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11th ABLA CALI

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Title: 11th ABLA CALI


1
11th ABLA CALI COLOMBIA
  • Learning strategies from a Dynamic Systems Theory
    (DST) perspective
  • Carlos Andrés Rico
  • M.A. Applied Linguistics
  • University of Groningen, the Netherlands

2
Implementation of vocabulary learning strategies
from a DST perspective
  • Objectives
  • To briefly describe what Dynamic Systems Theory
    (DST) is about
  • To provide examples of how DST may apply SLA
  • Give pertinent information about the organization
    of the multilingual mental lexicon and offer some
    insights about vocabulary learning from a dynamic
    perspective
  • Give a general description of the empirical
    experiment that was carried out for this
    investigation

3
1. Dynamic Systems Theory
4
1. Dynamic Systems Theory
  • What is a system?
  • What is a dynamic system?
  • Can you name three examples of systems?
  • What are some characteristics of dynamic systems?

5
1. Dynamic Systems Theory
  • 1. What is a system?
  • A group of related parts that work together as a
    whole for a particular purpose (Oxford
    dictionary).

Taken from http//www.rainbowskill.com/wp-content/
uploads/2009/03/digestive-system2.jpg
6
1. Dynamic Systems Theory
  • 2. What is a dynamic system?
  • Van Geert (1994) defines dynamic system as a set
    of variables that mutually affect each other, and
    this generates changes over time.

7
1. Dynamic Systems Theory
  • 3. Examples
  • Examples
  • The weather, the traffic, economy of a country.

Taken from https//www.ecwa.org/Graphics/watercyc
le.gif
8
1. Dynamic Systems Theory
  • What does DST study?

9
1. Dynamic Systems Theory
  • What does DST study?
  • It aims to account for how the behavior of a
    large complex system emerges from the interaction
    of its different components.
  • It analyzes how disorder gives way to order.
  • It studies processes rather than states.

10
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
11
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
12
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Dynamic
  • Complex
  • Non-linear
  • Chaotic
  • Unpredictable

13
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Dynamic
  • Complex
  • Non-linear
  • Chaotic
  • Unpredictable
  • Sensitive to initial conditions
  • Open
  • Self-organizing
  • Feedback sensitive
  • Adaptive

14
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Dynamic
  • There are changes over time
  • Complex
  • Large number of components
  • The behavior of the system depends on the
    behavior of its individual elements

15
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Dynamic
  • There are changes over time Vocabulary
  • Complex
  • Large number of components Vocal cords,
    respiratory system
  • The behavior of the system depends on the
    behavior of its individual components Speech
    production

16
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Non-linear
  • The proportion cause- effect is not reciprocal
  • Chaotic
  • Period of complete randomness
  • Unpredictable
  • It impossible to determine when chaos will start

17
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Non-linear
  • The proportion cause- effect is not reciprocal
    Teaching and learning (time invested)
  • Chaotic
  • Period of complete randomness Grammar mistakes,
    L1 interference
  • Unpredictable
  • It impossible to determine when chaos will start
    It is impossible to predict all the errors one
    learner can make

18
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Sensitive to initial conditions
  • A slight change in initial conditions can have
    vast implications for future behavior
  • Open
  • Increase in order and complexity

19
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Sensitive to initial conditions
  • A slight change in initial conditions can have
    vast implications for future behavior Sounds to
    produce
  • Open
  • Increase in order and complexity More elaborated
    grammar structures

20
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Self-organizing
  • Particles organize themselves
  • Feedback sensitive
  • Mutations, and changes

21
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Self-organizing
  • Particles organize themselves Human mental
    lexicon
  • Feedback sensitive
  • Mutations, and changes improvement in the
    learning of the L2

22
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Adaptive
  • Attractor states (stability)
  • Fractal

23
2. Features of Dynamic Systems
  • Adaptive
  • Attractor states (stability) Focilization
  • Fractal A language is composed by several
    smaller components

24
2.1 Dynamic Systems and Language
  • While language can be conceptualized as
    aggregations of paradigmatic and syntagmatic
    units (e.g. phonemes, morphemes, sentences, etc),
    it is also true that a view of language as a
    dynamic system can be adopted.

25
2.1 Dynamic Systems and Language
  • In many studies of SLA, the learners language
    development is pictured as a more or less linear
    progress from zero to native like, in gradual
    consecutive steps.

26
2.1 Dynamic Systems and Language
27
2.1 Dynamic Systems and Language
  • However, it has been shown that when people learn
    an L2, the development is not straightforward.

28
2.1 Dynamic Systems and Language
29
3. The multilingual mental lexicon
  • What is the mental lexicon?

