VLI 9(2): Obermeier (2020)

Exploring the Effectiveness of Deliberate Computer-Assisted Language Learning
Andrew Obermeier
Kyoto University of Education
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.obermeier
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This article presents a work-in-progress focused on developing an experiment
to investigate the effectiveness of different types of deliberate
paired-associate computer-assisted language learning (CALL).
First, the rationale for Japanese EFL learners’ current need for doubling
their efforts with this technique is explained. Next, an overview
of research regarding the interface in second language acquisition is
presented. This is followed by an explanation of results from a recent
experiment. Questions and issues raised in that experiment are then
discussed with regard to a proposal for a subsequent experiment that
will be conducted during the semester starting in April 2020. In this
proposed study, different conditions within Internet-based flashcard
study will be the major experimental learning component. Psycholinguistic
response time measures will be the main dependent variable,
aimed at gauging gains in nondeclarative, or tacit L2 knowledge.
In addition, online declarative measures and traditional offline measures
of declarative knowledge will be used.

Obermeier, A. (2020). Exploring the effectiveness of deliberate computer-assisted language learning. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (2), 24–38. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.obermeier

VLI 9(2): Rogers (2020)

On Creating a Large-scale Corpus-based Academic Multi-word Unit Resource
James Rogers
Meijo University
doi: https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.rogers
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This study outlines the steps taken to create an academic multi-word unit list derived from corpus data. It gives details on the procedure used and the rationale behind why certain approaches were utilised. It also compares existing resources and makes some suggestions for practical use of the resulting resource.

English for specific purposes, academic English, collocation, formulaic language, multi-word units, corpora

Rogers, J. (2020). On creating a large-scale corpus-based academic multi-word unit resource. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (2), 17–23. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.rogers

VLI 9(2): Lafleur (2020)

The Indirect Spaced Repetition Concept
Louis Lafleur
Ritsumeikan University
doi: https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.lafleur
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The main goal of this research is to systemize, build, and test prototype software to demonstrate Indirect Spaced Repetition (ISR) as a viable concept for Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition (SLVA). ISR is designed around well-founded spaced repetition and SLVA principles. Most importantly, it is based on Nation’s (2001) recommendation to consider all three tiers of word knowledge (meaning, form, and function/use) and subsequent 18 aspects of word knowledge for a more balanced approach in teaching and learning vocabulary. ISR prototype software was achieved in the conceptual phase of the research. The resulting prototype flashcard software was given an in-depth trial for a period of 2 weeks by seven university students. Participants were given a post-project survey to evaluate ISR software (ISRS) under four categories: enjoyment, usefulness, usability, and general consideration. Post-test survey findings showed above-average satisfaction and consideration to use such software in the future. However, these findings also revealed that some areas could be further improved, such as addressing some hardware/software issues (e.g., IT infrastructure problematics and lag) and integrating gamification elements (e.g., performance feedback/reports).

vocabulary learning, (indirect) spaced repetition, (spaced) interleaving, 18 aspects of word knowledge, computer assisted language learning (CALL)

Lafleur, L. (2020). The indirect spaced repetition concept. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (2), 9–16. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.lafleur

VLI 9(2): Denison & Custance (2020)

Vocabulary Learning Using Student-Created Class Vocabulary Lists
G. Clint Denison (a) and Imogen Custance (b)
(a) Mukogawa Women’s University; (b) Kwansei Gakuin University
doi: 10.7820/vli.v09.2.denison.custance
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In this article, we describe the pedagogical basis for class vocabulary lists (CVLs) and their implementation using Google Sheets. CVLs allow students to collaborate and build “notebooks” of vocabulary that they feel is important to learn. CVL choices of students (N = 53) in three classes of mixed non-English majors and one informatics class were compared against frequency-based lists (British National Corpus/Corpus of Contemporary American English Word Family Lists [BNC/COCA], New General Service List [NGSL], Test of English for International Communication [TOEIC] Service List [TSL]) using the Compleat Web Vocabulary Profiler (Web VP) to determine the usefulness of the selected vocabulary. An information technology keywords list, constructed using AntConc and AntCorGen, was compared against the informatics group’s CVL to determine if those students were choosing field-appropriate vocabulary. Results suggest that when given autonomy to choose vocabulary, students generally select useful and relevant words for their contexts (e.g, simulation, virtual, privacy, artificial, denuclearization, aftershock, heatstroke) and that CVLs supplement frequency-based lists in beneficial ways.

