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AGE AND VOCABULARY
ACQUISITION.
TEACHER: LEONOR PAEZ.
 SUBJECT: METHODOLOGY.
 STUDENT: ADELA PEREZ DEL VISO
 DATE: 8 MAY 2012.

THE INFLUENCE OF AGE
ON VOCABULARY
ACQUISITION.
ANALYSIS OF THE
FOLLOWING SOURCES:
Immaculada
Miralpex Pujol
Thesis.
2008.Univers.
Barcelona.

Patsy LIGHTBOWN
and Nina SPADA.
HOW LANGUAGES
ARE LEARNT.

Jeremy HARMER:
THE PRACTICE OF
ENGLISH
LANGUAGE
TEACHING.
THE TOPIC REFERS TO AGE
AND SECOND L. ACQUISITION.
It is different from: INFLUENCE OF
AGE OF THE LEARNER DURING
THE LEARNING PROCESS.
 Our topic takes into account:
 Immigration and length of residence.
 Critical period theory.
 Mastery of the spoken language.
 Age of Start.

MRS. MIRALPEIX PUJOL´S
THESIS.
The thesis focus on VOCABULARY
ACQUISITION.
 The author summarises other studies
(In fact, they are referred to in
Lightbown).
 Mrs. M.Pujol states that other studies
refer only to phonology and syntax
and very few have dealt with
vocabulary.

SYNTAX AND VOCABULARY
ACQUISITION.

Neurological
differences
between
syntax and
vocabulary

Different
brain
locations.
Why focusing on LEXIS??
• Vocabulary is essential
• When we go abroad: WE TAKE A
DICTIONARY.
• Other methods did not highlight
vocabulary acquisition
• (Audiolingual/ Communicative)
• LEXICAL APPROACH. Michael
Lewis.
• Large lexical collocations.
HOW TO MEASURE
VOCABULARY ACQUISITION.
NOT A WIDE RANGE OF
VOCABULARY ACQ. MEASURES.
 RECEPTIVE AND PRODUCTIVE
VOCABULARY.
 ARE THEY A CONTINUUM or
 ARE THEY TWO DIFFERENT
STAGES IN THE ACQUISITION OF A
PIECE OF VOCABULARY?

RECEPTIVE VOCABULARY
THE PIECE OF VOCABULARY IS
RECOGNISED WHEN IT IS SEEN
OR HEARD.
 CERTAIN EXTERNAL SUPPORT IS
REQUIRED.

PRODUCTIVE VOCABULARY
IT IS A VOCABULARY WHICH IS
RETRIEVED FROM THE
SPEAKER´S OR WRITER´S
MEMORY
 WHITHOUT EXTERNAL SUPPORT.

VOCABULARY MEASURES
Certain vocabulary measures focus on
the difference between productive and
receptive vocabulary.
 But Mrs. PUJOL states that other kind
of measures are required:
 LEXICAL DIVERSITY.
 VOCABULARY SIZE
 HOW QUICK VOCABULARY IS
ACQUIRED BY THE LEARNERS.

VOCABULARY MEASURES
Number of RECOGNISED WORDS
required as the lexical threshold for
TEXT COMPREHENSION: 3.000. HOW DO WE MEASURE THAT?
 In Pujol´s Thesis, the whole work study
different researchs delt on:
 Age and vocabulary acquisition.
 Vocabulary in formal and informal
contexts.
 Methods to obtain information.

LEARNING ENGLISH AS L2 IN
EUROPE
IN SPAIN, since 1990, English is
taught in primary school, since 8th
Grade.
 Students have the opportunity to go
through a ten-years learning period.
 In the whole Europe, a growing
number of countries have brought
down the age at which students start
studying English.

WHAT AGE OF ACQUISITION
MEANS
For Lightbown, AGE OF
ACQUISITION is one of the
LEARNER´S CHARACTERISTICS,
the easiest to define and measure.
 Age of acquisition has been studied
through immigration research.
 Typically, children from immigrants
speak the L2 with native-like fluency.