30
3. The multilingual mental lexicon
  • What is the mental lexicon?
  • The human word-store is often referred as a
    mental dictionary or more commonly as the mental
    lexicon (Aitchison, 2003. p. 10).

31
3. The multilingual mental lexicon
  • According to Aitchison (2003) the mental lexicon
    is partially organized

32
3. The multilingual mental lexicon
  • According to Aitchison (2003) the mental lexicon
    is partially organized
  • in grouping categories.
  • by frequency of usage.
  • by initial sounds, word endings, stress patterns
    and stressed vowels.
  • by semantic patterns.
  • by data about syntactic patterns.

33
3. The multilingual mental lexicon
  • One word can be linked to several groups at the
    same time

SEE
34
3. The multilingual mental lexicon
  • As for content, dictionaries have a fixed numbers
    of words that can be perfectly counted. However,
    humans vocabulary is constantly changing, it is
    updated and some information is forgotten.

35
3. The multilingual mental lexicon
  • As for content, dictionaries have a fixed numbers
    of words that can be perfectly counted. However,
    humans vocabulary is constantly changing, it is
    updated and some information is forgotten.
  • Therefore, the human word store can be considered
    active and dynamic.

36
3. The multilingual mental lexicon
  • Recent models have built their theories on
    connections such as neuronal networks.

37
3. The multilingual mental lexicon
  • Recent models have built their theories on
    connections such as neuronal networks.
  • All lexical items are part of one big network.
  • Individual words in the lexicon may change
    depending on its degree of activation.
  • Activation can increase or decrease over time (de
    Bot, Lowie Verspoor 2005).

38
3. The multilingual mental lexicon
39
3.1 Vocabulary learning from a dynamic perspective
  • The human word store can be considered as a
    dynamic system because it

40
3.1 Vocabulary learning from a dynamic perspective
  • The human word store can be considered as a
    dynamic system because it
  • changes due to internal an external factors,
  • self organizes,
  • is feedback sensitive,
  • is adaptive,
  • changes over time, and
  • has several variables that mutually interact.

41
3.1 Vocabulary learning from a dynamic perspective
  • According to the dynamic model of the
    multilingual mental lexicon
  • The words that are heard, seen and used more
    frequently will be easily retrieved.
  • The words that are often used create more
    associations with other information.
  • The activation of one lexical item can affect the
    level of activation of other lexical items it is
    attached to.
  • The activation of a word depends on the input and
    output that a speaker has experienced in his
    entire life, and in very recent times.

42
3.1 Vocabulary learning from a dynamic perspective
  • If the dynamic model of the multilingual mental
    lexicon is correct, association and
    activation are key elements that will have
    implications for second language acquisition
    development (de Bot, Lowie Verspoor 2005).

43
3.1 Vocabulary learning from a dynamic perspective
  • Association means that a great number of
    connections has to be made, so a word can be
    learned.

44
3.1 Vocabulary learning from a dynamic perspective
  • Association means that a great number of
    connections has to be made, so a word can be
    learned.
  • The lexical item must be noticed in various
    contexts.
  • The learner should pay explicit attention to the
    different characteristics of the word to learn.

45
3.1 Vocabulary learning from a dynamic perspective
  • Activation is a kind of practice that makes the
    access to the lexical item more automatic.

46
3.1 Vocabulary learning from a dynamic perspective
  • Activation is a kind of practice that makes the
    access to the lexical item more automatic.
  • If there is rehearsal, the level of activation of
    the different lexical items is increased.
  • When the level of activation decreases over time,
    it is important to try to keep the level of
    activation above a threshold level, so the
    increase of activation is more effective, and the
    lexical items are not forgotten.

47
3.1 Vocabulary learning from a dynamic perspective
Taken from http//www.visualthesaurus.com
48
4. The experiment
  • It is common to see English teachers (and
    language teachers in general) say its important
    to study vocabulary however, it is not common
    to see them explaining and showing how to study.
  • We also do not know how much DST elements such as
    association and activation may actually influence
    the acquisition and development of vocabulary.

49
4. The experiment
  • Research question
  • Does the teaching and training in the use of
    two vocabulary learning strategies that help
    incorporate and activate new lexical itemsthe
    keyword method and semantic mappinghave a
    positive effect on the amount of vocabulary
    learned by Dutch learners of Spanish?

50
4. The experiment
  • The key word method (association activation)
  • It is a learning technique that requires a deep
    cognitive process (Brown Perry, 1991 Gu
    Johnson, 1996 Macaro, 2006).