Denison, G. C., & Custance, I. (2020). Vocabulary learning using student-created class vocabulary lists. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (2), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.denison.custance

VLI 9(1): Paton (2020)

Introducing Mnemonics to Japanese Students as a Vocabulary Learning Strategy
Stephen Paton
Fukuoka University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.paton
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Mnemonic strategies are not often utilised by Japanese students to
learn and consolidate vocabulary, despite research showing that they
are particularly effective. As part of an informal action research process,
a structured lesson plan was devised that would introduce mnemonic
strategies indirectly, that is, not by applying them directly to
second-language vocabulary study from the outset, but instead as a
means of memorising simple word/number pairings in something of a
game. The strategy’s applicability to vocabulary study was shown only
after it had been witnessed and practised by the students. This lesson
was given in numerous classes from a variety of academic disciplines.
A survey of the students (n = 361) was later carried out to ascertain
whether despite its initially bypassing second-language concerns and
complications, the lesson had been effective in introducing mnemonics
as a vocabulary learning strategy that the students might choose to
utilise in an upcoming programme of vocabulary learning and testing.
Responses indicated that the lesson had been highly effective and that
students in similar contexts might benefit from being introduced to
mnemonics in such a way.

Paton S. (2020). Introducing mnemonics to Japanese students as a vocabulary learning strategy. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (1), 80–93. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.paton

VLI 9(1): Allen (2020b)

A Procedure for Determining Japanese Loanword Status for English Words
David Allen
Ochanomizu University
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Japanese loanwords are mainly derived from English. These loanwords provide a considerable first-language (L1) resource that may assist in second-language (L2) vocabulary learning and instruction. However, given the huge number of loanwords, it is often difficult to determine whether an English word has a loanword equivalent and whether the loanword is likely to be widely known among the Japanese. This article demonstrates an efficient method of answering these two questions. The method employs corpus frequency data from the Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese, from which the existence and frequency of loanwords in Japanese can be determined. Following the guidelines presented herein, researchers will be able to use data from the corpus themselves to check cognate frequency, thereby determining the cognate status of items used in research.

Japanese loanwords; Japanese-English cognates; loanword frequency; cognate frequency; different-script cognates

Allen, D. (2020). A procedure for determining Japanese loanword status for English words. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (1), 73–79. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.Allen.b

VLI 9(1): Stubbe & Nakashima (2020)

Examining Katakana Synform Errors Made by Japanese University Students
Raymond Stubbe (a) and Kosuke Nakashima (b)
(a) Nagasaki University; (b) Hiroshima Institute of Technology
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.stubbe.nakashima
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Laufer (1988) introduced the concept of synform errors, where second
language (L2) learners confuse a word for a different but similar looking
or sounding L2 word. Stubbe and Cochrane (2016) reported that of
1,187 commonly repeated errors on a Japanese to English non-contextual
translation test, 461 were synform errors (39%). This study introduces
the concept of katakana consonant pairing synform errors, where
Japanese learners of English can confuse one English word for another
because some English consonants have no Japanese equivalent, for example,
l and v. Words containing these consonants can be transcribed
into katakana using the closest Japanese consonant sound: r, b, respectively.
This can result in katakana pairings (l-r, v-b), which may lead
to confusion for the Japanese learners. “Vest” may be interpreted as
“best,” for instance. In the present study, English students at one Japanese
university (N = 235) were given a Japanese to English non-contextual
translation test containing the lower frequency member of 30 such
katakana pairs (“vest” being a much less frequent word than its pair
“best,” for instance). Thirty words not having a katakana partner (e.g.,
shade) from the same JACET8000 frequency levels were also tested. The
study results suggest that katakana consonant pairing synform errors are
problematic for these Japanese university students. Implications for the
classroom and vocabulary assessment are presented.

translation test; synform errors; katakana; Japanese EFL learners

Stubbe, R. and Nakashima, K. (2020). Examining katakana synform errors made by Japanese university students. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (1), 62–72. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.stubbe.nakashima

VLI 9(1): Therova (2020)

General Word Lists: Overview and Evaluation
Dana Therova
The Open University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.therova
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Vocabulary learning is unarguably one of the sub-goals in every language classroom. The learning and teaching of vocabulary have been transformed by the development of general word lists, providing compilations of the most prevalent vocabulary items used in everyday contexts. These lists have made an invaluable contribution to the field of applied linguistics in terms of both research and pedagogy; they have assisted the learning, teaching and testing of vocabulary; and they have also been widely used in materials development and vocabulary research. However, if they are to be utilised effectively, it is important to understand the characteristics of these word lists. Thus, this article offers a review of the various general word lists presently available with the aim of assisting English as a Foreign Language (EFL)/English as a Second Language (ESL) practitioners in making informed decisions regarding the choice and utility of these word lists in their practices.

