Learner language vocabulary phonology
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Learner Language: Vocabulary & Phonology. Amalia Caruso & Karen Murphy. Structure. 1. Vocabulary 2. The Aspects of a Word 3. Frequency 4. Strategies for Meaning 5. Strategies for Acquisition 6. A brief History of L2 Acquisition Phonology 7. Learner Problems 8. Teaching Pronunciation.

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Learner language vocabulary phonology

Learner Language:Vocabulary & Phonology

Amalia Caruso & Karen Murphy


Structure

Structure

1. Vocabulary

2. The Aspects of a Word

3. Frequency

4. Strategies for Meaning

5. Strategies for Acquisition

6. A brief History of L2 Acquisition Phonology

7. Learner Problems

8. Teaching Pronunciation


1 vocabulary

1. Vocabulary

  • “Of all error types, learners consider vocabulary errors the most serious“

  • “[L]exical errors are the most common among second language learners“

  • “[N]ative speakers find lexical errors to be more disruptive than grammatical errors“

    source: Gass, S.M. & Selinker, L. (2001). Second Language

    Acquisition. An Introductory Course. 2nd ed. London: LEA, 372.


1 vocabulary1

1. Vocabulary

  • is everywhere

  • can disturb communication

  • connected to phonology, orthography, morphology, grammar, etc.


1 vocabulary 1 1 english in numbers

1. Vocabulary1.1 English in Numbers

  • It is estimated that the vocabulary of English ranges from

    100,000 to 1,000,000 words

    (dependant on the way one counts the words)

  • An educated speaker of English is believed to know at least

    20,000 words

  • Most everyday conversation requires about

    2,000 words

  • 80 – 90% of most non-technical texts is made up by

    2,000 to 3,000 words

    (the most frequent ones)


1 vocabulary 1 2 l1 learners vs l2 learners

1. Vocabulary1.2 L1-Learners vs. L2-Learners


1 vocabulary 1 3 vocabulary tests meara

1. Vocabulary1.3 Vocabulary Tests (Meara)

“The first step in knowing a word may

simply be to recognize that it is a word”

http://www.lextutor.ca/tests/yes_no_eng/test_1/

  • items which look like English words but are not

  • estimate vocabulary size

  • effective even for advanced learners as number of chosen non-words is also taken into account


2 the aspects of a word

2. The Aspects of a Word

“A word is more than its meaning!”

  • form: written or spoken

  • grammatical properties

    • category, (im-)possiblestructure, idiosyncratic grammatical information

  • lexical properties

    • word combinations, appropriateness

  • Meaning

    • general & specific


3 frequency

3. Frequency

  • as long as students receive natural input from course books and teachers they will be getting the most common words automatically

  • but it is often the edited texts and classroom conversations which do not have these natural properties

    (e.g. vocabulary is listed according to alphabetical order with brief translation into L1)

    (cf. Cook)


3 frequency1

3. Frequency

  • with which a word is seen, heard and understood

  • up to 16 encounters to establish it in memory

  • even more to use it in fluent speech & to understand it immediately

    (cf. Nation)


4 strategies for meaning 4 1 one syllable borrowed words cognates

4. Strategies for Meaning4.1 One-Syllable & Borrowed Words, Cognates

(source: Lightbown, P.M. & Spada, N. p.98)


