Essays on Relationships between Reading and Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition Research Proposal

1. Title of the research project Relationships between reading and second language vocabulary acquisition 2. Aim of the project To investigate how reading of the available language materials affects the development of vocabulary of a language by those learning it as a second language. 3. Rationale Much has been said about reading of a given language materials but there is still little given concerning the vocabulary expansion of the learner. Input is important according to Doughty and Long (2003). Ellis (2002) on his side refers to it as the frequency of interaction with the language materials. In cases when the learner is taught more and speaks more than they read the language, it is noted that the influence of the first language tends to limit the second language development as echoed by Cook (2008), Ellis (2008) and Torane and Swierzbin (2009). Using listening to develop second language understanding has led to the neglect of the important part of reading. This is seen in relation with the writings of Gass and Selinker (2008) and Lihgtbown and Spada (2006). I therefore wish to be granted this chance to carry out a classroom study to ascertain the relationship of reading in a natural life and vocabulary among those learning second languages. 4. Research design i. Research questions Do learners who read much in the language they are learning as a second language have a good command of the vocabulary of the language? I intend to put to use two sets of questions in a questionnaire for the study; the first being the ‘yes or no’ questions set and the second being those starting with ‘Wh’ for example (where, why and what) ii. Hypothesis Vocabulary development is greatly dependent on an individual’s encounter with written material in a given language in relation with Naiman et al (1975). Questions starting with the letters ‘Wh’ tend to probe more into the vocabulary knowledge of a language. Subject data The study shall put to consideration a sample of ten students from various parts of Asia who take English as a second language. The students shall have a variation in their understanding of English language for the purpose of making the necessary inferences concerning their mastery of the vocabulary. The students shall be allowed to take part in the study voluntarily so that their contributions are reliable and good enough to make the necessary deductions. iii. Methodology Questions shall be issued to each of the students to ascertain their levels of reading and then classify them into classes according to their reading scope. The reading scope shall be gauged on how many times they read materials from their second language in a week (averagely). The vocabulary level shall then be tested using the Nation & Beglar (2007) lexical size test which is common in checking an individual’s vocabulary level. The two outcomes shall then be considered in relation to each other before checking them against the first hypothesis. 5. Limitations of the research Since the study relies so much on the participation of the students making up the sample, there is the challenge of getting the wrong outcome should the students fail to offer consistency. Also, in some conditions, the individual talents may affect how well individuals perform in vocabulary and not necessarily how they read (VanPatten & Williams, 2007, p.3). References VanPatten, B. & Williams, J. (2007). Theories in second language acquisition. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, Inc. Gass, S.M. & Selinker, L. (2008). Second language acquisition: An introductory course. New York: Lawrence Erbaum Associates, Inc. Doughty, C & Long, M.H. (2003). The hand book of second language acquisition. Oxford Blackwell publishers Ltd. Tarone, E. & Swierzbin, B. (2009). Exploring Learner Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Ellis, N. (2002). Frequency effects in language processing. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24(2), 143-188. Naiman, N., Frohlich, M. and Stern, H. (1975). The Good Language Learner: A Report. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Cook, V. (2008). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching, fourth edition. London: Hodder Arnold publishers. Ellis, R. (2008). The Study of Second Language Acquisition second edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lightbown, P. and Spada, N. (2006). How Languages are Learned, second edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Nation, P. & Beglar, D. (2007). A vocabulary size test language teacher, 31, 9-12.

References

VanPatten, B. & Williams, J. (2007). Theories in second language acquisition. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum, Inc.

Gass, S.M. & Selinker, L. (2008). Second language acquisition: An introductory course. New York: Lawrence Erbaum Associates, Inc.

Doughty, C & Long, M.H. (2003). The handbook of second language acquisition. Oxford Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Tarone, E. & Swierzbin, B. (2009). Exploring Learner Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ellis, N. (2002). Frequency effects in language processing. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24(2), 143-188.

Naiman, N., Frohlich, M. and Stern, H. (1975). The Good Language Learner: A Report. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Cook, V. (2008). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching, fourth edition. London: Hodder Arnold publishers.

Ellis, R. (2008). The Study of Second Language Acquisition second edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lightbown, P. and Spada, N. (2006). How Languages are Learned, the second edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nation, P. & Beglar, D. (2007). A vocabulary size test language teacher, 31, 9-12.