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Wednesday, August 12 • 12:00pm - 12:25pm
Accounting for Vocabulary Learning Theories in an Online Course Teaching Academic Words

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This presentation outlines the design of an online vocabulary learning system that used free internet learning tools to teach academic vocabulary to a class of 45 Japanese university students enrolled in an oral English communication class. It begins by introducing academic vocabulary and reviewing the nature and challenges of studying words that are more abstract and functional in meaning and usage. It then proceeds to the pilot study which explored design issues and examined learner attitudes for areas of improvement in student-centered interviews. From these interviews, shortcomings like video length, student-teacher interaction, and limitations in the mobile application were ascertained. Focus then turns to the main study which, in accordance with major vocabulary learning theories, incorporated noticing, spaced retrieval, contextually-driven input and output, generative use, and morpheme instruction into a weekly online study course (Schmidt, 1990; Nation, 2001). Two online learning platforms—Edmodo, which functioned as an online classroom, and Memrise, which was used for explicit presentation of words and rote practicing, formed the main components of the system and provided mobile and desktop learning environments. Analysis of pretests and posttests showed significant improvements in productive knowledge and receptive knowledge with an increase in average test scores of 36% and 4% respectively. A separate morpheme test also revealed significant improvements for word knowledge, root knowledge, and word part recognition. Combining these results with participants’ questionnaire responses, strengths and weaknesses are identified in respect to the methodological approach and technical facilities. For example, word part recognition would have likely seen a greater improvement had a more systematic approach been taken to morpheme teaching. Finally, conclusions are made with relation to aspects of word knowledge and Nation’s four strands approach, the SAMR model, and trends in ICT.



Osaka Kyoiku University

Mishka Sulva

Osaka Kyoiku University

Haruyo Yoshida

Osaka Kyoiku University

Wednesday August 12, 2015 12:00pm - 12:25pm EDT
Holden Chapel Holden Chapel, Harvard Bus Tunnel, Cambridge, MA