Researching Vocabulary: A Vocabulary Research Manual

Researching Vocabulary: A Vocabulary Research Manual

by N. Schmitt

Paperback(2010)

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Overview

Researching Vocabulary: A Vocabulary Research Manual is written for language researchers who want to carry out valid and reliable studies on first and second language vocabulary. The author is a well-known vocabulary researcher and he outlines the dos and don'ts of good lexical research. Practical advice is given on a wide variety of research methodologies, ranging from paper-and-pencil tests of acquisition to the newest psycholinguistic techniques utilizing fMRI scanning. Some of the many topics include initial learning of the form-meaning link, attrition, the role of frequency and the L1 in vocabulary research, receptive and productive knowledge of vocabulary, formulaic language, word associations, vocabulary measurement, vocabulary learning strategies, and computer simulations of vocabulary acquisition. The book includes a Resources section which outlines the lexical tests, corpora, software, internet sites, and other resources available to vocabulary researchers. A list of past and present vocabulary researchers, annotated with their specialisms, is also provided.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781403985361
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date: 08/18/2010
Series: Research and Practice in Applied Linguistics
Edition description: 2010
Pages: 386
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

NORBERT SCHMITT is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is interested in all aspects of second language vocabulary acquisition, processing, use, and pedagogy. His current research focuses on formulaic language, the interface of vocabulary and reading, vocabulary testing, and implict vs. explicit knowledge of vocabulary.

Table of Contents

Quick Checklist xi

General Editors' Preface xiii

Preface xiv

Acknowledgements xvi

Part 1 Overview of Vocabulary Issues

1 Vocabulary Use and Acquisition 3

1.1 Ten key issues 3

1.1.1 Vocabulary is an important component of language use 3

1.1.2 A large vocabulary is required for language use 6

1.1.3 Formulaic language is as important as individual words 8

1.1.4 Corpus analysis is an important research tool 12

1.1.5 Vocabulary knowledge is a rich and complex construct 15

1.1.6 Vocabulary learning is incremental in nature 19

1.1.7 Vocabulary attrition and long-term retention 23

1.1.8 Vocabulary form is important 24

1.1.9 Recognizing the importance of the L1 in vocabulary studies 25

1.1.10 Engagement is a critical factor in vocabulary acquisition 26

1.2 Vocabulary and reading 29

1.3 A sample of prominent knowledge gaps in the field of vocabulary studies 35

Part 2 Foundations of Vocabulary Research

2 Issues of Vocabulary Acquisition and Use 47

2.1 Form-meaning relationships 49

2.1.1 Single orthographic words and multi-word items 49

2.1.2 Formal similarity 50

2.1.3 Synonymy and homonymy 52

2.1.4 Learning new form and meaning versus 'relabelling' 52

2.2 Meaning 52

2.2.1 Imageability and concreteness 53

2.2.2 Literal and idiomatic meaning 53

2.2.3 Multiple meaning senses 54

2.2.4 Content versus function words 54

2.3 Intrinsic difficulty 55

2.4 Network connections (associations) 58

2.5 Frequency 63

2.5.1 The importance of frequency in lexical studies 63

2.5.2 Frequency and other word knowledge aspects 64

2.5.3 L1/L2 frequency 66

2.5.4 Subjective and objective estimates of frequency 67

2.5.5 Frequency levels 68

2.5.6 Obtaining frequency information 70

2.6 L1 influence on vocabulary learning 71

2.7 Describing different types of vocabulary 75

2.8 Receptive and productive mastery 79

2.9 Vocabulary learning strategies/self-regulating behavior 89

2.10 Computer simulations of vocabulary 97

2.11 Psycholinguistic/neurolinguistic research 105

3 Formulaic Language 117

3.1 Identification 120

3.2 Strength of association - hypothesis tests 124

3.3 Strength of association - mutual information 130

3.4 A directional measure of collocation 131

3.5 Formulaic language with open slots 132

3.6 Processing formulaic language 134

3.7 Acquisition of formulaic language 136

3.8 The psycholinguistic reality of corpus-extracted formulaic sequences 141

3.9 Nonnative use of formulaic language 142

Part 3 Researching Vocabulary

4 Issues in Research Methodology 149

4.1 Qualitative research 149

4.2 Participants 150

4.3 The need for multiple measures of vocabulary 152

4.4 The need for longitudinal studies and delayed posttests 155

4.5 Selection of target lexical items 158

4.6 Sample size of lexical items 164

4.7 Interpreting and reporting results 166

5 Measuring Vocabulary 173

5.1 Global measurement issues 173

5.1.1 Issues in writing vocabulary items 174

5.1.2 Determining pre-existing vocabulary knowledge 179

5.1.3 Validity and reliability of lexical measurement 181

5.1.4 Placing cut-points in study 187

5.2 Measuring vocabulary size 187

5.2.1 Units of counting vocabulary 188

5.2.2 Sampling from dictionaries or other references 193

5.2.3 Recognition/receptive vocabulary size measures 196

5.2.4 Recall/productive vocabulary size measures 203

5.3 Measuring the quality (depth) of vocabulary knowledge 216

5.3.1 Developmental approach 217

5.3.2 Dimensions (components) approach 224

5.4 Measuring automaticity/speed of processing 242

5.5 Measuring organization 247

5.6 Measuring attrition and degrees of residual lexical retention 256

6 Example Research Projects 260

Part 4 Resources

7 Vocabulary resources 279

7.1 Instruments 279

7.1.1 Vocabulary levels test 279

7.1.2 Vocabulary size test 293

7.1.3 Meara's_lognostics measurement instruments 306

7.2 Corpora 307

7.2.1 Corpora representing general English (mainly written) 309

7.2.2 Corpora representing spoken English 320

7.2.3 Corpora representing national varieties of English 323

7.2.4 Corpora representing academic/business English 324

7.2.5 Corpora representing young native English 325

7.2.6 Corpora representing learner English 325

7.2.7 Corpora representing languages other than English 326

7.2.7.1 Parallel corpora 326

7.2.7.2 Monolingual corpora 327

7.2.8 Corpus compilations 331

7.2.9 Web-based sources of corpora 333

7.2.10 Bibliographies concerning corpora 335

7.3 Concordancers/tools 335

7.4 Vocabulary lists 345

7.5 Websites 347

7.6 Bibliographies 351

7.7 Important personalities in the field of vocabulary studies 352

Notes 359

References 362

Index 385

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