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FUNCTIONING OF THE VOCABULARY IN-attoney

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FUNCTIONING OF THE VOCABULARY IN-attoney Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                            9-10 October 2008
NATION AND LANGUAGE MODERN
                                                                            Third International Conference
ASPECTS OF SOCIO-LINGUISTIC
                                                                            KTU Panevėžys Institute Centre of Languages
DEVELOPMENT




  FUNCTIONING OF THE VOCABULARY IN THE TEACHING PROCESS
     (FROM THE DIDACTIC AND LINGUOSTATISTIC ASPECTS)
                         Juozas Korsakas1, Ina Klijūnaitė2, Nijolė Račkauskaitė3
                          1
                          Šiauliai University, Lithuania, e-mail: juozas_korsakas@yahoo.com
                                   2
                                     Šiauliai University, Lithuania, e-mail: afk@hu.su.lt
                          3
                            Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Lithuania, e-mail: ka@lzuu.lt


                                                           Abstract
                  The article analyses the vocabulary frequency use in the whole of the teaching process on the basis of
          linguostatistic research data from the systematic aspect the vocabulary of general use and terminology in
          primary, junior and secondary schools textbooks as well as books for extra teaching is analysed in respect of
          the volume of pupils’ productive vocabulary.

                      Introduction                                  linguodidactics when one has to evaluate the difficulty
                                                                    (complexity) of the texts or their easiness (simplisity) the
     The sources of special literature tell us that pupils          vocabulary is also differentiated form the respect of the
come to primary schools possesing formed active                     frequency index of each word (new term in paricular). It
vocabulary of 3-7 thousand words. (Lvov 1988 16). The               is presumed that more frequent words form the texts are
question arises what sort of pupils’ vocabulary can be              easier to remember. More rare words demand greater
developed on the basis of school textbooks and extra                linguodidactic efforts and they are more difficult to
teaching books.                                                     remember if they are new ones. Thus, the differentiation
     The role of the vocabulary of educational texts in the         of the vocabulary with respect of its frequency groups
developing pupils’ active vocabulary the is a topical               helps to evaluate the whole of educational texts more
problem of linguodidactics which has been analysed by a             precisely.
number of scholars of the world on every aspect. From                         The discussed linguodidactic facts are not
the universal aspect there can never be an excess of                theoretically new. But they have been proved practically
scientific research, since new aspects of teaching system           by few because the volume of vocabulary in educational
appear on which also depends the successful development             texts is fairly big. (Which the computing system was not
of the personal vocabulary. E.g. so far we little know              widely spread and easily accessible, the volume of
about the role of computing in the development of active            edicational texts was hard to comprehend. This can be
vocabulary. On the other hand, little is known of research          said in the first place about the whole of the texts of some
in the field of comparative vocabulary surveying the                inflective languages used in the process of teaching.
peculiarities of the vocabulary of amorphic or analytic,                      With the purpose to show the connection of
agglutinative, polysynthetic, inflectional languages.               different textbooks texts with frequency indexes of
     The purpose of this research is to discuss the                 vocabulary use we will review statistic parameters of
peculiarities of the amount and constituency of                     common language words and terms from some subjects
educational texts or regularities of vocabulary frequency           taught.
in school textbooks based on inflectional languages. The                      Primary school taxtbook “Religious Instruction”
results of the research are also presented form the aspect          will be characterised as the whole of the vocabulary of
of age phases.                                                      texts with topical contents. Its statistic structure is
                                                                    presented in a form of a table (see Table 1).
          Presentation of the research results                           From the data of the table one can see that the
     Form the point of view of linguostatistics the                 majority of the words is found in the low frequency group
vocabulary of educational texts can be divided according            – nearly 70%. Though they would constitute about 15%
ti the intensity of their functioning into three frequency          in the texts from linguodidactic point of viewthey need
groups: 1-4, 5-9 and 10-n. The most seldom used words               attention because in the vocabulary necessary for
are ascribed to the low frequency vocabulary group in               formation of the active vocabulary the words have to be
which the element of the text can recur only 1,2,3 or 4             consolidated. It is best to find extra contexts for such
times. The words of medium frequency recur in texts                 words where they would occur at least 5-9 times,
form 5 to 9 times. The words form the high frequency                especially when terms of the subject have been seldom
group recur form 10 to n. This division is relative. It is          used in topical texts.
based on the old G.Millers’ formula 7±2. But in


