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Mahmood Kapustin
Mahmood Kapustin

Key Words For Fluency Pre-Intermediate UPDATED

KEY WORDS FOR FLUENCY is a new series of collocation practice books. Fluency does not depend on knowing many thousands of difficult words. It depends on being able to do a lot with your basic vocabulary. Fluency in reading, writing and speaking depends on knowing thousands of collocations. Listening also depends on recognizing collocations. KEY WORDS FOR FLUENCY is the first self-study to recognize this.

Key words for fluency Pre-Intermediate


The aim of this three book series is to work on collocations so as to improve vocabulary, necessary to achieve fluency in all four skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The books are addressed to learners and definitely not for class use but, rather, for self-study, thanks to a very simple structure and answer keys.

Book 3 (upper intermediate) is organised around key words in alphabetical order, one per page with four exercises on each page, and expressions at the end. The boxes at the top of each page in the other books have been replaced by a short list of collocations at the beginning of each exercise. Notes at the end of each page are of a kind with those in Book 2.

If we look at the sentences in the exercises at random, when gender is represented in Book 1, we find the same stereotyping: a man looks at himself in the mirror to try on a new suit; a woman never leaves the house without looking at herself in the hall mirror. In Book 2, 36 pictures show men and only seven women, with both men and women in thirteen and nine pictures of inanimate objects. In Book 3, there is a preponderance of he and his when gender is mentioned (mostly we have neutral words such as I, you, we, they). A president is associated with his country (p. 76, 3:6); a secretary is female (p. 77, 1:3). The subliminal message of this accumulation of gender stereotypes, to which must be added the lack of racial diversity, is not educational. Rather, it reinforces prejudice, and educators should be more aware than this. Materials writers and pedagogues should in particular pay attention to this.

The goal of the Foundation Listening course is to develop strategies to help students understand adapted speech in conversations and lectures. Students will increase vocabulary and learn transition words. Students will learn to understand the pronunciation and basic patterns of spoken English. Students will be able to show they understand a lecture by taking basic notes and using the notes to answer test questions. They will be able to identify the main ideas and details of a lecture.

The goal of the Intermediate reading course is to continue developing vocabulary and comprehension of readings. Students learn to read more independently by following a 4-step reading strategy: 1) previewing, 2) doing a quick reading for general understanding, 3) reading for specific information, and 4) returning to difficult words, phrases, and sentences to determine meanings. In addition, academic reading skills are developed, including identifying main and supporting ideas, making inferences, skimming, and scanning. Extensive readings of news articles and novels at an appropriate level will help students increase vocabulary and reading speed.

The aim of this research was to examine the effect of taskcomplexity instruction on EFL pre-intermediate learner's incidentallearning of grammatical collocations through reading. To do so, the test ofgeneral English proficiency, OPT, was administered to 140 participants tohomogenize subjects. Based on the mean score (X= 34.5) and standard deviationof students' scores (SD= 2.8), 90 subjects were selected, those scoringbetween half a standard deviation above and half a standard deviation below.They were assigned in three classes with 30 students in each. Each of theseclasses was randomly assigned to one of the three tasks (fill in the blank,sentence writing, and translation sentences). Then the pretest, based onfifty fill in the blank questions was administered. After ten treatmentsessions, the post-test which was the same as pretest was given to theparticipants to measure their knowledge of grammatical collocations in thetasks. Paired samples t-test, one-way ANOVA, and post-hoc tests were used tocalculate for the productive and receptive knowledge of the students. Thefindings showed that there is significant main effect for all three groups.The result of this experiment is discussed in light of the involvement loadhypothesis.

Learning words of any language are the main part of almost everylanguage teaching program and having communication is the central aim ofteaching the second language. The researchers have begun to find a useful wayof teaching with the goal of communication in recent years. The importance ofvocabulary is in a way that the linguistic Wilkins (1972) summed up in thefamous sentence. As Wilkins (1972) stated, "While without grammar verylittle can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed" (p.111). Hatch (1983) in a similar notion claims, "when our first goal iscommunication, when we have little of the new language at our command, it isthe lexicon that is crucial ... the words ... will make basic communicationpossible" (as cited in Gass, 1988).

