VLI 1(1): Anderson (2012)

Utilizing Student-Generated Pictures for Formative Vocabulary Instruction
Charles J. Anderson
Kyushu Sangyo University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v01.1.anderson
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Contemporary vocabulary learning strategies focus on the learner. This may overlook the effect good classroom instruction, such as formative feedback, can have on acquisition. Formative feedback is strongly correlated with positive learning outcomes because it provides explicit information the learner can use to move beyond what is known and towards a learning goal. Drawing pictures of target vocabulary is one activity that supports vocabulary acquisition while also promoting more formative feedback. Research indicates that the drawing of pictures can deepen understanding and improve recall. Furthermore, students’ illustrations also facilitate the delivery of more specific feedback than more conventional vocabulary acquisition strategies, provided teachers use them effectively. This activity aids less proficient university students by facilitating better feedback and deepening existing vocabulary knowledge and improving recall.

vocabulary learning; vocabulary acquisition; pictures; drawing; illustration; learning strategies.

Anderson, C. J. (2012).Utilizing student-generated pictures for formative vocabulary instruction. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 1(1), 37-43. doi: 10.7820/vli.v01.1.anderson

VLI 1(1): Sato & Batty (2012)

A Study of Learners’ Intuitions Behind the Use of Utterance Verbs in English
Yoshiaki Sato and Aaron Batty
Keio University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v01.1.sato.batty
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Verbs of utterance are some of the most fundamental verbs in the English language, yet their usage patterns are exceptionally diverse. Learners of English should be able to use these words correctly and comfortably, but without an understanding of their core meanings acquisition of their various patterns of use can be daunting. The present research investigates the differences between English learners’ and native speakers’ intuitions regarding the utterance verbs ‘‘speak,’’ ‘‘talk,’’ ‘‘say,’’ and ‘‘tell.’’ The participants were 80 users of English in four proficiency groups (Low, Mid, High, and native). The participants were polled via questionnaire on their intuitions regarding various uses of the four utterance verbs. Data were analyzed and compared with descriptive statistics and t tests. Although the intuitions of learners of increasing proficiency increasingly resembled those of NS, the verbs ‘‘speak’’ and ‘‘talk’’ posed special problems, indicating a lack of understanding of these verbs’ core meanings. Language educators are recommended to pay particular attention to these verbs’ more idiomatic uses (e.g. ‘‘talk politics’’) to address these deficiencies.

utterance verbs; semantically-interrelated verbs; division of labor; constructional ranges; core meaning; lexical hypothesis; lexical acquisition; systematic teaching.

Sato, Y.& Batty, A. (2012).A study of learners’ intuitions behind the use of utterance verbs in English. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 1(1), 2936.doi: 10.7820/vli.v01.1.sato.batty

VLI 1(1): Brown (2012)

The Frequency Model of Vocabulary Learning and Japanese Learners
Dale Brown
Nanzan University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v01.1.brown
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The frequency model of vocabulary learning, the idea that words are learnt broadly in order of their frequency, is routinely applied in language teaching, testing and research. There has, however, been little research actually confirming it. This paper reports on a small-scale study which investigated the extent to which the vocabulary knowledge of a group of Japanese university students follows the model. Forty-nine low intermediate proficiency participants took a 100-item Yes/No test containing 20 words from five frequency bands. It was found that, as expected, for the group as a whole, knowledge of the words was related to frequency, with the proportion of words known falling as frequency declined. Following Milton’s study, however, an analysis of the results of individual participants revealed that around 20% showed different patterns of knowledge and did not follow the frequency model. One question, however, is whether the frequency information on which the Yes/No test is based is the best approximation of these learners’ experience of English. A re-examination of the data in terms of JACET8000 levels found that once more the group as a whole followed the frequency model, and in addition that more of the individual participants conformed to the model. The study thus demonstrates the importance of using frequency data that is relevant to the learners in question and provides confirmation that frequency is a key determiner in the learning of vocabulary. It seems that teachers can reasonably make use of frequency information to support their students’ learning.

vocabulary learning; word frequency; frequency model; JACET8000.

Brown, D.(2012).The frequency model of vocabulary learning and Japanese learners. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 1(1), 2028. doi: 10.7820/vli.v01.1.brown

VLI 1(1): Barfield (2012)

Lexical Development and Learners’ Practices in a Content-based Learning Course
Andy Barfield
Chuo University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v01.1.barfield
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Developing a better understanding of the beliefs and practices that students hold concerning their English vocabulary development should
assist lexical instruction and learning. To explore different connections between lexical development and learner autonomy, changes and developments over time in the vocabulary practices and goals of several students engaged in content-based learning projects through English were tracked. After reconstructing their vocabulary histories, participants kept dedicated vocabulary notes and reflections. This study examines the developments that one individual goes through over time in his vocabulary practices and goals, in order to better understand processes of lexical restructuring and network building. From this analysis, connections to a Vygotskian view of conceptual development are drawn, particularly with regard towhat such a model may indicate about learners’ situated lexical development.

learner autonomy; lexical development; vocabulary histories; vocabulary practices; content-based learning; conceptual development; lexical restructuring.

