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  • 1 The Importance of Vocabulary The importance of actively teaching vocabulary.2 Rethinking the Place of Vocabulary Developing a new approach to vocabulary instruction. 3 Vocabulary in Françaisinteractif From decontextualized lists to contextualized speech samples. 4 From Input to Output A look at in-class activities used to teach vocabulary.
  • Challenges: End of chapter vocab lists,vocab strategies not taught; teacher editions do not provideWhy is the teaching of vocabulary often neglected in a beginning language classroom?Teachers often mimic the classroom behavior of their own teachers. Consider how you learned a second language. More than likely, your instructor stood at the front of the room and "taught" verb paradigms, and other features of grammar. Vocabulary must be learned item by item and is a challenge to teach. A single word can have multiple pronunciations (I say tomato, you say tomahto), meanings, contexts, collocations, and spellings.Finally, beginning language textbooks are often organized according to a grammar agenda, with less emphasis on vocabulary.
  • Nation claims that the learner must:be able to recognize the word when it is heard;realize that the word is made up of different morphological parts and be able to relate these parts to its meaning, e.g., "underdeveloped" = [under] + [develop] + [ed];know the meaning of the word, and also know what the word means in the particular context in which it has occurred; andunderstand the concept behind the word in order to be able to understand it in a variety of contexts.Similarly, according to Nation, productive knowledge implies that the learner must be able toproperly pronounce the word;write the word and spell it correctly;produce the word to express its proper meaning; andcorrectly use the word in an original sentence.
  • Lexis in Language Teaching and LearningThe language activities consistent with the lexical approach must be directed toward naturally occurring language and toward raising learners' awareness of the lexical nature of language. Activites of this nature include the following:intensive and extensive listening and reading in the target languagefirst and second language comparisons and translationrepetition and recycling of activities to keep words and expressions that have been learned activeguessing the meaning of vocabulary items from contextnoticing and recording language patterns and collocationsworking with dictionaries and other reference toolsworking with language corpuses to research word partnerships, preposition usage, style, and so onTwo points to remember about lexical chunks: learners are able to comprehend lexical phrases as unanalyzed wholes or chunks; use whole phrases without understanding their constituent parts.
  • Input – what the learner hears/readsOutput – what the learner produces (written/spoken)
  • As mentioned above, one of the guidelines of structured output activities is for learners to respond to the output. This acknowledges that the output has a purpose and contains a message. Lee and VanPatten suggest the following responses to the output:Comparing with someone elseTaking notes, then writing a paragraph about what was saidMaking a list of follow-up questions and interviewing a partner to get the new informationFilling out a grid or chart based on what was saidSigning somethingIndicating agreement or disagreementDetermining veracity of the statementResponding using any of several scalesDrawing somethingAnswering a question
  • First diagram: tradition approach to grammar: require students to produce output immediatelySecond diagram: In this diagram, learners are first given information about a particular linguistic structure or form. They are then provided with information about how a particular processing strategy might negatively affect their learning of the form or structure. Finally, learners are encouraged to process the form or structure using structured input activities. Only after this phase will learners be required to produce output. This is the model we follow in Françaisinteractif.
  • Their guidelines for developing structured input activities include:Present one thing at a time.Keep meaning in focus.Move from sentences to connected discourse.Use both oral and written input.Have the learners do something with the input.Keep the learner's processing strategies in mind.In addition to exercises being meaningful to students, Lee & VanPatten also stress the importance of exercises being truly communicativeTypes of Structured Input ActivitiesSupplying InformationSurveysMatchingBinary Options (True/False, Logical/Illogical, Normal/Strange, etc.)Ordering/RankingSelecting Alternatives
  • They provide two major characteristics of structured output activities:-They involve the exchange of previously unknown information.-They require learners to access a particular form or structure in order to express meaning.The guidelines established by Lee and Van Patten for developing structured output activities include:Present one thing at a time.Keep meaning in focus.Move from sentences to connected discourse.Use both oral and written output.Others must respond to the content of the output.The learner must have some knowledge of the form or structureo access a particular form or structure in order to express meaning


  • 1. Vocabulary
    Module 6
  • 2. Introduction
    1 The Importance of Vocabulary
    2 Rethinking the Place of Vocabulary
    3 Vocabulary in Françaisinteractif
    4 From Input to Output
    Dr. Nancy Guilloteau is the Language Program Director in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Texas at Austin
  • 3. Discuss!
    In small groups….
    discuss any training you had on how to teach vocabulary.
    discuss any challenges to teaching vocabulary that teachers may face and/or why vocabulary is often neglected
    why is vocabulary important for second language learning?
  • 4. Our main goal
    to help students develop a rich and useful vocabulary inventory.
  • 5. Nation (2001) – cumulative process
    Learners need to encounter the words in a variety of rich contexts– MULTIPLE ENCOUNTERS.
    Learners remember words when they have manipulated them in different ways – VARITEY OF CONTEXTS.
    Learners forget words within the first twenty-four hours after class– RECYCLE WORDS.
  • 6. Discuss!
    Dr. Guilloteau says “vocabulary of beginning language classrooms should be limited to a set of high frequency words that students can employ to create messages right from the start of language learning”
    Do you agree/disagree? Explain.
    Should beginning students learn vocabulary from simple lists or from more richly contextualized language samples?
  • 7. Receptive vs. productive
    How does Nation distinguish between receptive and productive knowledge?
  • 8. Lexical Approach
    Lexis is the basis of language.
    Grammatical mastery is not a requirement for effective communication.
    Any meaning-centered syllabus should be organized around lexis rather than grammar. (Lewis, 1993)
  • 9. Taxonomy of Lexical Items
  • 10. Input and Output
    Define each?
    Learners should progress from input to output (Lee/VanPatten; Brandl)
    Learners must do more than simply encounter the input
    Vocabulary does not always need to begin within a rich context (decontextualized to contextualized)
  • 11. Discuss!
    Do you agree with Lewis, or do you believe that grammar should be the basis of the foreign language classroom syllabus? How might you defend the decision to structure a course based on the lexical approach rather than according to a more traditional grammatical syllabus?
  • 12. Discuss!
    Think about the approach to teaching vocabulary advocated in FrancaisInteractif. How does this approach move students from decontextualizedvocab to contextualized vocab learning? Do you agree with this approach? Why? Why not? (go back to lesson 3 if you need to refresh…)
  • 13. What is the difference in these approaches?
  • 14. Input
    Lee and VanPatten define structured input as "input that is manipulated in particular ways to push learners to become dependent on form and structure to get meaning" (2003: 142).
    What guidelines do they suggest for developing structured input activities?
    What are some types of structured input activities?
  • 15. Discuss!
    Part 4 of this module presents a signature activity (as a type of input activity). What would you do once the students have gathered the names of their classmates and are finished with the activity? How could you follow up on the information they have gathered?
  • 16. Output
    Lee and VanPatten define structured output as "a special type of form-focused activity that is communicative in nature" (2003: 168).
    What 2 major characteristics of structured output activities do they mention?
    What guidelines do they suggest for developing structured output activities?
  • 17. Summary
    vocabulary must be actively taught, learned, recycled and when possible, tailored to the students' needs and goals
    vocabulary must be recycled continually throughout the lesson
    exposure to the vocabulary must occur in multiple contexts
    students need to manipulate the vocabulary in both receptive and productive activities
    a combination of speaking and writing activities must be used