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                                                                                                                      Table 1
                       Statistic Structure of Primary school Textbookn “Religious instruction”
             №         Frequency                  Number                Relative          Number          Relative
                   group                      of words               number          of words used     number
                                                                                     in the texts
             1          1–4                       995                     0,691452        1748
                                                                     4                                     0,146129
             2          5–9                       202                     0,140375        1326
                                                                     26                                    0,110851
             3          10 – 100                  231                     0,160528        6378
                                                                     14                                    0,533188
             4          101 – 1000                11                      0,007644        2510
                                                                     2                                       0,209831
                                                                      was the largest group of words marked by two-digit
     Graphic picture of the statistic data illustrates the            indexes. On the contrary the vocabulary of the texts is
relation of the number of the words used in a textbook                different: the higher frequency index the fewer such
(upper space) with the volume of the vocabulary of the                words in the textbook occurred. From linguo-didactic
texts (lower consistently decreasing space). The third                aspect that should mean than one devotes less effort to
groups of frequency indexes (of the words used in the                 the words used in texts more frequently. Since more
texts) is the largest with respect to its space because there         frequently used words are easier to remember.

Figure 1. Relation of the Volume of the Textbook vocabulary (glossary) and the Number of Words Used in the Texts

                    7000
                    6000
                    5000                                                                              Series4
                    4000                                                                              Series3
                    3000                                                                              Series2
                    2000                                                                              Series1
                    1000
                       0
                           1                     2                          3                    4


      To make the results of the vocabulary statistics more          Instruction” there are many words with low frequency
evident we will present the sequence of the textbook                 indexes. In their sequence one can observe not only
words (nouns, adjectives and verbs) which occurred no                words of the common language, but topical words and
less than 100 times with their frequency indexes:                    terms as well whose intensity of use in the vocabulary
        1) nouns:                                                    system of common language and analysis in the texts
        God-381, person-192, sky-128, sin-118, order-84,             greatly differ (in brackets corresponding frequencies of
angel-82, Lord-69, sacrament-68, soul-62, confession-55,             great capacity are presented and the topical words from
priest-54, apostle-50, prayer-47, Saviour-41, cross-41,              the textbook texts are marked by an asterisk*):
christening-23, blood-20, purgatory-19, penance-17,                       The comparative analysis of the words shows that the
wafer-16, paradise-16, charity-16, sanctuary-14, nail-17,            words of the common language in general lexical system
ask-16, fulfil-15, regret-14, forbid-14, render-12,                  of the language (in big dictionaries) are marked by
celebrate-12, hem-11, chant-10, resurrect-10, etc.;                  statistically reliable frequencies, and terms from an
        2) adjectives:                                               educational text – by low frequency indexes. Thus, the
        saint-89, big-31, kind-30, sound-25, evil-28,                differentiation of the frequency of use of the vocabulary
important-18, alien-15, lovely-13, small-13, eternal-12,             form educational texts using methods of linguistic
etc.;                                                                statistic offers practical,       applied results     for
        3) verbs:                                                    linguodidactics: topical vocabulary seldom used in the
        need (to)-75, pray (for)-67, called-54, walk-53,             subject taught and terms need more serious cinsolidation,
enjoy-48, make-39, say-37, adopt-36, give-32,                        i.e. extra explanation or contexts for the pupils to
pronounce-32, forgive-31, die-31, glorify-30, love-30,               comprehend and remember better.
believe-28, transgress-26, exist-24, laud-18, suffer-18,                       Another example. Four textbooks of the Primary
create-17,                                                           Native language (mother tongue) reflect the volume and
      The examples prove that the vocabulary of the texts            constituency of the vocabulary of the educational
marked with statistically reliable indexes of great                  textbooks. In them there were used 64738 words and their
freaquency (from 10 to n) are characterised by indexes of            forms in the course of the four years of studies. In the
great frequency. But in the textbook “Religiuos

                                                                67
glossary of the texts there are 6795 differenet words. The          frequency structure is presented in the table (Table 2).