4 strategies for meaning 4 1 one syllable borrowed words cognates1

4. Strategies for Meaning4.1 One-Syllable & Borrowed Words, Cognates

List 1: One-Syllable Words

  • among most common words

  • but not likely to be known without former instruction or exposure to English

  • form and pronunciation give no clue to meaning

  • many exposures in order to establish them in memory


4 strategies for meaning 4 1 one syllable borrowed words cognates2

4. Strategies for Meaning4.1 One-Syllable & Borrowed Words, Cognates

List 2: Borrowed Words

  • international vocabulary

  • might be known to people who have never learned English, as well

  • borrowed words


4 strategies for meaning 4 1 one syllable borrowed words cognates3

4. Strategies for Meaning4.1 One-Syllable & Borrowed Words, Cognates

List 3: Cognates

  • Infrequent

  • but known on sight or learned after single exposure

  • resemblance to their translation equivalent in other languages


4 strategies for meaning 4 1 one syllable borrowed words cognates4

4. Strategies for Meaning4.1 One-Syllable & Borrowed Words, Cognates

Cognates

  • misinterpretation possible

  • recognition not always easy

  • in general, more accessible in written than in spoken language


4 strategies for meaning 4 2 other strategies

4. Strategies for Meaning4.2 Other Strategies

  • guessing from situation or context

  • using a dictionary

  • making deductions from the word-form


5 strategies for acquisition 5 1 acquisition through reading

5. Strategies for Acquisition5.1 Acquisition through Reading?

  • some theorists suggest that one can learn vocabulary with little intentional effort (“Reading for pleasure”)

     has a positive impact on learning, but doubtful:

  • one has to know 95% of the words in a text in order to get the meaning of a new word (cf. Laufer)


5 strategies for acquisition 5 1 acquisition through reading1

5. Strategies for Acquisition5.1 Acquisition through Reading?

  • one has to encounter a new word many times (cf. Nation)

  • certain types of words are very rare in narratives (cf. Gardner)

  • certain types of books forbid the acquisition of words important for academic needs


5 strategies for acquisition 5 1 acquisition through reading2

5. Strategies for Acquisition5.1 Acquisition through Reading?

 more successful with focused attention through activities and productive tasks (cf. Hulstijn

Laufer)

 more effective with good learning strategies, as well (cf. Kojic-Sabo & Lightbown)


5 strategies for acquisition 5 2 other strategies

5. Strategies for Acquisition5.2 Other Strategies

  • repetition and rote learning

  • organizing words

  • linking to existing knowledge

  • reviewing


6 a brief history of l2 acquisition phonology

6. A brief History of L2 Acquisition Phonology

  • Not as much research on phonology as on other components of language

  • Audiolingualism: techniques aimed at perception and production of the distinction of single sounds

  • Critical period hypothesis: native-like pronunciation = unrealistic for L2

  • Communicative language teaching: little attention, if included: emphasis on rhythm, stress and intonation


7 learner problems 7 1 the basic trouble l1 influence

7. Learner Problems7.1 The basic Trouble: L1 Influence

  • Languages differ in sounds & their structuring into syllables as well as intonation

  • Degree of L1/L2 difference influences L2 phonology

  • More difference = longer period to achieve fluency

    • Chinese vs. German or Dutch

  • Affects other areas of language, too


7 learner problems 7 1 the basic trouble l1 influence1

7. Learner Problems7.1 The basic Trouble: L1 Influence

Can you think of typical mistakes foreigners from a specific country make?


7 learner problems 7 1 the basic trouble l1 influence2

7. Learner Problems7.1 The basic Trouble: L1 Influence

  • Some examples:

    • Korean L1: problem hearing & producing /l/ and /r/ sound

      • Sounds not distinct in Korean

    • Spanish L1: “I e-speak e-Spanish”

      • No consonant clusters starting with “s” at the beginning of words in Spanish

    • French L1: stress on last syllable

      • Normal in French


7 learner problems 7 2 in detail phonemes

7. Learner Problems7.2 In Detail: Phonemes

  • Phoneme: sound that distinguishes meaning in a particular language

  • Languages differ in their choice of phonemes

  • Typical pronunciation material: hearing and repeating sentences with high concentration on particular phoneme

    • Emphasis on practice rather than communication

    • Tries to build up new pronunciation habits


7 learner problems 7 2 in detail phonemes1

7. Learner Problems7.2 In Detail: Phonemes

  • Problem: Phoneme itself is not responsible

  • Distinctive features of phonemes differ (e.g. voice, aspiration)

  • Learner needs to learn both

  • Harder to learn distinctive features (esp. of known phoneme) than a new phoneme

  • Learner stages:

    • Presystematic stage

    • Transfer stage

    • Approximative stage


7 learner problems 7 3 in detail syllable structure

7. Learner Problems7.3 In Detail: Syllable Structure

  • Which of the following do you believe to be possible and which impossible English words?

