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How well does teacher talk support incidental vocabulary acquisition?

Title:

How well does teacher talk support incidental vocabulary acquisition?

Horst, Marlise (2010) How well does teacher talk support incidental vocabulary acquisition? Reading in a Foreign Language, 22 (1). ISSN 1539-0578

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Official URL: http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/April2010/

Abstract

Opportunities for incidental vocabulary acquisition were explored in a 121,000-word corpus of teacher talk addressed to advanced adult learners of English as a second language (ESL) in a communicatively-oriented conversation class. In contrast to previous studies that relied on short excerpts, the corpus contained all of the teacher speech the learners were exposed to during a 9-week session. Lexical frequency profiling indicated that with knowledge of 4,000 frequent words, learners would be able to understand 98% of the tokens in the input. The speech contained hundreds of words likely to have been unfamiliar to the learners, but far fewer were recycled the numbers of times research shows are needed for lasting retention. The study concludes that attending to teacher speech is an inefficient method for acquiring knowledge of the many frequent words learners need to know, especially since many words used frequently in writing are unlikely to be encountered at all.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Concordia University > Research Units > Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance
Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Authors:Horst, Marlise
Journal or Publication:Reading in a Foreign Language
Date:April 2010
ID Code:36106
Deposited By:ANDREA MURRAY
Deposited On:28 Nov 2011 13:30
Last Modified:28 Nov 2011 13:30
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