                                                                                                        Table 2
       Statistic Structure of the Vocabulary of the Primary Educational Textbooks in the Native Language
                                                    (Lithuanian)
          №        Frequency group           Number       of        Relative          Number     of       Relative
                                             words                  number            words used in       number
                                                                                      the texts
          1        1–4                       5021                   0,73892568        8604                0,132905
          2        5–9                       811                    0,11935247        5358                0,082764
          3        10 – 100                  864                    0,12715232        23718               0,366369
          4        101 – 1000                96                     0,01412804        22725               0,35103
          5        1001 – N                  3                      0,0004415         4333                0,066931


     The statistic structure of the four textbooks of Native        their, there appears a new row of very frequently used
(Lithuanian) language greatly resembles the results of the          lexems. The view of the data of the table is presented in
previously described analysis is that because of a greater          Figure. 2 (Table 2).
number of the words used in the texts and more forms of


               30000
               25000
                                                                                                               Series4
               20000
                                                                                                               Series3
               15000
                                                                                                               Series2
               10000
                                                                                                               Series1
                5000
                      0
                           1               2                   3                  4                   5

    Figure 2. The Relation of the whole of the Vocabulary (glossary) in the 4 Textbooks of the Native (Lithuanian)
                                     Language and the Words Used in the Texts

     We will survey the sequences of the words used in              frequency index of the analogic word is presented with
the texts of the Native language with indexes of great              the volume one million).
frequency, statistically reliable (*words marked with                    After extra analysis of the vocabulary of Primary
asterisk can be regarded as terms or topically dependent            Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Music and other
words):                                                             textbooks where approximately 2-3 thousand of different
              a) nouns;                                             words were fixed we forecast that glossary of the whole
              b) adjectives;                                        of educational texts could be made up form up to 10-12
              c) verbs.                                             thousand different words.
     The extreme border of the frequency of words use                    The second stage of studies is that from 5 to 9 forms
consists of the vocabulary used only once in educational            of a junior school. We took as an example for studying
texts. There are 2817 words or 41,46% of such words in              the vocabulary of the texts a rather contrasting by its
the glossary. The sequence of seldom used words was                 constitution and volume textbook “Physics” for the 8th
paralled to a very selective frequency dictionary which is          form. The linguostatistic parameters are presented in
considered to be a model of all lexical system. We will             table 3 (Table 3).
present a part of examples of this paralel (in brackets
                                                                                                                      Table 3
                          The Statistic Structure Of The Vocabulary In The Textbook “Physics”-8
      No         Frequency group           Number of           Relative             Number of         Relative
                                           words               number of           words used in      number of
                                                               words               the texts          words
      1          1–4                       2107                0,677274             3660              0,118462
      2          5–9                       461                 0,148184             3003              0,097197
      3          10 – 100                  492                 0,158149             13376             0,432936
      4          101 – 1000                51                  0,016393             10857             0,351405


                                                               68
                         Conclusions                                  words used the low frequency vocabulary about 75%
                                                                      corresponds to the million volume (of the language
     Thus the constitution of the vocabulary differs                  lexical system model) sequence. The conclusion can be
greatly form the constitution of a special subject. Without           proved by the examples of the presented parallels in the
going into details we can stress that the growth in the               consequence of which about 25% of the words have
vocabulary of the four texts of the Native Language was               statistically reliable correspondent in big volume. Thus,
not consequent: in the texts of the 3rd form book there               the results of differentiating the vocabulary of the texts
were more new words than in the 4th form one. Form                    according to the indexes of word frequencies can be used
linguodidactic aspect there should be a tendency of                   for linguodidactic purposes used for linguodidactic
consequent growth. The following fact of the lexical                  purposes.
statistics is worth noticing: if the volume of the
vocabulary in educational texts is no smaller than 50000

                                        Juozas Korsakas, Ina Klijūnaitė, Nijolė Račkauskaitė
                                          ŽODYNO REIKŠMĖ MOKYMO PROCESE
       Straipsnyje pateikiami amerikietiškų bei britiškų terminų leksikografinių apibrėžimų, turinčių leksinę-terminologinę struktūrą,
dažnumas specializuotame žodyne (tarties ir kalbos terapija, tiflologija, surdologija, oligofrenopedagogika, adaptuotas fizinis
lavinimas ir t.t.). Tokie žodynai skiriami studijuojantiems spec. pedagogiką ir psichologiją. Pateikiama statistinė terminų,
funkcionuojančių apibrėžimuose, charakteristika.



                                                                                                    The article has been reviewed.
                                                                                                          Received in June, 2008.




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