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Learning English words and making use of a corpus

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An adjective. A verb. A countable noun. MadLips. You wrote down an adjective, a verb and a countable noun. Fill in the gaps in the following text: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Learning English words and making use of a corpus


1
Learning English words andmaking use of a corpus
  • Richard Watson Todd
  • KMUTT
  • http//arts.kmutt.ac.th/SoLA/ResearchUnit3.html

2
Overview
  • Summary of vocabulary strategies
  • Remembering words e-vocabulary notebook
  • Using words
  • Using words productively with a corpus
  • Focus on independent learning and written language

3
Vocabulary strategies
  • Remembering vocabulary
  • What to remember
  • How to remember
  • Using vocabulary
  • Dealing with unknown words
  • Productively using words appropriately

4
What to remember
  • The word itself
  • A translation
  • A definition
  • The part of speech
  • A picture
  • An example of use
  • A keyword to help you remember
  • Where you read or heard the word
  • Notes on grammar, spelling, pronunciation, affect
  • A grouping with other words

5
How to remember
  • Increase level of cognitive demand
  • e.g. grouping words
  • Make memorable
  • e.g. use a picture, make a strange story
  • Link with familiar
  • e.g. create a keyword
  • Recycle words
  • e.g. repeat, review, use, test yourself

6
E-vocabulary notebook project
  • Purpose
  • To help staff at KMUTT learn English vocabulary
  • Questionnaire shows 60 of KMUTT staff will use
    it
  • Product
  • Downloadable program promoting vocabulary
    learning

7
E-vocabulary notebook contents
  • Pages to note new vocabulary
  • Format follows What to remember
  • Encourages insertion of downloaded pictures

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E-vocabulary notebook contents
  • Facilities to create groupings
  • Spider webs, tree diagrams

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11
E-vocabulary notebook contents
  • Automatic strange story generation
  • Using MadLips format
  • Write down
  • An adjective
  • A verb
  • A countable noun

12
MadLips
  • You wrote down an adjective, a verb and a
    countable noun
  • Fill in the gaps in the following text
  • So far this presentation has been _________.
  • It makes me want to _________ someone.
  • I will tell my __________ about it.

13
E-vocabulary notebook contents
  • Recycling
  • Matching game to check memory

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E-vocabulary notebook contents
  • Automatic self-testing
  • Link to dictionary definitions
  • Generate gap-fill tests for any words users enter

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E-vocabulary notebook contents
  • Automatic L1 keyword generation
  • Using a computerised Thai-English dictionary
  • For English keyword, search Thai pronunciations
    for words with similar sounds
  • Suggest several words as potential keywords
  • Encourage users to write a bilingual sentence
  • Something for the future

21
E-vocabulary notebook contents
  • Increase level of cognitive demand
  • e.g. grouping words
  • Make memorable
  • e.g. use a picture, make a strange story
  • Link with familiar
  • e.g. create a keyword
  • Recycle words
  • e.g. repeat, review, use, test yourself
  • Facilities to create groupings
  • Allows insertion of downloaded pictures, MadLips
  • Automatic L1 keyword generation
  • Recycling games, automatic self-testing

22
Using vocabulary
  • Dealing with unknown words
  • Ignoring unimportant words
  • Guessing
  • Using L1
  • From morphology
  • From context (POS, collocates, meaning, checking)
  • Getting help
  • Asking for help
  • Using a dictionary (monolingual, bilingual,
    bilingualised paper, handheld, computer-based)
  • Using a concordance

23
Using vocabulary productively
  • Know the form
  • Know the meaning
  • Need help with the use
  • Ask for help
  • Use a dictionary (e.g. COBUILD)
  • Use a concordance

24
Using vocabulary productively
  • Ignore? Guess?
  • Getting help with using words
  • Asking for help
  • Most effective, but least practical for many
  • Using a dictionary
  • Relatively quick and certain
  • Using a concordance
  • Slow, uncertain, difficult

25
Why use a concordance?
  • No guarantee of appropriate examples of use in
    the concordance
  • Requires high levels of awareness to use
  • Time-consuming, difficult and demotivating?
  • Better than dictionaries (and others) for
    specific purposes

26
Types of corpora and concordancers
  • Web-based (e.g. BNC, VLC Hong Kong)
  • Little user control
  • Generalised corpus
  • No follow-up
  • CD-ROM (e.g. BNC)
  • Great user control and follow-up
  • Semi-generalised corpus
  • Own corpus plus concordancing program
  • Build your own specialised corpus
  • Use a concordancer e.g. SCP

27
Web-based concordancer
  • Allows selection of sub-corpus?
  • Allows sequencing of lines?
  • Allows calculation of collocations?
  • VLC concordancer
  • http//vlc.polyu.edu.hk/concordance/WWWConcappE.ht
    m

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Web-based concordancer
  • Allows minimal selection of sub-corpus
  • Allows sequencing of lines
  • Does not allow calculation of collocations

31
CD-ROM concordancer
  • Allows selection of sub-corpus?
  • Allows sequencing of lines?
  • Allows calculation of collocations?
  • BNC World Edition (50 UK pounds)
  • http//www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/getting/

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CD-ROM concordancer
  • Allows some selection of sub-corpus
  • Allows sequencing of lines
  • Allows calculation of collocations

37
Own corpus plus concordancing program
  • Allows selection of sub-corpus?
  • Allows sequencing of lines?
  • Allows calculation of collocations?
  • Create corpus (e.g. academic articles)
  • Use concordancer (e.g. SCP www.textworld.com)

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Own corpus plus concordancing program
  • Allows excellent selection of corpus
  • Allows sequencing of lines
  • Does not allow calculation of collocations

41
Using concordances for writing
  • Write the text
  • Choose some words that you are not sure how to
    use
  • Create concordances for those words
  • Compare the use in the concordance with the use
    in your text
  • Make changes as necessary

42
Advantages of using your own corpus and
concordancer
  • If your text is genre-specific, use a corpus from
    the same genre
  • If your text is content-specific, use a corpus on
    the same content
  • Open SCP in 2 windows (one for your text and one
    for the corpus) to allow direct comparisons

43
Creating a specific corpus
  • Spoken v. written corpora
  • Setting criteria for texts to include
  • Collecting texts
  • Collating texts into a single textfile
  • What criteria would you set?
  • How would you find the texts?

44
Problems with concordancers
  • Time, equipment and programs needed
  • Need for language awareness and ability to make
    inductions
  • Decontextualised examples
  • Difficulties in making inductions from words with
    multiple parts of speech, patterns of use and
    meanings

45
Conclusion
  • Remembering words
  • Using words in reading and writing
  • Computers may be of especial use in
  • Remembering words
  • Using words in writing
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