51
4. The experiment
  • The key word method (association activation)
  • It is a learning technique that requires a deep
    cognitive process (Brown Perry, 1991 Gu
    Johnson, 1996 Macaro, 2006).
  • This method involves linking the L2 word (e.g.
    pato duck) to an L1 keyword (e.g. pot) that
    looks or sounds like the L2 word, or both, and
    then constructing a mental image or a sentence to
    connect the keyword (pot) to the L2 word (e.g.
    the pot is full of duck).

52

4. The experiment
  • The key word method (association activation)



POT (L1 word)
PATO (L2 word)
THE POT IS FULL OF DUCK (mental image
to connect the keyword (pot) to the
L2 word)
53
4. The experiment
  • The key word method (association activation)



An appointment
Anapoima
I have an appointment in Anapoima
54
4. The experiment
  • Semantic mapping (association)
  • It is a mnemonic technique that is based on
    establishing connections based on visual and
    verbal imagery.

55
4. The experiment
  • Semantic mapping (association)
  • It is a mnemonic technique that is based on
    establishing connections based on visual and
    verbal imagery.
  • Oxford (1990), defines semantic mapping as ...
    an arrangement of words into a picture, which has
    a key concept at the center or at the top, and
    related words or concepts linked with the key
    concept by means of lines or arrows .

56
4. The experiment
  • Semantic mapping

57
4. The experiment
  • Research Methodology
  • Participants
  • 33 Dutch learners of Spanish
  • Dutch native speakers
  • First year college students
  • All between 17 and 21
  • First time studying Spanish

58
4. The experiment
  • Research Methodology
  • Design and analysis
  • Two groups Control and experimental
  • Intervention experiment with a pre-test and a
    post-test.
  • A repeated measures analysis with pre/post test
    as a within subjects factor and a group as a
    between subjects variable was done.

59
4. The experiment
  • Research Methodology
  • Materials
  • DiaLang

60
4. The experiment
  • Research Methodology
  • Four phases
  • Class,
  • Pre-test,
  • Training in association/activation techniques,
    and
  • Post-test

61
4. The experiment
  • General Results
  • The control group (M 11.4, SE 4.4) obtained
    better results than the experimental group (M
    9.4, SE 2.3) in the pre-test.
  • The experimental group (M 16, SE 3.3) did
    better than the control group (M 13.2, SE 4.1)
    in the post-test.
  • It was found that the interaction between the
    groups and improvement turned out to be
    significant (F (1, 58) 44.4 plt0.01).

62
4. The experiment
  • General Results

63
4. The experiment
  • Discussion

64
4. The experiment
  • Discussion (Research)
  • 1. These findings may be good empirical evidence
    to support the dynamic model of the multilingual
    mental lexicon.
  • By using association strategies, the students
    link new info to old info (enhancing the
    vocabulary network).
  • The words that are frequently activated can be
    easily retrieved

65
4. The experiment
  • Discussion (Research)
  • 2. There is a reason that can possibly explain
    why the learners in the experimental group
    obtained better scores in the post-test
  • They were trained to create semantic networks
    (semantic mapping) and mental linkages (keyword
    method) to learn the new vocabulary as a result,
    they elaborated various- strong kinds of (strong)
    mental connections for the words they had to
    study.

66
4. The experiment
  • Discussion (Pedagogical)
  • 1. Both groups studied under very similar
    conditions and they both progressed.

67
4. The experiment
  • Discussion (Pedagogical)

68
4. The experiment
  • Discussion (Pedagogical)
  • 2. If there is teaching and training of
    vocabulary learning strategies, students may
    benefit from this kind of dynamic teaching
    approach
  • Students reflect and self-evaluate their learning
    methods.
  • Students can discover new learning strategies.
  • Students learned how to study (and learn) more
    effectively.
  • Students can improve their learning processes.

69
4. The experiment
  • Conclusions

70
4. The experiment
  • Conclusions
  • If the mental lexicon is understood as a dynamic
    system, the teaching of learning strategies that
    foster processes of association and activation of
    new information can have positive effects on the
    amount of vocabulary learned by language
    learners Dutch learners of Spanish.

71
4. The experiment
  • Conclusions
  • If the mental lexicon is understood as a dynamic
    system, the teaching of learning strategies that
    foster processes of association and activation of
    new information can have positive effects on the
    amount of vocabulary learned by language
    learners Dutch learners of Spanish.
  • More research using DST as a foundation is
    required
  • Real classroom settings contexts that are part
    of the system
  • The results can not be seen as direct cause -
    effect links

72
Concluding Remarks
  • Description of the Dynamic Systems Theory (DST)
  • Examples of how DST may apply SLA
  • Information about the organization of the
    multilingual mental lexicon and vocabulary
    learning from a dynamic perspective
  • Description of the empirical experiment that was
    carried out for this investigation

73
Questions
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