ERIC Number: EJ943592
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
A Browser-Based Approach to Incidental Individualization of Vocabulary Learning
Wible, D.; Liu, A. L.-E.; Tsao, N.-L.
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v27 n6 p530-543 Dec 2011
The shift towards communicative language teaching in recent decades has created pressure towards individualized pedagogy that arises from the diversity found within any group of learners. One of the richest areas of diversity in target language needs across learners is the lexis of the various discourse communities that different learners are attempting to enter. This paper elucidates one way that the Web and the new practices that it has engendered has created possibilities for individualizing vocabulary learning in context and for doing this incidentally and in real time. We propose an approach to individualization that leverages the navigation level of the Web. This approach is illustrated with a browser-based agent that first detects collocations incidentally within the web pages that the user freely browses, and then unobtrusively offers to bring these to the learner's attention. The novel challenge for the technology was that the natural language processing techniques must perform reliably in real time, in unscripted noisy contexts. Two empirical studies are reported. One shows that the tool enhances collocation learning and the other that unrestricted learners using the tool encounter divergent sets of collocations, resulting in individualization.
Descriptors: Discourse Communities, Language Processing, Vocabulary Development, Internet, Natural Language Processing, Educational Technology, Teaching Methods, Vocabulary, Instruction, Cultural Differences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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