Learning Vocabulary in Another Language

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 15, 2001 - Foreign Language Study - 477 pages
4 Reviews
Learning Vocabulary in Another Language provides a detailed survey of research and theory on the teaching and learning of vocabulary with the aim of providing pedagogical suggestions for both teachers and learners. It contains descriptions of numerous vocabulary learning strategies which are justified and supported by reference to experimental research, case studies, and teaching experience. It also describes what vocabulary learners need to know to be effective language users. Learning Vocabulary in Another Language shows that by taking a systematic approach to vocabulary learning, teachers can make the best use of class time and help learners get the best return for their learning effort. It will quickly establish itself as the point of reference for future vocabulary work.
  

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Book Description
Learning Vocabulary in Another Language provides a detailed survey of research and theory on the teaching and learning of vocabulary with the aim of providing pedagogical suggestions
for both teachers and learners. It contains descriptions of numerous vocabulary learning strategies which are justified and supported by reference to experimental research, case studies, and teaching experience. It also describes what vocabulary learners need to know to be effective language users. Learning Vocabulary in Another Language shows that by taking a systematic approach to vocabulary learning, teachers can make the best use of class time and help learners get the best return for their learning effort. It will quickly establish itself as the point of reference for future vocabulary work.
Book Info
Survey of research and theory on the learning and instruction of vocabulary, aiming to provide pedagogical suggestions for students and teachers. Describes what vocabulary learners need to know to be effective language users, and shows teachers that a systematic approach to teaching language is best. Softcover.
Book Review
Review of Paul Nation, Learning vocabulary in another language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2001. 477 + xiv pp.
Reviewed by Tom Cobb, Dépt. de linguistique et de didactique des langues, Université du Québec à Montréal, 9 January 2002, for Canadian Journal of Linguistics.
Until recently, vocabulary learning was seen as peripheral to language acquisition, both theoretically and practically. Linguistic theory assigned word learning to a simple functional-associative model which of course could not accommodate syntax, and applied language researchers and teachers largely concurred with this view in an effort to be aligned with proper theories, and also in the knowledge that vocabulary was anyway too vast a quantity for direct instruction (but fortunately could be picked up more or less by itself).
Much of this view has now been reversed. Theoretically, it now seems likely that language acquisition begins with word learning rather than syntax triggering, with words gradually "grammaticalized" through experience on a largely associative basis. Practically, studies throughout the 1980s and 1990s showed that vocabulary skill and knowledge are the precondition for most other language abilities and, in addition, the main source of variance in the final state of such abilities. It now seems clear that vocabulary acquisition does not happen by itself to any satisfactory degree, particularly as needed for first language literacy or a second language generally. Lexical growth must therefore be provisioned in language instruction. Yet one perception that has not changed is that the lexicon is dauntingly vast. It is not obvious that, or how, lexical growth can be affected by instruction to any useful extent.
The applied linguist who has done most to demonstrate that and how a lexicon can be a subject for instruction is Paul Nation, along with his colleagues and students from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Drawing together several earlier word frequency studies and validating and extending them with computational corpus analysis, Nation and colleagues have argued that the core vocabulary of a language can be identified and used as a systematic and comprehensive basis for testing and instructional design in language teaching. A program of research on this and related ideas extending back to the 1970s and comprising dozens of small, precise experimental studies came together in 1990 in a now classic volume, Teaching and Learning Vocabulary. For anyone who read it, this book definitively returned vocabulary to the ESL/EFL syllabus (or that of any language).
The core idea of the 1990 book is that through careful analysis of both the target language and the needs of particular groups of learners
 

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p176-8?: glossing and vocabulary learning

Contents

Series editors preface
xiii

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