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Hong Kong Chinese secondary school English language learners’ vocabulary uptake using simplified readers with and without associated reading tasks

By Grant Andrew Dykes

Abstract

While there is a suggestion that reading extensively may be effective in improving\ud vocabulary knowledge, a number of Hong Kong (H.K.) studies suggest that it has not\ud been particularly successful in the H.K. context, particularly in aiding weaker language\ud learners. The failure of extensive reading (ER) in H.K. could be attributable to a clash\ud between the philosophical underpinnings of ER and the pedagogy and culture of the\ud H.K. education system leading to faulty implementation of, and engagement with ER.\ud Alternatively, the failure of ER in H.K. could be due to an inability of weaker L2\ud Chinese students to acquire language implicitly from uninstructed reading (UR).\ud The purpose of this study was to determine, by means of a quasi-experiment, whether\ud L2 Chinese students could acquire language (vocabulary) implicitly from uninstructed\ud reading and whether UR was suitable for language acquisition for both weaker and\ud stronger students. The study also sought to determine whether UR was more or less\ud effective than an alternative reading method, reading with tasks (R+), which employs\ud implicit and explicit means of acquisition and may be more appropriate in the H.K.\ud education system than UR in the form of ER.\ud The results revealed that both weaker and stronger readers could acquire vocabulary\ud from UR, with little difference in acquisition between them. Both groups acquired\ud significantly more vocabulary from R+ than from UR, although there was no advantage\ud for either group. Although R+ required more time, vocabulary acquisition was more\ud guaranteed than from UR. The key element of vocabulary acquisition from reading is\ud text at an appropriate level and the study suggests that this may be closer to 99%\ud comprehensibility than the 95% - 98% suggested by some researchers. R+ can be\ud employed with a whole class, allowing both weaker and stronger readers to acquire a\ud significant number of target words from a text. The ability of R+ to make a text easier,\ud aid enjoyment, ensure interaction with text, fit the H.K. education system and scaffold\ud ER is discussed and further research is suggested

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9883

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  1. A ……………… is the leader of a small group of soldiers. doi
  2. A large house in the countryside (pg 7, 30, 34) ……………………………….
  3. An animal skin is often called its ………………
  4. An elephant has a very thick ………………
  5. and the blood ran down his arm.
  6. brought the food to our table.
  7. (2011). comandante galloped galloping Dykes,
  8. do not fight, they are gentlemen.
  9. (2011). Everyone in the ……………… stood up when the judge came into the room.
  10. Everyone listened to the lawyers arguing in the ………………
  11. (2011). H.K. Chinese secondary school students’ vocabulary uptake Appendixes 61 APPENDIX D: LETTERS OF CONSENT D1: PERMISSION LETTER - Oxford University Press Letter of permission to copy Skyjack (Vicary,
  12. had a long handle and a long sharp blade.
  13. had a warm fire and good food so we stayed there.
  14. He didn’t do his homework so he was given a ……………….. as a punishment.
  15. He had a long black ……………………… on his top lip.
  16. He is an animal skin ……………… doi
  17. He kept his ……………….. in his pocket in case there were any bad guys.
  18. He lives in a huge ……………… out of the city.
  19. (2011). He pulled out his ……………….. and tried to cut the other man.
  20. He pulled the ……………….. from his belt and shot the men.
  21. He put the ……………….. on to keep his back warm.
  22. He said that he was a ………………, or a gentleman. doi
  23. He sold the animal ……………… for a lot of money.
  24. He was a very important man called a ………………
  25. He wore a ………………………on his belt which he kept his sword in.
  26. His ……………… has a lovely garden and many rooms.
  27. His ……………… is very big and comfortable.
  28. His large ……………….. was pulled down over his eyes. doi
  29. His name was …………… Carlos and he was a very wealthy and important man.
  30. I was ……………… when I saw the alien driving the bus.
  31. I was ……………… when I was the winner of the big prize.
  32. I went up the steps onto the ……………….. and knocked on the door .
  33. (2011). If you stay in the army a long time you might become a ……………… priest Senor dealer courtroom hide astonished servant presidio hacienda Don caballero jailer sergeant Dykes,
  34. If you want to buy something go to a ………………
  35. is a very wealthy man. Everyone wants to be his friend.
  36. is not a very nice soldier.
  37. It was cool and comfortable sitting outside on the ………………..
  38. Many soldiers lived at the ………………. doi
  39. needed to be cut as it was too big and hid his mouth.
  40. Someone who helps you do everything at home (page 36) ………………………
  41. The ……………… brought me a chair and a cold drink
  42. The ……………… cleaned the room and put all the clothes away.
  43. The ……………… helped the man to pray to God.
  44. The ……………… helped the poor man and gave him some food.
  45. The ……………… locked the bad man in the prison.
  46. The ……………… opened the door and threw in some food and water.
  47. The ……………… opened the door for me and took off my coat.
  48. The ……………… spoke to all the people in the church. doi
  49. The bad man was taken into the ……………… so the judge could hear what he had to say.
  50. The captain was in his office at the ………………. doi
  51. The large black ……………….. covered his head and eyes completely.
  52. The leader had to ask the ……………….. for permission.
  53. The leader of a small group of soldiers (page 32) ………………………………. B. Can you put a word into the sentence? You will need to use each word more than once.
  54. The leader of the soldiers is the ……………………………………. doi
  55. The long……………….he wore. was black and helped to cover his sword and pistol.
  56. The man was hit fifteen time on the back with the ………………..
  57. The man’s name is ……………… Dykes.
  58. The name for a gentleman (pages 29, 36) ……………………………………
  59. The name for an important man doi
  60. The person who opens the prison door and looks after you
  61. The place where the judge listens to find out if a man is right or wrong (pg.
  62. The place where the soldiers live and the Captain has his office (29, 30) ………..
  63. The policeman carried a ……………….. for his safety.
  64. The prices the ……………… had were very cheap.
  65. The prisoner was taken into the prison by the ……………… doi
  66. The skin of an animal is called an animal doi
  67. The soldiers ……………….. after Zorro on their horses.
  68. The soldiers went back to the ……………… to sleep.
  69. There were some big chairs on the ……………….. where we could sit and watch the stars.
  70. They do not call him Mr. Zorro but ……………… Zorro.
  71. They heard the sound of ……………….. horses and looked out the window.
  72. was beside the road so we decided to sleep the night there.
  73. was very long and very sharp. doi
  74. We asked the ……………….. if we could have a room in the inn for the night.
  75. When Zorro took off his mask everyone was ………………
  76. would like to meet a nice …………… as they are kind and gentle.
  77. Zorro wore a ……………….. on his head (see

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