One of the main parts of researchers' effort is finding aneffective and useful way of teaching words, especially, grammaticalcollocations by tasks and also it is important to know which task is moreeffective for learners to be remaining in their mind. The learner'inability to produce structures by using new words, especially grammaticalcollocations is a frequent problem in EFL classes. Teachers are usuallydealing with this problem at all levels of teaching. The learners prefer tokeep silent instead of using these grammatical collocations during theirclass time or they refuse to use these word partners. Therefore, the teachersshould increase the students' ability to use these grammaticalcollocations to increase their fluency and accuracy. If the students are notable to use new vocabularies, they won't be able to communicate witheach other. Thus, the whole task of teaching will be unsuccessful and uselessbecause there will be no communication. It is also a need to attempt toremove this problem in educational institutions inside Iran. Iranian learnershave less opportunity to use English because they don't have enoughexposure to foreign language. To overcome this problem, teachers need to findnew ways and techniques that promote learners to write native-like and tospeak fluently by using grammatical collocations in order to communicate andthis is the main goal of learning a language.

Nowadays, the perspective of teaching has changed to task basedapproaches. Different tasks can affect different dimension of learning words.Hulstijn and Laufer took traditional and commonly accepted components ofeffective tasks (noticing, attention, elaboration, and motivation) andproposed a new formula for vocabulary instruction. Hulstijn and Laufer (2001)proposed Involvement Load Hypothesis (ILH). This hypothesis includes bothcognitive and motivational factors. ILH consists of three components--need,search, and evaluation--with different degrees of importance. It can bementioned that they constructed "task-induced involvement". Itshould also be noted that this hypothesis attempts to draw attention only tovocabulary learning per se in a foreign or second language. This hypothesisrevealed that tasks with different involvement load will lead to differentincidental acquisition. They claimed that the presence or absence of each ofthe three components will affect the word processing and also the combinationof three factors, called involvement load, will support the degree oflearners' engagement in cognitive processing.

Search and evaluation are cognitive factors of involvement. Searchexists when learners attempt to find the meaning or the form of an unfamiliarword. Both are common in vocabulary learning situations when learnersencounter unfamiliar words or want to express concepts, but they do not knowthe needed word form. Search can be categorized into levels like the needcomponent. When learners do not have to search for either the meaning or theform of a target word, search does not exist (index 0). This occurs when boththe meaning and the form are already provided in the activity. When languagelearners find the meaning of a word they do not know, for instance, whenstudents encounter an unknown target word in a reading passage and they lookup the word in a dictionary and find the meaning, the involvement load ismoderate (index 1) and when the search for a word form occurs the involvementis strong (index 2). For example, when Iranian students enrolled in abeginning English language course need to know how to greet someone in themorning and they look up the needed expression in a phrasebook, or ask theirteachers.

Evaluation involves decision to choose appropriate word in itscontext. When learners do not make such decisions, they are not engaged inevaluation (index 0). Sometimes, language learners do not need to think ofword choice. An example is when copying a sentence. When learners want tochoose a proper word by comparing all word meaning in a dictionary againstthe specific context, it is referred to as moderate (index 1). When learnersare deciding on additional words that can be used with the target word in thelearner's original sentence or text, it is referred to as strongevaluation index (index 2).In other words, when language learners have todecide on the appropriate target word in the provided context, they performmoderate evaluation. This is seen when language learners choose a word fromseveral choices to fill in a blank in a sentence. When they have to write anessay, they are involved in a strong evaluation because they must use thewords in a context they have created.

Richards and Rodgers (2001) state that "a lexical approach inlanguage teaching holds that the building blocks of language learning andcommunication are not grammar, functions, notions, or some other unit ofplanning and teaching, but Lexis, that is words and word combinations"(p. 132).Many researchers such as Nattinger and DeCarrico (1992) have foundthat lexical chunks, including collocations, are the important wordcombination in any language learning. Nattinger (1980) and Schmitt andMcCarthy (2005) claimed that if vocabulary learning be taught in lexicalphrases from the beginning, learners' care will be centralized onlexical combination, through collocations. One of the main properties ofusing collocations is to be fluent as native speakers and second languagelearners. Many scholars defined collocation in many ways. Richards andSchmidt (2002, p. 87) define collocation as "the way in which words areused together regularly." Benson et al. (1986) classified thegrammatical collocations into eight groups and Lewis (2000) classified thegrammatical collocations in more types. 041b061a72


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