Barfield, A.(2012).Lexical development and learners’ practices in a content-based learning course. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 1(1), 1019. doi: 10.7820/vli.v01.1.barfield

VLI 3(1): Rogers et al. (2014)

A Methodology for Identification of the Formulaic Language Most Representative of High-frequency Collocations
James Rogers (a), Chris Brizzard (a), Frank Daulton (b), Cosmin Florescu (c), Ian MacLean (a), Kayo Mimura (a), John O’Donoghue (d), Masaya Okamoto (e), Gordon Reid (a) and Yoshiaki Shimada (f)
(a) Kansai Gaidai University; (b) Ryukoku University; (c) University of New England; (d) Osaka Board of Education; (e) University of Manchester; (f) State University of New York at Albany
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v03.1.rogers.et.al
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Researchers have stated that learning formulaic language is key to
achieving fluency. It has also been stated that studying vocabulary in
this way is more efficient than isolated vocabulary learning. However,
there is a lack of research in regards to which formulaic language should
be taught. There is a further lack of research about how such formulaic
language can be identified. This study aimed to evaluate a methodology
for identifying the most common formulaic language. It compared multiword
unit identification results from both 500 and 1,000 example
sentences and quantified how often native speakers opt to extend multiword
units beyond their core pivot and collocate. This study also
identified and quantified colligational issues affecting multi-word unit
identification. The results showed no difference in multi-word unit
identification between 500 and 1,000 example sentences, that native
speakers opted to extend multi-word units more than half of the time, and
that colligational issues only affected approximately 3% of the items
examined. This study concluded that 500 example sentences are just as
reliable as 1,000 when identifying multi-word units. It also found that
extending multi-word units beyond their core pivot and collocate is an
essential step researchers should take. This study also found that a
colligational treatment is necessary if the aim is to achieve the most
accurate data; however, the percentage of items that were affected were
small and the methodology time-consuming. This finding indicates that
there is a need for improved software to better automate the steps taken.

Rogers, J., Brizzard, C., Daulton, F., Florescu, C., MacLean, I., Mimura, K., O’Donoghue, J., Okamoto, M., Reid, G., & Shimada, Y. (2014). A methodology for identification of the formulaic language most representative of high-frequency collocations. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 3 (1), 51-65. doi: 10.7820/vli.v03.1.rogers.et.al

VLI 3(1): Meara (2014)

Vocabulary Research in the Modern Language Journal: A Bibliometric Analysis
Paul M. Meara
Swansea University and Cardiff University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v03.1.meara

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This paper reports a bibliometric analysis of a set of 201 articles which was published in The Modern Language Journal (MLJ) between 1916 and 2010. All these articles deal with vocabulary acquisition. The paper reports an all-inclusive author co-citation analysis of this data, in an attempt to sketch out the historical development of vocabulary acquisition research. The paper presents a set of maps which shows whose work is being cited in the Journal. Co-citation links between cited sources allow us to identify research clusters which are characterised by patterns of citations. This paper uses these maps to show how the predominant research focus has changed significantly over the period studied. Much of the earlier work published in MLJ no longer figures in more recent research. The more recent research appears to be much more inward-looking and self-referential than is the case for the earlier research. This paper suggests that a co-citation analysis of research in a single journal does not capture the full richness of vocabulary research, which in turn raises some interesting questions about the selectivity of journals and their research biases.

Meara, P.M. (2014). Vocabulary research in The Modern Language Journal: A bibliometric analysis. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 3(1), 1-28. doi: 10.7820/vli.v03.1.meara

VLI 3(1): Stubbe (2014)

Do Japanese Students Overestimate or Underestimate Their Knowledge of English Loanwords More than Non-loanwords on Yes–No Vocabulary Tests?
Raymond Stubbe
Kyushu Sangyo University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v03.1.stubbe

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English loanwords (LWs), gairaigo in Japanese, make up a much greater percentage of the Japanese language than many university English teachers realize, especially if their native language is not Japanese. Unfortunately, a gairaigo bias exists which has made these LWs unpopular amongst teachers and researchers. The aim of this study is to compare student over-estimation and under-estimation of their knowledge of English LWs on yes–no vocabulary tests with an equal number of non-loanwords (NLWs). Undergraduate students from four Japanese universities (n 0 455) took two vocabulary tests of their receptive and passive recall knowledge of LWs and NLWs. Six LWs and six NLWs from each of the eight JACET 8000 levels were tested in a self- report yes–no test followed by a passive recall translation test (English to Japanese) of the same 96 items. Overall, over-estimation rates were nearly equal at 24.6% for LWs and 25.8% for NLWs. Additionally, over- estimation was more prevalent for NLWs at the higher three frequency levels (1K–3K), nearly equal with LWs at the 4K level and then more prevalent for the LWs at the lower four frequency levels (5K–8K), suggesting that student knowledge of NLWs is weak even at the higher frequency levels. Under-estimation, on the other hand, was much more prevalent for LWs (4.4% versus 0.7%). Six of the 48 LWs actually had higher passive recall test scores than yes–no test scores. These results suggest that although students do not over-estimate their knowledge of LWs more than NLWs on yes–no vocabulary tests, they do under- estimate their LW knowledge much more than NLWs.

over-estimation of lexical knowledge; loanwords; yes-no vocabulary tests; passive recall knowledge; JACET 8000.

