This paper examined the effects of reading, glossing and English ability on incidental vocabulary learning and its retention over a 18-day period for Japanese senior high school students (n = 187). The basic design was 6 (reading condition) x 2 (testing period) factorial between-groups with repeated measures on the second factor. The reading conditions were four different types of glossing, which were 12 nwltiple-choice glosses (MCG), Li MCG, L2 single glosses (SG) and Li SG, no glossing and control (no reading). The immediate and delayed vocabulary tests were conducted immediately after the reading phase and 18 days later. The results confirmed incidental vocabulary learning through reading for Japanese high school students, not retention. it was also acknowledged that this indirect vocabulary learning was enhanced with passage glossing, especially 12 MCG which had the students invest more mental effort. Further, the passage glossing was revealed to have a relationship with English ability: 12 glossing was more effective for higher-ability learners and Li for lower-ability ones. On the contrary, the existence or type of glossing did not have much effect on reading comprehension.
Extensive research has been conducted about the L2 mental lexicon from cross-linguistic perspective. According to Aitchison (1994), children are to go through the three related but d[ferent stages in acquiring the meaning of words in L1. labeling, packaging, and network-building. So far, in the L2 studies of vocabulary acquisition, attention has been paid to labeling and packaging processes of word meaning, and network-construction seems the most neglected area of study. In the present study, we have examined some aspects of the semantic network-building in both English and Japanese by using the meaning-based word association task Jar the meaning-familiar stimulus words. Results showed that there is a great deal of similarity between English and Japanese association patterns, but that the degree of matching rate between Japanese and English associations were not so high (approximately 50-60%). Based on these results, we will discuss the organization of Japanese and English mental lexicon Jar Japanese EFL leaners and the relationships between LI and L2 mental lexicon.
This paper attempts to examine whether less proficient Japanese EFL learners can perceive silent pauses in listening passages. Although silent pauses at constituent boundaries are assumed to facilitate listening comprehension in two ways, by providing processing time and by grouping words into constituents, little research has been done concerning the perception of silent pauses. A total of 91 less proficient university students (84 male and 7 female) participated in the study. The control group listened to a short listening passage taken from Voice of America broadcasts (109 words per minute), and the experimental group listened to the same passage whose duration of the silent pauses were cut down by half (124 wpm). They were told to follow the script of the passage with their eyes as they were listening to the tape, and put a check mark in the script where they thought there were silent pauses. The same procedure was taken as to the passages at a faster rate (pause-intact version, 162 wpm; pause-reduced version, 167 wpm). Results showed that both groups exhibited considerable ability to perceive silent pauses in spite of the variables added to the listening passages. Above all, pause length was highly relevant to pause perception.
Where context effect occurs in word recognition process has been a constant debate in exploring language processing system. Our previous study (Ikemura, 2001) suggests that context effect occurs in the activation phase of the word recognition process, rather than in the selection phase. This study tries to reinforce the claim by analyzing word recognition results with two models: the logogen model and the cohort model. The experiment is conducted with Japanese college students. The same target words were dictated to the subjects in isolation, in linguistic context, and in situational context. The recognition of target words significantly increased when both linguistic and situational contexts were given together. This significant increase can be explained better by the logogen model, which argues for context effect in the activation phase. The results of the experiment suggest that auditory input and context can interact to inform appropriate word candidates.
The main purpose of this study was to examine learners' states of acquisition of a specific grammatical item: psych(ological) verbs. Psych verbs are very difficult for learners of English to acquire and errors associated with them have beenreported. However, until recently, littleresearchhas beendone (ex. Chen 1997, Montrul 1998, White et al. 1998). The results obtained from previous studies are consistent in that learners have little difficulty with non-causative psych verbs and it is causative psych verbs that cause problems for learners. In this study, we did an experiment to test whether the same tendency would be observed among Japanese learners of English. The subjects in this study were 50 .Japanese university students and 10 native speakers of English. Two tests were given to them: sentence completion test and grammaticality judgement test. The overall results showed that causative psych verbs were more problematic for the subjects. As far as sentence patterns and lexical items used in the experiment were concerned, the subjects had a difficulty with sentence patterns in which Theme appeared as the subject and a lexical item "fear".
This paper points out the necessity of exceeding vocabulary threshold and the importance of the incidental learning in acquiring of L2 lexicon. Mental lexicon, the center of the language activity is arranged differently from a book dictionary. To establish L2 lexicon, the paired association practice which is intentional learning is improper. The author takes up the learning method of the word formation rule of the vocabulary to bring up grammatical competence which plays an important role for lexical competence. In this learning method, the ability of unlocking and spinning-off about complex words is necessary. Then, the vocabulary learning system by the combination of the root and the affix which works on the MS-DOS is developed. However, there remains the deficiency for the incidental learning of acquiring mental lexicon and the learners' unfriendly interface in this learning method. It is because the enough feedback (KR) information can not be provided to the L2 learners. Therefore, the multimedia vocabulary learning system "Root Method" which provides enough KR information in quantities is required. The orienting task of this system is to guess the appropriate combination of the root and the affix like the DOS edition software, but contingently, KR to bring up the unlocking ability is provided and the accidental vocabulary acquisition becomes possible.
