Here are some highlights:
Good news for incidental vocabulary acquisition
Speaker: Rod Ellis, University of Auckland
|Target items in Ellis's study|
LinkSee my article on how to derive maximum linguistic benefit out of texts: http://tinyurl.com/revtexts The article is about reading texts, but the same ideas are applicable to listening.
Processing chunks: same or different for L1 and L2?
Speaker: Masatoshi Sugiura, Nagoya University
- Words-and-rules model as espoused by Chomsky and Pinker where mental storage consists of words and a repository of rules. I am simplifying horrendously here but, put simply, chunks are not stored in the brain as separate entries but are assembled on an as-needs basis by combining words and grammar
- Frequency-threshold approach – supported, among others, by Alison Wray. This view holds that chunks that are highly frequent (e.g. I don’t know, It doesn’t matter, I’ve never been there…) are stored as separate entries in our mental lexicon, thus making processing more efficient.
- Continuous approach which does not posit a separate, ‘holistic’ storage for frequent chunks (e.g. I don’t know) and on-line assembly for less frequent items (I don’t drink). Instead, frequency is considered a factor across the board: the more frequently we hear or see a phrase, the more entrenched it is in the brain and more readily activated in future.
Insight gained (or, rather, confirmed)
Who's afraid of big bad phrasal verbs?
Speaker: Helen Zhao, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Figurative PVs - High Freq
Literal PVs - High Freq
Figurative PVs - Low Freq
Literal PVs - Low Freq
|Free hour to look around Toronto |
before getting back to the conference
For a list of most frequent phrasal verbs in English, see Gardner and Davies's corpus study in TESOL Quarterly - click HERE
For a more updated, pedagogically oriented list, see the PHaVE list compiled by Garnier & Schmitt - click HERE (Thanks to Mura Nava for pointing me in its direction)
Overall, it was an interesting and, as you can see from this post, insightful conference. It's a pity that many of those researchers who attended and presented at it didn't stay on for the TESOL convention in order to disseminate the knowledge gained from their research. Likewise, it's a pity that those who came to TESOL didn't arrive in Toronto early enough to take in AAAL in order to stay up to date with the fascinating research being conducted in our field.