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Vocabulary
 

Vocabulary

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    Vocabulary Vocabulary Document Transcript

    • VocabularyFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchA persons vocabulary is the set of words within a language that are familiar to that person. A vocabulary usuallydevelops with age, and serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and acquiring knowledge.Acquiring an extensive vocabulary is one of the largest challenges in learning a second language.Contents 1 Knowing and using a word o 1.1 Productive and receptive o 1.2 Degree of knowledge o 1.3 Depth of knowledge 2 Types of vocabulary o 2.1 Reading vocabulary o 2.2 Listening vocabulary o 2.3 Speaking vocabulary 3 Focal vocabulary 4 Vocabulary growth 5 The importance of a vocabulary 6 Native- and foreign-language vocabulary o 6.1 Native-language vocabulary o 6.2 Foreign-language vocabulary  6.2.1 The effects of vocabulary size on language comprehension  6.2.1.1 Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition  6.2.1.2 Memorization  6.2.1.3 The Keyword Method o 6.3 Controlled vocabulary o 6.4 Vocabulary differences between social classes in the U.S.A. 7 See also 8 Footnotes 9 References 10 External linksKnowing and using a wordVocabulary is commonly defined as "all the words known and used by a particular person". [1] Knowing a word,however, is not as simple as simply being able to recognize or use it. There are several aspects of word knowledgewhich are used to measure word knowledge.Productive and receptiveThe first major distinction that must be made when evaluating word knowledge is whether the knowledge isproductive (also called active) or receptive (also called passive) and even within those opposing categories, there isoftentimes no clear distinction. Words that are generally understood when heard or read or seen constitute a personsreceptive vocabulary. These words may range from well known to barely known (see degree of knowledge below).In most cases, a persons receptive vocabulary is the larger of the two. For example, although a young child may notyet be able to speak, write, or sign, he or she may be able to follow simple commands and appear to understand agood portion of the language to which he or she is exposed. In this case, the childs receptive vocabulary is likelytens, if not hundreds of words but his or her active vocabulary is zero. When that child learns to speak or sign,however, the childs active vocabulary begins to increase. It is possible for the productive vocabulary to be largerthan the receptive vocabulary, for example in a second-language learner who has learned words through study ratherthan exposure, and can produce them, but has difficulty recognizing them in conversation.
    • Productive vocabulary, therefore, generally refers to words which can be produced within an appropriate context andmatch the intended meaning of the speaker or signer. As with receptive vocabulary, however, there are manydegrees at which a particular word may be considered part of an active vocabulary. Knowing how to pronounce,sign, or write a word does not necessarily mean that the word has been used to correctly or accurately reflect theintended message of the utterance, but it does reflect a minimal amount of productive knowledge.Degree of knowledgeWithin the receptive / productive distinction lies a range of abilities which are often referred to as degree ofknowledge. This simply indicates that a word gradually enters a persons vocabulary over a period of time as moreaspects of word knowledge are learnt. Roughly, these stages could be described as: 1. Never encountered the word. 2. Heard the word, but cannot define it. 3. Recognize the word due to context or tone of voice. 4. Able to use the word and understand the general and/or intended meaning, but cannot clearly explain it. 5. Fluent with the word – its use and definition.Depth of knowledgeThe differing degrees of word knowledge imply a greater depth of knowledge, but the process is more complex thanthat. There are many facets to knowing a word, some of which are not hierarchical so their acquisition does notnecessarily follow a linear progression suggested by degree of knowledge. Several frameworks of word knowledgehave been proposed to better operationalise this concept. One such framework includes nine facets: 1. orthography - written form 2. phonology - spoken form 3. reference - meaning 4. semantics - concept and reference 5. register - appropriacy of use 6. collocation - lexical neighbours 7. word associations 8. syntax - grammatical function 9. morphology - word partsTypes of vocabularyListed in order of most ample to most limited:[2][3]Reading vocabularyA literate persons reading vocabulary is all the words he or she can recognize when reading. This is generally thelargest type of vocabulary simply because it includes the other three, though in some cases, notably Chinesecharacters, as in Chinese and Japanese, where the pronunciation is not transparent, some words may be part of theoral vocabulary but not the written. For example, a Chinese speaker may not recognize that 麒麟 (giraffe) ispronounced qi lin, a Japanese speaker may not recognize that 麒麟 (giraffe) is pronounced kirin.Listening vocabularyA persons listening vocabulary is all the words he or she can recognize when listening to speech. This vocabulary isaided in size by context and tone of voice.Speaking vocabulary