The objective of this paper was to observe and examine the dynamic relationship between learners'"vocabulary size" and "communicative proficiency", as measured by the TOEIC test. First, we defined three levels of vocabulary size based on "The System 5,000 Word List", a word frequency list: 1,000 word list, 3,000 word list, and 5,000 word list. Then, the TOEIC tests were modified to make three tests comparable to the three defined levels of vocabulary size. Modifications to the TOEIC tests were made by deleting words from the tests that were not found on each level's defined list. The tests were administered to a group of native speakers of English. The vocabulary coverage coefficient of each participant was calculated and then compared with each participant's TOEIC score. There appears to be a relationship between the vocabulary coverage coefficient and the TOEIC scores in this study. This relationship may indicate that this coefficient may act as a predictor of TOEIC scores with a negligible margin of error. In other words, vocabulary size provides an objective measure of a learner's communicative proficiency, when all factors are held constant with the exception of vocabulary knowledge. It was also found that native speakers, who utilized top-down processing of information on the TOEIC tests, scored higher than 700 with the test of 1,000 words, and higher than 900 with the test of 3,000 words.
Monbusho's guidelines prescribe the number of new words that should be int.roduced in English courses in high school: 400 for English I, 500 for English II and 900 for Reading. Each textbook must be made according to the word number t.o pass Monbusho's screening. However, it does not prescribe which words they are. Therefore. accuracy of the words used in the textbooks has not been discussed. This paper first generates the wordlists with specific rules for accuracy according to the following steps: 1) create the wordlists of all the textbooks using the computer program, WordSmith 3.0 (Oxford); 2) extract the words that are taught in junior high school from the lists; and 3) adopt the high frequency words to meet Monbusho's guidelines. Second, it compares them with the list of wordbook (Zen-eiren) that should be learned in high school. Finally, through the discussion above, it is concluded that prescribing the number of new words in the guidelines is not meaningful and that the words to be learned do not appear enough in the textbooks, which might be one reason for the difficulty of word acquisition for Japanese high school students.
This paper mainly deals with language learning strategy use and learning achievement by Japanese High School EFL learners, estimating the effects given by their motivation and cognitive evaluation of learning. Following the preceding study, cognitive evaluation of learning is assumed to consist of both cognition of learning skills and cognition of learning costs here. The study has three aims. First one is the description of strategy use tendencies by high school learners of English. The use was measured by SILL, which has been used all over the world. Totally, 977 subjects from 16 schools were involved in the study, which can be seen as the general tendencies of strategy use by learners in Japan. Second, subjects' learning motivation and cognitive evaluation of learning were investigated in terms of the strategy use and learning achievement, comparing with those of EFL learners in university. The comparison shows clear differences which would be caused by the degree of learning achievement. Finally, from the results obtained in former two aims above, some proposals for high school teachers of English are stated.
When learners practice listening comprehension using video materials in EFL in the classroom, how much do these visual images affect learners' comprehension and what strategies do learners actually use in listening visual images? This study examined 246 Japanese female junior college students on two hypotheses for listening comprehension using documentary-type news material: 1) different types of visual information in video material will effect learners' listening comprehension differently; and 2) learners will apply various listening strategies to comprehend what they watch depending on their listening ability. Our findings were: 1) visual information closely matching the speech information enhances learners' comprehension more than visual information that does not match speech information; and 2) low-level learners tend to rely on visual images to get information while watching news material more than upper-level learners.
This paper will deal with the classroom teaching procedure adopted for a TOEIC English' course provided at Chiba Institute of Technology in the 2000-01 academic year. In this procedure listening activities are placed at the beginning and at the end of the class hour and reading and writing activities in the middle. In the class the students are to repeat lots of English sentences, selected from the 'TOEJC English' course book, out loud after the instructor, thus realizing plenty of 'language input'. They are supposed to learn the sentences by heart, and told to write them on pieces of paper from memory. Their papers are checked and marked by their peers. The students are required to recite the sentences in front of the class as well. The principles of this classroom teaching procedure are of Input Hypothesis, Comprehensible Input, i+1, Output Hypothesis, Pushed Output Hypothesis, Affective Filter Hypothesis, and Whole Language Approach. The effectiveness of this teaching procedure and some of the findings will be shown in the outcomes of the test administered at the end of the course, and in the questionnaire given on the very last day of the course.