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What’s Wrong with Welsh Adjectives? / Cornelia, Tschichold

L. Bradley & S. Thouësny (Eds.), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, Pages: 292 - 295

Swansea University Author: Cornelia, Tschichold

Abstract

Why are some words harder to learn than others? In a long-term CASLR (computer-assisted second language research) study, a vocabulary flashcard program that employs spaced repetition for explicit vocabulary training was used in order to arrive at data on the difficulty of individual words. The vocab...

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Published in: L. Bradley & S. Thouësny (Eds.), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing
Published: Gothenburg, Sweden EUROCALL Conference 2012
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa26078
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spelling 2017-06-06T16:11:34.7796309 v2 26078 2016-02-03 What’s Wrong with Welsh Adjectives? 7ab58ba7c36c98911ed94a11fc7e5cb2 0000-0001-8487-2209 Cornelia Tschichold Cornelia Tschichold true false 2016-02-03 APLI Why are some words harder to learn than others? In a long-term CASLR (computer-assisted second language research) study, a vocabulary flashcard program that employs spaced repetition for explicit vocabulary training was used in order to arrive at data on the difficulty of individual words. The vocabulary content of a beginner’s Welsh course was periodically entered into the program as one learner progressed through the course and studied vocabulary with the help of the electronic flashcards. The Welsh words were trained both receptively and productively, and in a few cases also as part of a short phrase or sentence. The program automatically collects statistical information for each individual electronic card, including the number of times each card had been seen. Data was collected for an initial period of two years of non-intensive learning, and the resulting statistics for the individual flashcards allow an interesting insight into the very highly variable number of repetitions needed for each word. In a first instance, all single words were sorted into their word class. This analysis showed that nouns were the easiest group to learn. Further analysis showed that certain spelling patterns correlate with increased difficulty as measured by the number of repetitions needed by the learner. Because completely accurate spelling is critical for the program to recognize the learner’s answer as correct, it could of course be argued that exact spelling is given far too much weight in this context, and that the learner would ideally be given partial credits for otherwise correct answers. Despite such shortcomings on the part of the software used, the analysis sheds some new light on the complexities of the process of incremental vocabulary learning. One interesting finding is that the spelling of Welsh words seems to present a considerable obstacle to the beginning learner despite the fact that Welsh is said to have a shallow orthography, which should therefore be relatively unproblematic to acquire. Book chapter L. Bradley &amp; S. Thouësny (Eds.), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing 292 295 EUROCALL Conference Gothenburg, Sweden Vocabulary trainers, CALL, Welsh 1 12 2012 2012-12-01 COLLEGE NANME Department of Applied Linguistics COLLEGE CODE APLI Swansea University 2017-06-06T16:11:34.7796309 2016-02-03T16:55:10.4877731 College of Arts and Humanities English Language and Literature Cornelia Tschichold 0000-0001-8487-2209 1
title What’s Wrong with Welsh Adjectives?
spellingShingle What’s Wrong with Welsh Adjectives?
Cornelia, Tschichold
title_short What’s Wrong with Welsh Adjectives?
title_full What’s Wrong with Welsh Adjectives?
title_fullStr What’s Wrong with Welsh Adjectives?
title_full_unstemmed What’s Wrong with Welsh Adjectives?
title_sort What’s Wrong with Welsh Adjectives?
author_id_str_mv 7ab58ba7c36c98911ed94a11fc7e5cb2
author_id_fullname_str_mv 7ab58ba7c36c98911ed94a11fc7e5cb2_***_Cornelia, Tschichold
author Cornelia, Tschichold
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container_title L. Bradley &amp; S. Thouësny (Eds.), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing
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description Why are some words harder to learn than others? In a long-term CASLR (computer-assisted second language research) study, a vocabulary flashcard program that employs spaced repetition for explicit vocabulary training was used in order to arrive at data on the difficulty of individual words. The vocabulary content of a beginner’s Welsh course was periodically entered into the program as one learner progressed through the course and studied vocabulary with the help of the electronic flashcards. The Welsh words were trained both receptively and productively, and in a few cases also as part of a short phrase or sentence. The program automatically collects statistical information for each individual electronic card, including the number of times each card had been seen. Data was collected for an initial period of two years of non-intensive learning, and the resulting statistics for the individual flashcards allow an interesting insight into the very highly variable number of repetitions needed for each word. In a first instance, all single words were sorted into their word class. This analysis showed that nouns were the easiest group to learn. Further analysis showed that certain spelling patterns correlate with increased difficulty as measured by the number of repetitions needed by the learner. Because completely accurate spelling is critical for the program to recognize the learner’s answer as correct, it could of course be argued that exact spelling is given far too much weight in this context, and that the learner would ideally be given partial credits for otherwise correct answers. Despite such shortcomings on the part of the software used, the analysis sheds some new light on the complexities of the process of incremental vocabulary learning. One interesting finding is that the spelling of Welsh words seems to present a considerable obstacle to the beginning learner despite the fact that Welsh is said to have a shallow orthography, which should therefore be relatively unproblematic to acquire.
published_date 2012-12-01T19:40:55Z
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