ERIC Number: ED457698
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Growing Academic Vocabulary with a Collaborative On-Line Database.
Cobb, Tom; Horst, Marlise
This paper examines how collaborative on-line databases can be used to meet the need for individualized instruction for academic vocabulary learners intending to do university work in English. It is argued that effective teaching and course design for preparing non-native English speaking students for study at English language universities must be highly specialized if it is to be effective. For example, the Chinese speaking student preparing for a computer science graduate program in Canada needs to know a very different sort of specialized vocabulary than the French student preparing for a program in theater arts in Canada. The challenge for the course designer is to build a course that both of these students (and many others) can profit from. The solution proposed is to put technology tools in the hands of the learners so that they can construct the courses they need for themselves. This paper describes in detail how the authors tested an experimental English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) vocabulary course for academic learners at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. The course design questions the authors set out to answer are the following: How can we ensure that a vocabulary course offers academic learners of varying first language backgrounds, second language proficiency levels, and academic objectives a significant opportunity to focus on the words they need to know? Can one course do all this? It is concluded that a collaborative database is a valuable tool for such learners. The technology is readily available and the learners have shown that they are willing and able to use the computerized, online tools developed for them for this purpose. (Contains 27 references.) (KFT)
Descriptors: Course Descriptions, Curriculum Development, Educational Technology, English for Academic Purposes, English (Second Language), Higher Education, Instructional Innovation, Learner Controlled Instruction, Limited English Speaking, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, Vocabulary Development, World Wide Web
For full text: http://elc.polyu.edu.hk/conference//papers2001/cobb.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A