    • A persons speaking vocabulary is all the words he or she can use in speech. Due to the spontaneous nature of thespeaking vocabulary, words are often misused. This misuse – though slight and unintentional – may be compensatedby facial expressions, tone of voice, or hand gestures.Focal vocabulary"Focal vocabulary" is a specialized set of terms and distinctions that is particularly important to a certain group;those with a particular focus of experience or activity. A lexicon, or vocabulary, is a languages dictionary, its set ofnames for things, events, and ideas. Some linguists believe that lexicon influences peoples perception on things, theSapir–Whorf hypothesis. For example, the Nuer of Sudan have an elaborate vocabulary to describe cattle. The Nuerhave dozens of names for cattle because of the cattles particular histories, economies, and environments. This kindof comparison has elicited some linguistic controversy, as with the number of "Eskimo words for snow". Englishspeakers can also display elaborate and precise vocabularies for snow and cattle when the need arises. [4][5]Vocabulary growthMain article: Vocabulary developmentDuring its infancy, a child builds a vocabulary by instinct, with zero effort. Infants imitate words that they hear andthen associate those words with objects and actions. This is the listening vocabulary. The speaking vocabularyfollows, as a childs thoughts become more reliant on his/her ability to self-express in a gesture-free and babble-freemanner. Once the reading and writing vocabularies are attained – through questions and education – the anomaliesand irregularities of language can be discovered.In first grade, an advantaged student (i.e. a literate student) learns about twice as many words as a disadvantagedstudent. Generally, this gap does not tighten. This translates into a wide range of vocabulary size by age five or six,at which time an English-speaking child will have learned about 1500 words.[6]After leaving school, vocabulary growth reaches a plateau. People usually then expand their vocabularies byengaging in activities such as reading, playing word games, and by participating in vocabulary-related programs.Exposure to traditional print media increases peoples acceptability of words, while exposure to text messagingcontributes to more rigid word acceptability constraints. [7]The importance of a vocabulary An extensive vocabulary aids expressions and communication. Vocabulary size has been directly linked to reading comprehension. [8] Linguistic vocabulary is synonymous with thinking vocabulary. [8] A person may be judged by others based on his or her vocabulary.Native- and foreign-language vocabularyNative-language vocabularyNative speakers vocabularies vary widely within a language, and are especially dependent on the level of thespeakers education. A 1995 study estimated the vocabulary size of college-educated speakers at about 8000 wordsand that of first-year college students (high-school educated) at about 5000.[9]Foreign-language vocabularyThe effects of vocabulary size on language comprehensionThe knowledge of the words deriving from the 2000 most frequent English words provides a comprehension of 95%of word use. The figures look even better than this if we want to cover the words we come across in an informally
    • spoken context. Then the 2000 most common words would cover 100% of the vocabulary. [10] More recent workcontests this, concluding that knowledge of 5000 word families is necessary for 95% word coverage.[11]Second Language Vocabulary AcquisitionLearning vocabulary is one of the first steps of learning a second language, yet a learner never finishes vocabularyacquisition. Whether in one’s native language or a second language, the acquisition of new vocabulary is a continualprocess. Many methods can help one acquire new vocabulary.MemorizationAlthough memorization can be seen as tedious or boring, associating one word in the native language with thecorresponding word in the second language until memorized is considered one of the best methods of vocabularyacquisition. By the time students reach adulthood, they generally have gathered a number of personalizedmemorization methods. Although many argue that memorization does not typically require the complex cognitiveprocessing that increases retention (Sagarra & Alba, 2006), [12] it does typically require a large amount of repetition,and spaced repetition with flashcards is an established method for memorization, particularly used for vocabularyacquisition in computer-assisted language learning. Other methods typically require more time and longer to recall.Some words cannot be easily linked through association or other methods. When a word in the second language isphonologically or visually similar to a word in the native language, one often assumes they also share similarmeanings. Though this is frequently the case, it is not always true. When faced with a false cognate, memorizationand repetition are the keys to mastery. If a second language learner relies solely on word associations to learn newvocabulary, that person will have a very difficult time mastering false cognates. When large amounts of vocabularymust be acquired in a limited amount of time, when the learner needs to recall information quickly, when wordsrepresent abstract concepts or are difficult to picture in a mental image, or when discriminating between falsecognates, rote memorization is the method to use. A neural network model of novel word learning acrossorthographies, accounting for L1-specific memorization abilities of L2-learners has recently been introduced(Hadzibeganovic & Cannas, 2009).[13]The Keyword MethodOne useful method to build vocabulary in a second language is the keyword method. When additional time isavailable or one wants to emphasize a few key words, one can create mnemonic devices or word associations.Although these strategies tend to take longer to implement and may take longer in recollection, they create new orunusual connections that can increase retention. The keyword method requires deeper cognitive processing, thusincreasing the likelihood of retention (Sagarra & Alba, 2006). [12] This method uses fits within Paivio’s (1986)[14]dual coding theory because it uses both two verbal and image memory systems. However, this method should onlybe used with words that represent concrete and imageable things. Abstract concepts or words that do not bring adistinct image to mind are difficult to associate. In addition, studies have shown that associative vocabulary learningis more successful with younger aged students (Sagarra & Alba, 2006). [12] As students advance and age, they tend torely less on creating word associations to remember vocabulary.Controlled vocabularySeveral word lists have been developed to provide people with a limited vocabulary either quick languageproficiency or an effective means of communication Basic English (850), Special English (1500 words) and Oxford3000. The knowledge of 3000 English words provides a comprehension of most of the English language, enough torender one literate.Vocabulary differences between social classes in the U.S.A.