THE IDEA OF THE CRITICAL
PERIOD.
One explanation: A critical period fo L2
acquisition. A time when the brain is
predisposed for success in L2 learning.
 But for other positions: Difficulty to
compare children and adults as L2
learners. Conditions for L. learning are
different/ Other studies state that adults
and adolescents are more successful.

More than just accent??
Most studies have focused on
learner´s phonological achievement.
 JOSEPH CONRAD: Poland/
American. Great writer.
 MASTERY OF THE SPOKEN
LANGUAGE: It is not only “lack of
accent”, but also vocabulary range,
and correct syntaxis.
 What has AGE to do with this goals?

MARK PATKOWSKI´S studies
Even setting aside phonology, and
concentrating on syntaxis and lexis:
 ONLY THOSE PEOPLE THAT HAD
BEGUN LEARNING THE L2 BEFORE
THE AGE OF 15 COULD ACHIEVE
FULL, NATIVE-LIKE MASTERY OF
THAT LANGUAGE.
 The number of years in the target
country is important, but mostly if they
start when the subject is under 15.

IS YOUNGER REALLY
BETTER?
1978.Catherine Snow and Marian
Hoefnagel (from Holland): a Dutchlearning study.
 They measured children, adolescents
and adults;
 Pronunciation, sentence repetition,
storytelling, understanding (auditory
discrimination).
 THEY TESTED THE INFLUENCE OF
AGE ON SPEED IN LEARNING.

SNOW´S FINDINGS
Older learners can attain high levels of
proficiency in their L2. We should not
jump to hurried conclusions about the
necessity of the earliest possible start.
 Age factor cannot be separated from
factors like motivation, social identity
and learning conditions.
 Older learners may want to be
identified with their L1 cultural group.

IT DEPENDS ON THE GOALS
When the goal is to achieve a native-like
mastery of the language: it is desirable to
be immersed in the language quite soon.
 When the goal is basic communicative
ability,and the language will remain the
L2, it is more efficient to begin LATER.
 When there are only a few hours per
week, learners who start later, at 10 or
12, catch up with those who began
earlier.
 If they had started earlier, they would
probably fell frustrated by the lack of
progress.



THANK YOU !!

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Age influence on vocabulary acquisition

