Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning

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Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning

  1. 1. Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning Stefania Spina Università per Stranieri di Perugia, Italia [email_address]
  2. 3. LELE: Linguistically-Enhanced Learning Environment <ul><li>part of a more general project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>APRIL: Ambiente Personalizzato di Rete per l’Insegnamento Linguistico (A PLE for language learning) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>aim: enrich a Personal Learning Environment for online language courses with linguistic tools created from Natural Language Processing technologies </li></ul></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  3. 4. Origin <ul><li>need to expand academic vocabulary of non-native University students </li></ul><ul><li>to attend University programs: level B2 CEFR. But... </li></ul><ul><li>previous research: unreliable knowledge of academic vocabulary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>tipologically distant L1 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>European and Romance languages </li></ul></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  4. 5. 4 vocabulary categories <ul><li>high frequency words </li></ul><ul><li>academic words: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>high frequency in all academic texts, regardless of subject areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>technical words: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>subject-specific words </li></ul></ul><ul><li>low frequency words </li></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  5. 6. casa (home) mangiare (eat) biglietto (ticket) approccio (approach) elaborare (elaborate) consolidato (well-established)
  6. 7. Lexical tests on academic vocabulary
  7. 8. Three steps <ul><ul><li>identify academic words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>create online tools to train students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>test the online tools </li></ul></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  8. 9. Identifying academic words <ul><li>Coxhead 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>written corpus of academic texts (textbooks, lesson notes, dissertations, research articles) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 million words, 239 texts (average length 4.000 words) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>three subject areas (333.000 words each): </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>humanities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>science </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>law and economy </li></ul></ul></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  9. 10. Extraction of frequency list <ul><li>dispersion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>words occurring in all the 3 sections, frequency ≥ 10 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>words occurring in at least 2 sections, frequency: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>≥ 40 in the corpus (total) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>≥ 10 in each of the 2 sections </li></ul></ul></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  10. 11. The Academic Italian Word List (AIWL) <ul><li>resulting list compared with Vocabolario di base (De Mauro 1980): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>7000 most frequent italian words </li></ul></ul><ul><li>the 404 words that are not in the Vdb constitutes the AIWL: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>words that frequently appear in academic texts, regardless of subject areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The AIWL, with its 2827 inflected forms, covers 5% of the total word of the academic corpus; Vdb covers 80%. </li></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  11. 12. Composition of the AIWL <ul><ul><li>191 nouns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>134 adjectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>46 adverbs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>32 verbs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 preposition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: approccio (approach), consolidato (well-established), peraltro (moreover), identificare (identify), contesto (context) </li></ul></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  12. 13. From AIWL to a lexical database <ul><li>The AIWL is the basic step for the constitution of a lexical database, that includes, for all the 404 academic words, the following information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lemma </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>inflected forms (2827) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>part of speech </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>definition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>examples </li></ul></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  13. 14. <ul><li>Example of the lexical database (MySql) </li></ul>
  14. 15. Integration in a PLE
  15. 22. il potenziale della tecnologia nella didattica text filtered 1. POS-tagged 2. compare with DB 3. match found il ART il potenziale NOUN potenziale della ARTPRE di tecnologia NOUN tecnologia potenziale NOUN potenziale
  16. 23. Database + POS tagger = disambiguation words that have different POS (tagger shows the appropriate linguistic information extracted from the database)
  17. 24. Automatic cloze-generation
  18. 25. Student-generated glossary <ul><li>students can add other difficult words in an open glossary, with definitions and examples </li></ul>
  19. 26. Learning advantages <ul><ul><li>improve student’s ability to understand written academic texts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>focus on academic vocabulary (highlighted, defined, explained with examples and grammatically categorised) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>expand academic vocabulary adding their own entries and definitions </li></ul></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  20. 27. Future work <ul><li>lexical database: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>adding collocation dictionary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PLE: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>automatically insert Wikipedia articles or other texts </li></ul></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  21. 28. Conclusions: Lele <ul><ul><li>• is integrated in a PLE; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• is corpus-based; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• is NLP-based (works with a POS-tagger); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• it is social (student-generated open glossary); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• it will be connected to other lexical tools </li></ul></ul>EUROCALL 2009 - Stefania Spina - Building a suite of online resources to support academic vocabulary learning
  22. 29. References <ul><li>Coxhead, A. (2000). A new academic word list . TESOL Quarterly, 34, 213-238. </li></ul><ul><li>De Mauro, T. (1980). Guida all'uso delle parole . Roma: Editori Riuniti. </li></ul><ul><li>Horst, M., & Cobb, T. (2001). Growing academic vocabulary with a collaborative on-line database . In B. Morrison, D. Gardner, K. Keobke, & M. Spratt (Eds.), ELT perspectives on IT & multimedia; Selected papers from the ITMELT Conference 2001 (pp. 189-225). Hong Kong: Polytechnic University. </li></ul><ul><li>Nation, I. S. P. (2001). Learning vocabulary in another language . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul>

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