    • James Flynn reports the remarkable differences in vocabulary exposure of pre-schoolers between different classes inthe U.S.A. According to Flynn pre-schoolers of professional families are typically exposed to 2150 different words,pre-schoolers from working-class families to 1250 words, while those from households on welfare just 620. [15]See also Differences between American and British English (vocabulary) Language proficiency (Linguistic proficiency) The ability of an individual to speak or perform in an acquired language).Footnotes 1. ^ Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary 2. ^ Barnhart, Clarence L. (1968). 3. ^ The World Book Dictionary. Clarence L. Barnhart. 1968 Edition. Published by Thorndike-Barnhart, Chicago, Illinois. 4. ^ Miller (1989) 5. ^ Lenkeit 6. ^ "Vocabulary". Sebastian Wren, Ph.D. BalancedReading.com http://www.balancedreading.com/vocabulary.html 7. ^ Lee, Joan (2011). What does txting do 2 language: The influences of exposure to messaging and print media on acceptability constraints (M.A.). University of Calgary. Retrieved 2012-07-21. Lay summary. 8. ^ a b Stahl, Steven A. Vocabulary Development. Cambridge: Brookline Books, 1999. p. 3. "The Cognitive Foundations of Learning to Read: A Framework", Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, [1], p. 14. 9. ^ E.B. Zechmeister, A.M. Chronis, W.L. Cull, C.A. DAnna and N.A. Healy, Growth of a functionally important lexicon, Journal of Reading Behavior, 1995, 27(2), 201-212 10. ^ Schonell, et al. 1956 11. ^ "Lexical Coverage of Spoken Discourse", Adolphs and Schmitt (2003). http://applij.oxfordjournals.org/content/24/4/425.full.pdf+html 12. ^ a b c Sagarra, Nuria, & Alba, Matthew. (2006). The Key Is in the Keyword: L2 Vocabulary Learning Methods With Beginning Learners of Spanish. The Modern Language Journal, 90, ii. p. 228-243. 13. ^ Hadzibeganovic Tarik & Cannas, Sergio A. (2009). A Tsallis statistics based neural network model for novel word learning. Physica A, 388, pp. 732-746. 14. ^ Paivio, A. (1986). Mental Representations: A Dual Coding Approach. New York: Oxford University Press. 15. ^ Flynn (2008), p. 102.References Barnhart, Clarence Lewis (ed.) (1968). The World Book Dictionary. Chicago: Thorndike-Barnhart, OCLC 437494 Flynn, James Robert (2008). Where have all the liberals gone? : race, class, and ideals in America. Cambridge University Press; 1st edition. ISBN 978-0-521-49431-1 OCLC 231580885 Lenkeit, Roberta Edwards (2007) Introducing cultural anthropology Boston: McGraw-Hill (3rd. ed.) OCLC 64230435 Liu, Na and I.S.P. Nation. "Factors affecting guessing vocabulary in context", RELC Journal, 1985,16 1, pp. 33–42. doi:10.1177/003368828501600103 Miller, Barbara D. (1999). Cultural Anthropology(4th ed.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon, p.315 OCLC 39101950 Schonell, Sir Fred Joyce, Ivor G. Meddleton and B. A. Shaw, A study of the oral vocabulary of adults : an investigation into the spoken vocabulary of the Australian worker, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1956. OCLC 606593777
    • West, Michael (1953). A general service list of English words, with semantic frequencies and a supplementary word-list for the writing of popular science and technology London, New York: Longman, Green OCLC 318957External links Look up vocabulary in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Bibliography on vocabulary I.S.P. Nations extensive collection of research on vocabulary. Vocabulary Acquisition Research Group Archive An extensive bibliographic database on vocabulary acquisition maintained by Paul Meara and the Vocabulary Acquisition Research Group at Swansea University. VocabularySize.com - a free web-based service which implements the I.S.P. Nations English Vocabulary Size Test in an online format.