  • 1. AGE AND VOCABULARY ACQUISITION. TEACHER: LEONOR PAEZ.  SUBJECT: METHODOLOGY.  STUDENT: ADELA PEREZ DEL VISO  DATE: 8 MAY 2012. 
  • 2. THE INFLUENCE OF AGE ON VOCABULARY ACQUISITION.
  • 3. ANALYSIS OF THE FOLLOWING SOURCES: Immaculada Miralpex Pujol Thesis. 2008.Univers. Barcelona. Patsy LIGHTBOWN and Nina SPADA. HOW LANGUAGES ARE LEARNT. Jeremy HARMER: THE PRACTICE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING.
  • 4. THE TOPIC REFERS TO AGE AND SECOND L. ACQUISITION. It is different from: INFLUENCE OF AGE OF THE LEARNER DURING THE LEARNING PROCESS.  Our topic takes into account:  Immigration and length of residence.  Critical period theory.  Mastery of the spoken language.  Age of Start. 
  • 5. MRS. MIRALPEIX PUJOL´S THESIS. The thesis focus on VOCABULARY ACQUISITION.  The author summarises other studies (In fact, they are referred to in Lightbown).  Mrs. M.Pujol states that other studies refer only to phonology and syntax and very few have dealt with vocabulary. 
  • 7. Why focusing on LEXIS?? • Vocabulary is essential • When we go abroad: WE TAKE A DICTIONARY. • Other methods did not highlight vocabulary acquisition • (Audiolingual/ Communicative) • LEXICAL APPROACH. Michael Lewis. • Large lexical collocations.
  • 8. HOW TO MEASURE VOCABULARY ACQUISITION. NOT A WIDE RANGE OF VOCABULARY ACQ. MEASURES.  RECEPTIVE AND PRODUCTIVE VOCABULARY.  ARE THEY A CONTINUUM or  ARE THEY TWO DIFFERENT STAGES IN THE ACQUISITION OF A PIECE OF VOCABULARY? 
  • 9. RECEPTIVE VOCABULARY THE PIECE OF VOCABULARY IS RECOGNISED WHEN IT IS SEEN OR HEARD.  CERTAIN EXTERNAL SUPPORT IS REQUIRED. 
  • 10. PRODUCTIVE VOCABULARY IT IS A VOCABULARY WHICH IS RETRIEVED FROM THE SPEAKER´S OR WRITER´S MEMORY  WHITHOUT EXTERNAL SUPPORT. 
  • 11. VOCABULARY MEASURES Certain vocabulary measures focus on the difference between productive and receptive vocabulary.  But Mrs. PUJOL states that other kind of measures are required:  LEXICAL DIVERSITY.  VOCABULARY SIZE  HOW QUICK VOCABULARY IS ACQUIRED BY THE LEARNERS. 
  • 12. VOCABULARY MEASURES Number of RECOGNISED WORDS required as the lexical threshold for TEXT COMPREHENSION: 3.000. HOW DO WE MEASURE THAT?  In Pujol´s Thesis, the whole work study different researchs delt on:  Age and vocabulary acquisition.  Vocabulary in formal and informal contexts.  Methods to obtain information. 
  • 13. LEARNING ENGLISH AS L2 IN EUROPE IN SPAIN, since 1990, English is taught in primary school, since 8th Grade.  Students have the opportunity to go through a ten-years learning period.  In the whole Europe, a growing number of countries have brought down the age at which students start studying English. 
  • 14. WHAT AGE OF ACQUISITION MEANS For Lightbown, AGE OF ACQUISITION is one of the LEARNER´S CHARACTERISTICS, the easiest to define and measure.  Age of acquisition has been studied through immigration research.  Typically, children from immigrants speak the L2 with native-like fluency. 
  • 15. THE IDEA OF THE CRITICAL PERIOD. One explanation: A critical period fo L2 acquisition. A time when the brain is predisposed for success in L2 learning.  But for other positions: Difficulty to compare children and adults as L2 learners. Conditions for L. learning are different/ Other studies state that adults and adolescents are more successful. 
  • 16. More than just accent?? Most studies have focused on learner´s phonological achievement.  JOSEPH CONRAD: Poland/ American. Great writer.  MASTERY OF THE SPOKEN LANGUAGE: It is not only “lack of accent”, but also vocabulary range, and correct syntaxis.  What has AGE to do with this goals? 
  • 17. MARK PATKOWSKI´S studies Even setting aside phonology, and concentrating on syntaxis and lexis:  ONLY THOSE PEOPLE THAT HAD BEGUN LEARNING THE L2 BEFORE THE AGE OF 15 COULD ACHIEVE FULL, NATIVE-LIKE MASTERY OF THAT LANGUAGE.  The number of years in the target country is important, but mostly if they start when the subject is under 15. 
  • 18. IS YOUNGER REALLY BETTER? 1978.Catherine Snow and Marian Hoefnagel (from Holland): a Dutchlearning study.  They measured children, adolescents and adults;  Pronunciation, sentence repetition, storytelling, understanding (auditory discrimination).  THEY TESTED THE INFLUENCE OF AGE ON SPEED IN LEARNING. 
  • 19. SNOW´S FINDINGS Older learners can attain high levels of proficiency in their L2. We should not jump to hurried conclusions about the necessity of the earliest possible start.  Age factor cannot be separated from factors like motivation, social identity and learning conditions.  Older learners may want to be identified with their L1 cultural group. 
  • 20. IT DEPENDS ON THE GOALS When the goal is to achieve a native-like mastery of the language: it is desirable to be immersed in the language quite soon.  When the goal is basic communicative ability,and the language will remain the L2, it is more efficient to begin LATER.  When there are only a few hours per week, learners who start later, at 10 or 12, catch up with those who began earlier.  If they had started earlier, they would probably fell frustrated by the lack of progress. 