FIGHTING A LOSINGBATTLE?LEARNING VOCABULARY INNON-ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRYArek Peryt – IH Bogotá
When students travelthey don’t carry grammar books,they carry dictionariesStephen Krashen
Forgetting mostly occursimmediately after we firstlearn something, and that therate of forgetting slows downafterwardGu, P. Y. (2003). Vocabulary Learning in aSecond Language:Person, Task, Context and Strategies.
Productive vocabulary is a setof lexis that is recognised inboth oral and written form andunderstood immediately aswell as a student can retrieveand produce it at will in asuitable context“Working with words”- Gairns, Redman, CUP
What do we need to acquireproductive vocabulary?
Learners who know the mostfrequent 2,000 words should beable to understand almost 80percent of the words in an averagetext.(Francis and Kucera 1982).For spoken language, the news iseven better since about 1,800words make up over 80 percent ofthe spoken corpus(McCarthy 2004; Teaching VocabularyO’Keeffe, McCarthy, and Carter 2007)-“Teaching Vocabulary” J.McCarten, CUP
What level student would beexpected to understand andproduce 80% of Englishlanguage?
GE 7GE1 to GE7 315classes1900:315=66 words per class
Different research suggestthat an average student needsbetween 5 to 12 encounterswith an item of lexis to know itin a productive wayThe reality is that my students have contactwith English only in the classroom.
In “The brain book” Russelclaims that we forget 80%within the first 24 hours. Heinsists on the first repetitionwithin that period.Then after 2, 4, 7, 12, 20 daysand a month 3 month etc
Typical courseMonday Wednesday FridayFirst class with new 6 words and arepetition at the end of the class.Then a warm-up activity at thebeginning of the next class, a class ofinterval (without recycling), then 2classes of interval, 4 etc. From 7thclass 6 new words and 18 to revise.
In 2 hours is it possible tomeaningfully present 6 new wordsand meaningfully recycle 18 oldones?And what about grammar, listeningand writing?
Materials,books and websitesavailable at the request:firstname.lastname@example.org