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SETESOL 2009

Text Analysis and Direct Vocabulary Instruction

Katherine Stocking & Germรกn Suรกrez


What percentage of words in a text do students need to know for adequate comprehension?


75%? Most people XXXXX of western XXXXXXXs as XXXXXXing in covered XXXXXs. However, many families XXXXXXed XXXX the Ohio River on flatXXXXs. A flatXXXX was a huge XXXX made of XXXXX planks. All of the XXXXXX’s possessions were loaded onto the flatXXXX. This included their farm XXXXXXs, which were tied to the rear of the XXXX. What do you XXXXX were some XXXXXXXXXs of XXXXXXing in flatXXXXs? Write your XXXXXX on a separate sheet of paper.


80%? Most people XXXX of western XXXXXXXXs as XXXXXXing in covered wagons. However, many families XXXXXXed down the Ohio River on flatXXXXs. A flatXXXX was a huge XXXX made of heavy planks. All of the family’s possessions were loaded onto the flatXXXX. This included their farm XXXXXXs, which were tied to the rear of the XXXX. What do you XXXX were some XXXXXXXXXs of XXXXXXing in flatXXXXs? Write your XXXXXX on a separate sheet of paper.


90%? Most people XXXXX of western settlers as XXXXXXing in covered wagons. However, many families XXXXXXed down the Ohio River on flatXXXXs. A flatXXXX was a huge raft made of heavy planks. All of the family’s possessions were loaded onto the flatXXXX. This included their farm animals, which were tied to the rear of the boat. What do you XXXXX were some advantages of XXXXXXing in flatXXXXs? Write your answer on a separate sheet of paper.


Research indicates that you must know between 95-99% of the words in a text in order to sufficiently comprehend that text. (Hirsh & Nation, 1992; Waring & Nation, 2004)


How many people in this room speak a second language? Of those, how many have ever tried to read a book in that language? Consider the cognitive demand of reading texts in which your lexical coverage is relatively low.


“If a text contains too many unknown words, the reader must process the text intensively and slowly which changes the reading into a study activity rather than a fluency building one.� (Waring & Nation, 2004, p. 99)


The Issue (for students)

Student Language Proficiencies Vs.

Readability of Academic Texts Do your students understand 95-99% of the words in the texts that you are asking them to read?


The Issue (for teachers)

The Language of the Text Vs.

The Vocabulary that We Teach How do we select target vocabulary?


“While most first and second level courses emphasize vocabulary knowledge through their textbooks, courses with authentic texts often lack this emphasis. It appears that when the pedagogical focus shifts from medium to message, when students study literacy texts instead of language texts, that the pedagogical assumption regarding the vocabulary learning also shifts in emphasis from intentional to incidental.� (Knight, 1994, p. 285)


Vocabulary Instruction

Incidental Learning “Incidental vocabulary acquisition is defined as the acquisition of vocabulary as a by-product of any activity not explicitly geared to lexical acquisition” (Laufer, 2003, p. 574). Vs.

Intentional Learning “Intentional vocabulary acquisition … refers to an activity aimed at committing lexical information to memory” (p. 574).


A Solution 1. Use technology to assist in the analysis of texts, and the selection of target vocabulary. 2. Incorporate direct (intentional) vocabulary instruction into your teaching using technology. 1. Monitor student vocabulary acquisition using the same methods you use to analyze texts.


Identifying the Vocabulary

1. Select key vocabulary from text: From each text, select a list of at least 10 words you consider are the key vocabulary terms. 2. Compare lists of selected vocabulary: Exchange your list with another group and compare your selection. 3. Discuss criteria for word selection: Share your selection criteria of the key vocabulary. 4. The Web Frequency Indexer


Identifying the vocabulary (frequency)

Text Analysis • Corpus Linguistics o

http://davies-linguistics.byu.edu/personal/

o

http://www.lextutor.ca/concordancers/

o

http://www.academicvocabularyexercises.com/in dex.htm

o

http://www.palmbeach.k12.fl.us/multicultural/ESO LCurriculumDocs/All/academicvocabulary2.pdf

• Word clouds o

http://www.tocloud.com/

o

http://www.wordle.net/


Teaching/Assessing the vocabulary

• Vocabulary Flashcards, games, quizzes http://quizlet.com/ • Tests, games, surveys http://www.quia.com/ • Dictionary http://dictionary.reference.com/ • Thesaurus http://thesaurus.reference.com/ • Writing collaboration http://clear.msu.edu/revisions/ docs.google.com • Writing Crossword, Word search, Bingo, flashcard http://www.teachers-pet.org/


Questions

Selecting Target Vocabulary  

Selecting target vocabulary using text analysis tools

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