Stubbe, R. (2014). Do Japanese students overestimate or underestimate their knowledge of English loanwords more than non-loanwords on yes–no vocabulary tests? Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 3(1), 29-43. doi: 10.7820/vli.v03.1.stubbe

VLI 3(1): Kaneko (2014)

Is the Vocabulary Level of the Reading Section of the TOEFL Internet-Based Test Beyond the Lexical Level of Japanese Senior High School Students?
Masaya Kaneko
Tokyo Denki University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v03.1.kaneko
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The main goal of the present study is to answer the question of whether the lexical level of the reading section of the TOEFL Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) is beyond the vocabulary level of Japanese senior high school graduates. The lexical level was measured in terms of text coverage. The present study builds upon Chujo and Oghigian’s study. The notable difference in methodology compared to earlier text coverage studies on the TOEFL is an examination of real past TOEFL iBTs. Two objectives are explored in the present study. First, this study aims to examine how well a vocabulary of 3,000 word families, which is the lexical size target for Japanese high school graduates set by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, enables students to comprehend reading passages in the TOEFL iBT. Second, it estimates a vocabulary size required to reach 95% and 98% coverage of these passages. Results showed that the most frequent 3,000 word families plus proper nouns as well as words that are defined in context yielded an average text coverage of 88.5% and that 6,000 word families plus proper nouns and defined words accounted for 95% of the text, and around 10,000 word families 98%. The findings suggest that Japanese high school graduates with a vocabulary of 3,000 word families would be expected to comprehend nearly 50% of reading passages in the TOEFL iBT and that learning a vocabulary beyond the 10,000-word frequency level may not be necessary unless 98% or more text coverage is required.

Kaneko, M. (2014). Is the vocabulary level of the reading section of the TOEFL Internet-based Test beyond the lexical level of Japanese senior high school students? Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 3(1), 44-50. doi: 10.7820/vli.v03.1.kaneko

VLI 3(1): Racine (2014)

Reaction Time Methodologies and Lexical Access in Applied Linguistics
John P. Racine
Dokkyo University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v03.1.racine
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The first issue of this journal featured a paper by Iso (2012) in which the author described research conducted to validate his Lexical Access Time Test (LEXATT2). While the details of the test procedure are scant in the write-up, it appears that there are a number of methodological issues that require thorough examination before this test can be considered a valid measure of lexical access. Notable among these issues are the accuracy of the reaction time (RT) measurements and the manner in which the reaction times are interpreted. Other aspects of the study including its relation to prior research and theory also deserve scrutiny.

As pointed out by Mochizuki (2012) in a discussion of four vocabulary test studies which included Iso’s, very few researchers in applied linguistics are conducting research on lexical access. Indeed, lexical research involving RT measurement of any kind is particularly rare in our field, despite the abundance of such studies in cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics circles. The comments below are thus not intended as criticism of Iso’s paper in particular. Rather, this commentary is intended to highlight some of the general principles central to cognitive approaches to the mental lexicon, particularly where reaction time is to be measured. It is hoped that the issues raised below will serve as an introduction to some key elements of this kind of research, and encourage lexical researchers who wish to undertake further studies in this area.

Racine, J.P. (2014). Reaction time methodologies and lexical access in applied linguistics. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 3(1), 66-75. doi:10.7820/vli.v03.1.racine

Tanaka (2012): New Directions in Lexical Development

New Directions in L2 Lexical Development
Shigenori Tanaka
Keio University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v01.1.tanaka
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Lexical competence can be defined as one’s ability to use words differentially and fully. In this paper I shall first present my views concerning lexical development in order to comment on each of the following four articles: Lexical Development and Learners’ Practices in a Content-based Learning Course by Andy Barfield; The Frequency Model of Vocabulary Learning and Japanese Learners by Dale Brown; A Study of Learners’ Intuitions Behind the Use of Utterance Verbs in English by Yoshiaki Sato and Aaron Batty; and, Utilizing Student-Generated Pictures for Formative Vocabulary Instruction by Charles Anderson.

lexical competence; lexical development; second language acquisition; vocabulary breadth; vocabulary depth; discussant; vocabulary symposium.

Tanaka, S. (2012). New directions in L2 lexical development. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 1(1), 1–9. doi:10.7820/vli.v01.1.tanaka