Therova, D (2020). General word lists: Overview and evaluation. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (1), 51–61. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.therova

VLI 9(1): Allen (2020a)

An Overview and Synthesis of Research on English Loanwords in Japanese
David Allen
Ochanomizu University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.Allen.a
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Loanwords in Japanese that share form and meaning with English words are referred to as Japanese-English cognates (e.g., ラジオ /radӡio/ “radio”) and are of fundamental concern for researchers concerned with vocabulary learning and instruction. This concern is reflected in the growing body of research into Japanese-English cognates in applied linguistics, which has addressed a wide range of questions in different contexts and with various methodologies. However, the research relevant to applied linguists appears not only in various domestic and international learning- and teaching-focused publications, but also in the feeder disciplines of linguistics, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics. Consequently, identifying published research on Japanese-English cognates presents a considerable challenge for the applied linguist, which may in turn hinder progression in the field. Therefore, this article reports a comprehensive yet non-exhaustive literature search, which yielded a corpus of 130 research publications, for which a full reference list is provided. Furthermore, an overview and synthesis of the research is given, illustrating how cognates are typically treated in the feeder disciplines and in studies focusing on language learning and/or teaching, and assessment. Based on this synthesis, the following key areas for future research are identified: learners’ identification and use of cognates in English, their knowledge of loanwords in Japanese, their attitudes and beliefs towards cognates, researchers’ categorisation of cognates, whether classroom teaching approaches to cognates impact learning outcomes, and the extent of the cognate advantage in a range of assessment formats.

loanword; cognate; Japanese-English; gairaigo; overview; synthesis

Allen, D. (2020). An overview and synthesis of research on English loanwords in Japanese. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (1), 33–50. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.Allen.a

VLI 9(1): Meara (2020)

The Emergence of a First Paradigm in Vocabulary Research: The Bibliometrics of System
Paul Meara
Swansea University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.meara
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This paper uses a bibliometric method to analyse the vocabulary research published in the journal System between 1976 and 2017. The bibliometric method used here is co-citation analysis, an approach which allows us to map the influences that have significantly impacted on vocabulary research. The analysis is intended to expand on an earlier analysis by Lei and Liu (2019), which studied the outputs in System but also analyses the features of all the papers published in the journal. This paper identifies five main clusters in the System data set. It also reports how these clusters grow and change over time. It argues that the data point to the emergence of a first paradigm in vocabulary research (Kuhn, 1971), and suggests some ways in which this paradigm might shift in response to demographic changes among the researchers who publish in System.

Paul Meara. (2020). The emergence of a first paradigm in vocabulary research: The bibliometrics of System. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (1), 1–32. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.1.meara

VLI 7(1): Brown (2018)

Examining the Word Family through Word Lists
Dale Brown
Kanazawa University
doi: https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v07.1.brown
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The choice of lexical unit has important consequences for L2 vocabulary
research, testing and instruction. In recent years, the most widely
used lexical unit has been the word family. This study examines the
characteristics of word lists based on the word family and explores the
levels of text coverage such lists may provide should the assumption
that learners can deal with word families be incorrect. This is pursued
through the detailed examination of a set of word-family-based word
lists. The study finds that such word lists pose a number of challenges,
including the number of word forms with multiple affixes, the number
of word forms with more challenging affixes, and the number of word
families in which the base word is not the most frequently occurring
member. Moreover, the first thousand word families in particular are
shown to be challenging. The study then demonstrates that if learners
are unable to deal with the complexity of word families, even to a relatively
small degree, word-family-based lists may provide far lower text
coverage levels than may be assumed. It concludes that in work on second
language vocabulary, careful consideration is needed of the appropriacy
of the word family as the lexical unit and highlights the range of
work based on the word family that may need reevaluating.

lexical unit, word families, word lists, text coverage

Brown, D. (2018). Examining the word family through word lists. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 7 (1), 51–65. doi: 10.7820/vli.v07.1.brown