E-PORTFOLIO TO ENHANCE INDEPENDENT AND CONTINUOUS VOCABULARY LEARNING IN ENGLISH
1 Hokkai-Gakuen University (JAPAN)
2 VERSION2 Inc. (JAPAN)
3 National Institute of Technology, Hakodate College (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:This paper introduces the development and use of an e-portfolio system to help English learners’ independent and continuous vocabulary learning, and discusses how it can benefit learners, instructors, researchers, and institutions through investigating the perception of the system by Japanese college English learners.
Vocabulary is an area that requires language learners to work independently and continuously both in and out of class. For unassisted comprehension, it is claimed that learners need to recognize enough vocabulary to cover 98% of text: 8,000-9,000 word-families for written text and 6,000-7,000 word-families for spoken text (Nation, 2006). In the Japanese English as a foreign language (EFL) context, learners experience approximately six years of English education at secondary school during which time they are supposed to learn approximately 3,000 words (i.e., lemmas). Given the lexical distance between Japanese and English, this leaves Japanese university EFL learners with a long way to go before they can acquire a sufficient number of words to comprehend authentic texts in English.
To help Japanese university EFL learners sustain their vocabulary learning, the presenters have developed and reported the use of Lexinote (Tanaka, Ohnishi, Yonesaka, & Ueno, 2015; Tanaka & Ohnishi, 2016). Lexinote is an e-portfolio system that allows learners to record and save the target words they encounter, to search for them in online dictionaries, to practice them according to word familiarity (i.e., level of understanding of each lexical item), to share their own output with classmates, and to monitor words they have learned and words they should learn. Learners are guided to monitor and control their vocabulary learning metacognitively according to word familiarity. Lexinote can provide learners with multimedia materials such as audio lessons for business and academic vocabulary development and online video materials that contain targeted words and enhance computer-mediated communication activity on the system. A recent addition to the system is a time-limited writing function with which learners write opinion essays on the same topic within a limited time frame and share the results with peers in a learning community. All the words learners produce as their own self-expressions on notebook section, in computer-mediated communication tasks, and in time-limited writing activities are recorded and displayed in their e-portfolio, enabling learners to monitor and control their own learning. Instructors can monitor students’ learning records by number of words recorded, by type of practices chosen, by how frequently they edit their learning records, and by texts they produce on Lexinote.
The presenters introduce the key concepts and functions of Lexinote, and report a study of the perception of using Lexinote by Japanese college EFL learners.
Keywords: Computer-assisted language learning (CALL), e-portfolio, English as a foreign language (EFL), vocabulary learning.