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Shashank Lipper
Shashank Lipper

Key Words For Fluency Intermediate: Learning An...

Key Words for Fluency Intermediate provides practice in learning collocations of some of the most useful words in English. It emphasizes common words that occur in many different contexts and identifies over 150 nouns essential for fluency.

Key Words for Fluency Intermediate: Learning an...

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Unfortunately, most language students reach a point in their studies where the dream of fluency seems out of reach. You feel comfortable with the basics of the language, but when given a chance to use your new language skills, you seem to spend more time looking up unfamiliar words in the dictionary than actually speaking, reading or writing.

Traditional linguistic theory suggested that grammar was the most important factor for achieving fluency. However, in recent years, a growing number of language teachers have come to believe that increasing vocabulary is the key to achieving fluency. This belief has been supported by a large number of language students who have found success using vocabulary learning apps such as Clozemaster to grow their vocabulary and improve their language skills.

A much better learning strategy is to combine these different methods of study with traditional learning methods. For example, you could spend one hour a day using an app to study new vocabulary, then spend the next hour watching a foreign language movie to see how many of those new words you can recognize. This strategy will keep you refreshed and motivated, and before long, your goal of fluency will be within reach.

Vilfredo Pareto was an Italian economist famous for the principle he formulated, also known as the 80-20 rule. Applied to language learning, the Pareto principle means that 20% of the words are used in 80% of the conversations.

Over the past several years, English as a second language (ESL) practitioners in English for academic purposes (EAP) programs along with ESL researchers have noted a discrepancy in the emergence of oral and aural English language skills and the emergence of English literacy skills among Arab ESL students (Fender, 2003; Milton & Hopkins, 2006; Ryan, 1997; Ryan & Meara, 1991). The anecdotal evidence from general observations seems to indicate that Arab ESL learners exhibit more difficulties in developing ESL reading and literacy skills relative to other ESL learner populations; in contrast, Arab ESL learners seem to perform relatively well in the development of listening and speaking skills. This discrepancy suggests that Arab ESL learners may experience difficulties acquiring aspects of English literacy, namely, orthographic or spelling representations of English words. Difficulties acquiring English spelling knowledge not only affect word recognition skills but also constrain ESL reading skills. The present study examines the spelling, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension skills of a group of intermediate-level ESL Arab learners and a comparison group of non-Arab ESL learners to examine whether Arab ESL learners exhibit more significant difficulties in spelling and reading skills than other ESL learners. The study is aimed not only at examining the particular needs and challenges that Arab ESL students seem to face in acquiring English literacy skills but also to better understand the nature of spelling development and how it relates to reading fluency. The study will also explore and discuss reasons for the spelling difficulties that Arab ESL learners exhibit, as well as the implications for pedagogical interventions.

Much like the L1 reading research, second language (L2) in general and ESL reading research in particular have also found that word recognition efficiency is essential for the development of L2 and ESL reading proficiency and comprehension (Koda, 1996, 2005). Research conducted with children and adults at all levels of ESL reading proficiency shows that the emergence of ESL word recognition abilities involving phonological and orthographic decoding skills plays a major role in ESL reading development, and that is in part independent of ESL oral language proficiency and general vocabulary knowledge (Chiappe, Glaeser, & Ferko, 2007; Geva & Zadeh, 2006; Koda, 2005; Nassaji, 2003). For example, skills like phonemic awareness and word naming speed account for nearly all of the variance of reading skills among young beginning-level ESL readers (Chiappe et al., 2007; Geva & Zadeh, 2006). Even at higher levels of ESL reading proficiency, word recognition skills are a primary predictor of reading development. Nassaji and Geva (1999) conducted an ESL reading study with advanced ESL learners that had an L1 Farsi background. They found that word recognition measures such as homophone judgment and orthographic legality judgment tasks explained a significant portion of reading comprehension variance beyond ESL syntactic knowledge, ESL vocabulary, and working memory capacity. Another study conducted by Nassaji (2003) with a group of 60 advanced-level ESL readers also found that orthographic and phonological processing skills reliably differentiated the more skilled from the less skilled readers. Crucially, Nassaji found that an orthographic processing task accounted for more variance in the reading comprehension scores than a phonological processing task did, which suggests that more proficient ESL readers, like proficient L1 English readers, rely more on the use of visual orthographic information (i.e., spelling representations or orthographic codes) than phonological decoding processes and phonetic codes during word recognition. There is a general consensus that L2 and ESL reading skills are constrained by the ability to rapidly and efficiently recognize words (Birch, 2002; Grabe & Stoller, 2002; Koda, 1996, 2005; Paran, 1996; Segalowitz & Segalowitz, 1993). Thus, it is now widely acknowledged by both L1 and L2 reading researchers that reading fluency is determined to a substantial extent by the ability to rapidly and efficiently recognize words. Slow or inefficient word recognition processes constrain the flow of information to text interpretation and comprehension processes and limit the amount of text information that can be taken in and processed in a limited-capacity comprehension system (Perfetti, 1985).