    • Pfunging

    • Plin

    • Pzan

    • Prush

    • Trilly

    • Tnuc


7 learner problems 7 3 in detail syllable structure1

7. Learner Problems7.3 In Detail: Syllable Structure

  • Language specific rules how syllables are made up

  • English: compulsory vowel preceded or followed by one or more consonants

  • Main L2 trouble: consonant combinations

    • Even if consonants of both languages are the same combinations may differ

  • L2 learners try to make syllables fit their L1

    • Interlanguage solution


7 learner problems 7 3 in detail syllable structure2

7. Learner Problems7.3 In Detail: Syllable Structure

  • Epenthesis: insertion of extra vowel to make English fit L1 (e.g. Korean, Arabic)

    • Korean: “kelass” for class

    • Japanese “sutoraki” for strike

  • Simplification: deletion of consonants out of words if not allowed in L1

    • Cantonese: “Joa” for Joan


7 learner problems 7 4 in detail voicing vot

7. Learner Problems7.4 In Detail: Voicing (VOT)

  • Voice onset time: the moment voicing starts

  • Systems differ

  • Example: stops

    • English voiced: before or almost simultaneous to moment of release

    • English unvoiced: after release

    • Spanish: before release

    • Spanish unvoiced: almost simultaneous to release

  • Spanish speaker may interpret voiced as unvoiced


7 learner problems 7 5 universal processes

7. Learner Problems7.5 Universal Processes

  • Occur in later stages of L2 acquisition (Major, 1986)

  • Early stages: stronger L1 interference

  • Simplification happens almost regardless of L1

  • Devoicing of final consonants

  • Epenthesis depends on structure of L1 but seems available to all L2 learners


8 teaching pronunciation

8. Teaching Pronunciation

  • Recent studies: can make difference when focus lies on suprasegmentals rather than segmentals (Hahn, 2004)

  • Typical: Ad-hoc correction of single words in isolation

    • Learning must include: pronunciation rules, syllable structure & precise VOT control

  • Relationship reception/production of sounds is complex


8 teaching pronunciation1

8. Teaching Pronunciation

  • Evelyn Altenberg (2005)

    • Learners good at writing pseudowords

    • NOT so good at production

  • Faults need to be related to students current interlanguage

  • Learner stage orientation:

    • Beginners: emphasis on single words

    • Intermediate: relate to L1

    • Advanced: L2 sound system separate


8 teaching pronunciation 8 1 standards

8. Teaching Pronunciation8.1 Standards

  • Controversial issue

  • Intelligibility rather than native-like ability

    • Strong foreign accent can still be comprehensible (Munrow/Derwing, 1995)

  • Teachers should be aware that some sounds will never improve (treat them differently to the ones that will)

  • Remember: success rate depends on learner’s motivation


8 teaching pronunciation 8 2 influential factors

8. Teaching Pronunciation8.2 Influential Factors

  • Student’s L1

  • Amount and type of exposure to L2

  • Degree of L1 use

  • Ethnic orientation and sense of identity


8 teaching pronunciation 8 3 standard teaching techniques

8. Teaching Pronunciation8.3 Standard Teaching Techniques

  • Phonetic Script

    • Disputed whether conscious awareness converts into ability to speak

  • Imitation

  • Discrimination of sounds

    • Minimal pair exercises: no context

  • Consciousness raising

    • Training ears to hear things better (cf. Cook)

  • Communication

    • Real life problems


8 teaching pronunciation 8 4 intonation

8. Teaching Pronunciation8.4 Intonation

  • Intonation shows: grammatical points, discourse connections, speakers’ attitudes

  • Helps intelligibility

  • L2 intonation similar to L1: few problems

  • New patterns: own strategies of students

  • Mostly: practice and repetition

  • Better: awareness for nature of intonation

  • Dickerson (1987): L2 intonation instruction is indeed very helpful


Sources

Sources

  • Gass, S.M. & Selinker, L. (2001). Second Language Acquisition. An Introductory Course. 2nd ed. London: LEA.

  • Cook, V. (2001). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching. 3rd ed. New York: OUP.

  • Lightbown P.M. & Spada, N. (2006). How Languages are Learned. 3rd ed. Oxford: OUP.


And finally

And finally:

Thanks for your attention!

We wish you a Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year


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