VLI 9(2): Elgort (2020)

Vocabulary Learning and Assessment: A Commentary on Four Studies for JALT Vocabulary SIG
Irina Elgort
Victoria University of Wellington
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.elgort
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Four papers by Chie Ogawa, Haidee Thomson, Michael Holsworthm and Darrell Wilkinson were presented in the Vocabulary Learning and Assessment session at the Eighth Annual Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) Vocabulary Special Interest Group (SIG) Symposium, at the University of Niigata, Japan, in May 2020. The papers raised methodological questions, proposed approaches to assessing spoken and written word knowledge and fluency, and presented some experimental findings. It is my pleasure to discuss these papers in terms of the ideas proposed by the four researchers, their implementation and potential future directions.

Elgort, I. (2020). Vocabulary learning and assessment: A commentary on four studies for JALT Vocabulary SIG. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (2), 75–88. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.elgort

VLI 9(2): Wilkinson (2020)

Deliberate Vocabulary Learning from Word Cards
Darrell Wilkinson
Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.wilkinson
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While word cards are a widely supported method of deliberately studying foreign language vocabulary, there is a surprising lack of research-based evidence supporting them. This paper first reviews some of the key literature on word cards and then briefly describes two experiments concerning word card methodology. The first experiment described in this paper examined the learning outcomes of making word cards while the second experiment compared the use of self-made word cards with premade cards. The results of the first study indicated that the simple process of making word cards results in significant short-term vocabulary learning, but this new knowledge is sensitive to attrition if no further study is carried out soon after making the cards. The results of the second experiment indicated that while both methods are effective in the short and long-term, learners may be better studying from premade cards. Taken together, the results offer support for the use of word cards for foreign language vocabulary learning.

Wilkinson, D. (2020). Deliberate vocabulary learning from word cards. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (2), 69–74. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.wilkinson

VLI 9(2): Thomson (2020)

The Challenges of Measuring Multi-Word Expression Use in Conversation
Haidee Thomson
Hokusei Gakuen University and Victoria University of Wellington
doi: https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.thomson
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This article introduces three important challenges and possible solutions when using spoken dialogue to measure the use of specific multi-word expressions. The first challenge is deciding whether to count precise and accurate use of target expressions only or whether to extend the count to include variation. The second challenge requires addressing the indirect nature of dialogue as a testing method. The third challenge is organizing data and preparing ways to clearly identify speakers within the dialogue. These challenges are illustrated with examples and potential solutions from my recent research investigating spoken use of multi-word expressions.

three dimensions of vocabulary knowledge: size, depth, and lexical accessibility; passive/receptive vocabulary knowledge; active/productive vocabulary knowledge.

Thomson, H. (2020). The challenges of measuring multi-word expression use in conversation. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (2), 63–68. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.thomson

VLI 9(2): Holsworth (2020)

Assessing Low-level Cognitive Processes of Word Recognition
Michael Holsworth
Kyoto Sangyo University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.holsworth
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A fundamental skill required for vocabulary development is word recognition ability. According to Perfetti (1985), word recognition ability relies on low-level cognitive processing skill to be automatic and efficient in order for cognitive resources to be allocated to high-level processes such as inferencing and schemata activation needed for reading comprehension. The low-level processes include orthographic knowledge, semantic knowledge, and phonological awareness. These low-level processes must be efficient, fluent, and automatic in second language readers in order for them to achieve the ultimate goal of reading comprehension. This article briefly describes the concept of word recognition, its relation to vocabulary, and three tests that were designed to measure the three components of word recognition (orthographic, semantic, and phonological knowledge) in a longitudinal study that investigated the effects of word recognition training on reading comprehension.

reading, word recognition, orthographic knowledge, semantic knowledge, phonological awareness, testing

Holsworth, M. (2020). Assessing low-level cognitive processes of word recognition. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9(2), 55–62. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.holsworth

VLI 9(2): Ogawa (2020)

Teaching Ideas for Improving Oral Performance through Formulaic Language Instruction
Chie Ogawa
Kyoto Sangyo University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.ogawa
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This article suggests three teaching ideas to help L2 learners improve
speaking performances through form-focused instruction using formulaic
language. Formulaic language is considered an effective way to
foster speaking fluency because prefabricated chunks are faster to retrieve
than constructing sentences word by word (Wray, 2002). In spite
of the benefits of learning formulaic language in L2 learning theory,
few empirical studies were found which examined the effects of formulaic
language instruction in intact classrooms, in particular in the EFL
(English as a Foreign Language) context. By introducing some effective
classroom tasks to foster L2 learners’ speaking fluency focusing on
formulaic language in this article, the author emphasizes the need for
empirical research involving EFL learners.

speaking, formulaic language, automatization, proceduralization, focus on form, fluency, CALF, instructed SLA

Ogawa, C. (2020). Teaching ideas for improving oral performance through formulaic language instruction. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9(2), 48–54. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.ogawa

VLI 9(2): Nakata (2020)

Vocabulary and Computer Technology: A Commentary on Four Studies for JALT Vocabulary SIG
Tatsuya Nakata
Rikkyo University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.nakata
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Four papers by Clint Denison and Imogen Custance, Louis Lafleur, James Rogers, and Andrew Obermeier will be presented at the Eighth Annual JALT Vocabulary SIG Symposium in Tokyo, Japan, on September 20, 2020. The topics covered in the four papers are vocabulary learning using online student-created vocabulary lists, development of a flashcard program that manipulates the review schedule and question format, creation of a list of multi-word units based on corpora, and examination of the acquisition of declarative and tacit vocabulary knowledge from deliberate computer-assisted learning. This commentary briefly summarizes each study and offers suggestions for future research. All of the four studies exhibit how computer technology can be used to facilitate vocabulary research, teaching, and learning.

Nakata, T. (2020). Vocabulary and computer technology: A commentary on four studies for JALT Vocabulary SIG. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (2), 39–47. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.nakata

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