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ERIC Number: EJ1117024
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: EISSN-1539-0578
Numbers or Numerology? A Response to Nation (2014) and McQuillan (2016)
Cobb, Thomas
Reading in a Foreign Language, v28 n2 p299-304 Oct 2016
Thomas Cobb's 2007 applied linguistics paper, "Computing the Vocabulary Demands of L2 Reading" dealt with whether reading alone can build an adequate reading lexicon in a second language, or whether some sort of extra vocabulary training will normally be required. In the article, Cobb proposed that in the case of adult academic ESL learners with one year to prepare for content study in English, such learners typically do not seek or receive vocabulary training, and so are implicitly volunteering for a "reading alone" experiment willy-nilly, and that if the number of times they are likely to meet words at the 4,000 frequency level and beyond is counted, it will typically not be enough for reliable learning of those words to occur. Herein, Cobb responds to critics of his proposed explanation including McQuillan and Krashen (2008), Nation (2014), and McQuillan (2016). [For McQuillan and Krashen (2008), see EJ805503. For Nation (2014), see EJ1044345. For McQuillan (2016), see EJ1098660.]
Reading in a Foreign Language. National Foreign Language Resource Center, 1859 East-West Road #106, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A