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

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