In examining the spelling scores across the three spelling conditions, it is generally the case that the Arab ESL participants exhibited more difficulty than the comparison ESL participants when spelling involves orthographic or spelling pattern information that is independent of basic (i.e., the most common) grapheme-phoneme correspondences. For example, the Arab ESL learners had relatively little problem in spelling most of the mono-syllabic words with relatively common sound-letter spellings with short and long vowels (e.g., cut, dress, train); yet some spelling problems tended to emerge with digraphs that did not involve common short- and long-vowel-spelling patterns (e.g., flew, shout) or consonants with complex digraph spellings (e.g., bridge) or less common grapheme-phoneme mappings (e.g., the /s/ spelled c in choice). Though both groups had more spelling difficulties with syllable-spelling patterns (e.g., open and closed syllable-spelling patterns in hotel and bottle) and derivational spelling patterns (e.g., spelling unstressed vowels in words like decision or distance or furniture), the Arab speakers experienced more drastic problems with these spellings, as is apparent in results in Figure 1. In other words, it is natural that words with more orthographic and spelling pattern complexity will be more difficult for both L1 and ESL learners to spell. Nonetheless, the problem is especially acute among the Arab ESL participants who seem to struggle with orthographic complexity, especially with the basic syllable-spelling patterns and derivational spellings. It should be added that although the Arab participants on the whole missed around half of the multiple syllable words (i.e., basic syllable-spelling patterns and derivational spellings), they were clearly able to spell half of these words correctly and misspelled many words by one or two letters, indicating that they had substantial spelling knowledge of many of the words. Nonetheless, incomplete or partial spelling knowledge of even one letter can result in less efficient and accurate word recognition processes (Perfetti, 1992; Perfetti & Hart, 2001), processes which are crucial to word recognition fluency and reading comprehension.

Abstract: According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, the interest in second language learning has been increasing in recent years. In the context of primary and secondary education in Slovenia, English language is prominent in the field of foreign languages. A quite similar picture can also be seen in the context of non-formal educational system for adults ( ). Throughout recent years, more and more attention has been given to the importance of a learning environment. Stimulating and pleasant learning environment has a considerable impact on the actors of an educational process and the results of a learning process. Many researchers and educators have been trying to discover the path to effective teaching and learning. In the 1970s, Dr. Georgi Lozanov, the Bulgarian psychotherapist, developed a teaching method called Suggestopedia. The approach was based on the idea that positive suggestion stimulates the learning process. Relaxation techniques, music and a pleasant environment are central to this approach. Mainly it was used to teach foreign languages. The purpose of this graduation thesis is to determine the impact of background music in the English language classroom. Additionally, it is examined whether the age factor plays a role in the perception acceptance to listening to music in the English classroom. It is assumed that learners have a positive experience regarding the use of background music in the English language classroom. By using a questionnaire we found out that learners (both, younger and older) are more relaxed during English lessons when background music is being played. Learners also tend to listen to it more often during English lessons. It was also found out that, compared to younger learners, adult learners use various relaxation techniques in order to increase relaxation during studying more often. Keywords: English language classroom, background music, learning environment, relaxationPublished in DKUM: 08.01.2014; Views: 1634; Downloads: 139 Full text (616,81 KB) 041b061a72


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