Great Essays 2nd Edition Folse

Folse writes of a lesson when he failed to understand a Japanese word, despite the patient explanations of his teacher.He was put out of his misery when another student in the class told him the meaning of the word in English.

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We typically acquire much of our L1 vocabulary by guessing the meaning of new words from the comprehensible contexts in which they are set.

Several relatively recent studies, however, have found that this method is less effective for L2 vocabulary acquisition.

Folse writes about a vocabulary course he taught that was demanding of both him and the students, but which was well received by the students who understood the importance of developing their vocabularies.

Folse divides his discussion of the research into three perspectives: In this section Folse reviews the eight myths that his book has aimed to dispel.

Folse starts this section with an overview of the reasons why many teachers try to avoid all use of L1 in the L2 classroom.

He goes on to cite recent research that he summarizes as follows: Folse relates an incident where he failed to guess a word in context, despite applying the usual "word attack" strategies.

For all of these he needed to decide how to organize the words to be presented to the students. Folse relates that, while being himself a good vocabulary learner, he cannot say with any confidence that having words presented in semantic or theme-based sets helped him to learn them better. As Folse states: A more effective approach appears to be to use themes such as holidays, cooking, etc.

The intuitive way is to organize the words by semantic set; for example, to present body parts in one unit and clothes in the next. Folse notes, however, that the limited amount and nature of the research into thematic groupings does not yet permit a definitive assessment of its effectiveness.

Folse finishes the preface with by stating that the myths chapters of the book will each contain the following sections: In answer to the first question Folse notes that the vocabulary task facing SL learners encompasses more than the single words that most people imagine: bright, lawyer, simultaneously, etc.

It also includes learning set phrases such as once in a while, phrasal verbs such as take on and put up with and idioms such as Don't let the cat out the bag.


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