Monday, October 4, 2010

Topic: Vocabulary--How to Teach It

10-second review: This research suggests that studying list of words is not useful. Suggests that words are best studied in real texts written for the level of the intended audience.

Title: “On the Wording of Texts: A Study of Intra-Word Frequency.” KS Goodman and LB Bird. Research in the Teaching of English (May 1984), 119-145.

How should authors and editors deal with vocabulary?
Quote: “Authors and editors would do better to focus on relating the content of texts to the audience rather than to focus on controlling vocabulary…. New words are learned and definitions are broadened in the transactions between readers and appropriately worded texts. Then vocabulary results from reading….”

Quote: “Teachers concerned about vocabulary development would do better to focus on functional use of words and terms in the context of real texts than to resort to decontextualized lists or dictionary exercises.”

Comment: Vocabulary grows from reading natural language geared to the audience. Vocabulary will stagnate when authors use controlled vocabulary. I think that is the essence of what this study means. RayS.

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