (2017). Vocabulary Instruction and Learning: A Commentary on Four Studies. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (2), 40–45. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.2.Beglar

VLI 6(2): Brown (2017)

Coverage-based Frequency Bands: A Proposal
Dale Brown
Kanazawa University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.2.Brown
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Second language vocabulary research makes much use of word frequency
lists and their division into bands. In recent years, bands of 1,000 items
have become conventional. However, there does not seem to be any firm
basis or rationale for this. Conventional banding may be questioned since
the utility of words varies greatly depending on frequency, because there
are enormous differences in frequency within higher bands, and because
the reliability of the placement of words in bands becomes progressively
poorer at lower frequency levels. This article suggests an alternative approach:
basing bands on coverage levels. Because of the frequency distribution
of words, this means the highest frequency bands would contain
very few words, while lower frequency bands would contain a great many
words. The article shows how such bands can be constructed and presents
a re-analysis of the results of a vocabulary test designed with conventional
bands in terms of coverage-based bands. This re-analysis produces
a very different profile of learners’ knowledge, and it is argued that the
shape of this profile may be more useful in terms of guiding instruction
in that it gives a clearer indication of which words should be targeted for
a group of learners. It is further argued that the smaller number of words
contained in coverage-based bands at higher frequency levels makes
them a more feasible basis for instruction. The article thus concludes that
coverage-based bands may be a fruitful avenue for researchers to explore.

Brown, D. (2017). Coverage-based frequency bands: A proposal. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (2), 52–60. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.2.Brown

VLI 6(1): Munby (2017)

i-lex v1 and v2: An Improved Method of Assessing L2 Learner Ability to See Connections between Words?
Ian Munby
Hokkai Gakuen University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.1.Munby
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Knowing a word’s associations is considered an aspect of word knowledge.
It follows that L2 learner ability to see connections between
words may improve with gains in vocabulary knowledge. Word association
tests (WATs) may measure not only learner ability to see links
between words, but they may also assess the degree of organization
of L2 learner lexical knowledge which plays a role in the development
of lexical competence. The aim of this study is to develop a new WAT
wherein learners are presented with the three most common associates
of a cue word. The task is to supply the missing cue word. Following
this format, a test was developed using sets of three cue words chosen
from the five most common associates to 50 target words (TWs) listed
in the Edinburgh Associative Thesaurus, or EAT. Results of an initial
study (i-lex v1) showed that, on average, a group of native speakers
outperformed an experimental group of Japanese learners of English
ranging in level from elementary to upper intermediate. Further, both
in the initial study and a follow-up study (i-lex v2), significant and positive
correlations were found among nonnative i-lex scores and a translation
test. In i-lex v2, significant and positive correlations were also
found among nonnative i-lex scores and the New Vocabulary Levels
Test. These results indicate that the ability of these groups of participants
to see links between highly frequent English words is related to
their vocabulary knowledge.

Munby I. (2017). i-lex v1 and v2: An improved method of assessing L2 learner ability to see connections between words?. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (1), 75–94. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.1.Munby

VLI 6(1): González (2017)

Profiling Lexical Diversity in College-level Writing
Melanie C. González
Salem State University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.1.Gonzalez
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The present paper reports on a study that examined the contribution
of lexical frequency to lexical diversity in narrative texts composed
by 119 multilingual and monolingual English-speaking students
enrolled in first-year college writing courses. The Measure of Textual
Lexical Diversity (MTLD) quantified lexical diversity and the
BNC-COCA 25 strand in Lextutor’s VocabProfile Compleat sorted
the words according to frequency band. Overall, results from statistical
analyses indicated that sample’s lexical diversity was not significantly
impacted by the use of high-frequency (1,000–3,000 bands) or
low-frequency (9,000+ bands) terms. Instead, texts showed greater
differences in the mid-frequency (3,000–9,000) bands (p < 0.05). There
were also significant differences between MTLD writers’ written
productive use of mid-frequency words. Consequently, findings suggest
that mid-frequency vocabulary may play a greater role in academic
writing quality than the attention it is typically given in the L2
writing classroom.

second-language writing; second-language vocabulary; lexical diversity; lexical frequency; academic writing.

González, M. C. (2017). Profiling lexical diversity in college-level writing. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (1), 61–74. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.1.Gonzalez

Editor correction: The DOI on this landing page is accurate. We request readers disregard the DOI on the .pdf because DOI/Crossref cataloguing does not ‘read’ special charatcers.

VLI 6(1): Cutler (2017)

The Use of Psycholinguistic Formulaic Language in the Speech of Higher Level Japanese Speakers of English
Stephen F. Cutler
Cardiff University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.1.Cutler
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A recent study by Cordier (2013) suggests that psycholinguistic formulaic
sequences (multiword units that present a processing advantage
to the individual speaker) may be more prevalent in L2 speakers than
previously thought. The current study adopts the same identification
process to explore the use of psycholinguistic formulaic sequences in
the speech of Japanese Speakers of English (JSE).
Eight adult JSE at intermediate or advanced levels of English each performed
two speaking tasks: a structured interview and a narration task.
Formulaic sequences were identified on the basis of hierarchical conditions
applied in strict order. The first condition was fluency and the second
condition checked for holisticity (using given diagnostic criteria).
For each sample, two measures of formulaicity were calculated: FS%
(the percentage of syllables that were part of a formulaic sequence) and
ANR (the average number of formulaic syllables per run).
The mean formulaicity of the samples (FS%=34.6%, ANR=1.64) suggests
that psycholinguistic formulaic sequences, as defined and identified here,
may be a significant feature in the speech of intermediate/advanced JSE.
The study also confirms the sensitivity of the results to task, with significantly
more formulaic sequences used in the interview task than in the
narration. Overall, the identification process was found to be a useful and
systematic way of identifying formulaic sequences, but some further refinements
of the diagnostic criteria and measures used are also suggested.

Cutler, S. F. (2017). The Use of Psycholinguistic Formulaic Language in the Speech of Higher Level Japanese Speakers of English. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (1), 48–60. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.1.Cutler