Vocabulary and derivative morphology in “¡Genial! A2: Curso de español”

Raquel Rodríguez-Fernández

The pivotal role that the lexicon plays in any communicative process has contributed to its being acknowledged and conceived of as a fundamental element in learning a second or foreign language. For this reason, theoretical research from the last few years has focused on the development of new methodologies to facilitate vocabulary acquisition in the target language. However, on a practical level, teaching materials that incorporate these innovations and strategies in lexicon treatment are still lacking. In this situation, the publication of a student book such as ¡Genial! A2 – Curso de español posits an original contribution to the field of SFL (Spanish as a Foreign Language). In this book, the layout and treatment of the vocabulary provided for this learning level manage to distance themselves from the traditional listing of words, in order to present the student with a more dynamic learning strategy, not limited to memorisation alone.  

Divided into eight different units, this student book includes within each of these a section solely devoted to the introduction of new lexical content, although its treatment is not limited to them: an accompanying workbook also offers the student the possibility to reinforce and establish the learning of new lexical units. In accordance with the guidelines and specific notions contained in the CEFRL (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and the PCIC (Plan Curricular del Instituto Cervantes), the lexical content within each didactic unit stretches over a wide range of semantic fields. Hence, throughout ¡Genial! A2 we find vocabulary related to leisure, hobbies, life experiences, travelling, the working place, home and the domestic life, food, technology, and health. To the fact that all these aspects consider both single- and multiple-word lexical units, a second remarkable feature is included: the inclusion of activities aimed at promoting both direct and indirect lexical learning (Nation, 2013), by means of its treatment in both receptive and productive communicative skills.

In addition to facilitating a contextualised introduction to all vocabulary, a “lexical bank” is provided at the end of every unit, where the most important words and phrases related to each topic are included.  This section, which consists of six activities on average, often resorts to the use of images to present lexical items visually, and to the role of technology, such as smartphones, as a learning and reference tool. On top of this, we find activities, both written and oral, requiring that the student looks back to previously introduced items. Nonetheless, the most original element in this book is the inclusion, at the end of every unit, of an activity devoted to personal learning strategies and lexicon development. In this section, the student is asked to choose which forms and phrases among the new items are the most important for themselves, and to explain what strategies they use to learn and remember them. However, oral comprehension activities are not included in this lexical bank, though they are present at different points within each didactic unit.

Moreover, the student’s work on new or unfamiliar words is not limited to the unit in which they first appear. To facilitate the implementation of new lexical items into long-term memory ―namely, their retention and incorporation in the student’s mental lexicon― repetition and spaced-out reiteration of vocabulary are key strategies (Rufat and Jiménez Calderón, 2017). Accordingly, throughout each unit, and with a view to ensuring intentional and implicit learning alike, every effort has been made to include frequent repetition of lexical units in both oral and written contexts. Therefore, all forms included in each didactic unit appear later in other sections of the book, which undoubtedly favours the student’s consolidation of their previous knowledge of them. Continue reading

A Critical Review on ‘Users’ perspective on the adoption of e-learning in developing countries: The case of Nepal with a conjoint-based discrete choice approach’

Sagun Shrestha

Abstract

Use of digital technologies or e-learning is expected to have some significant impact in education in Nepal. Of late, some studies have been conducted to understand the impact and status of integration of digital technologies in education in Nepal. The study by Acharya and Lee is one of them which analyses the users’ perspective on the choice of e-learning in Nepal using conjoint-based discrete choice approach. This current paper makes a critical assessment of Acharya and Lee’s study and questions their research design and methods which they have employed in their research. Since their findings are based on purely survey research, the author of this paper suggests that some other research instruments  such as interviews or focus group discussion could be further help to explore the issues for an area they are researching belongs to a social research category. It is expected that this paper will help future researchers to plan their research design and execute their study taking account of certain issues, such as sample representation. 

 Introduction

The paper entitled ‘Users’ perspective on the adoption of e-learning in developing countries: The case of Nepal with a conjoint-based discrete choice approach’ by Bikram Acharya and Jongsu Lee was published in Telematics and Informatics journal volume 35 (pp. 1733-1743) in 2018. Their study looks at the users’ preference of e-learning in school environment using conjoint based discreet choice model.

In the beginning of this paper, the authors stress that the recent technological advancement has impacted significantly to deliver quality education. However due to the lack of a strong policy framework as well as resources, the implementation of ICT is not very dominant. They have also emphasized that the e-learning environment has been easy to access to the privately-owned schools, and these resourceful institutions use them as a means to attract students rather than to improve for the overall education system. And such a voluntary adoption has created digital gap amongst people and institutions. Referring to a developing country like Nepal, they state that there exists an introjected policy in the country that does not reflect the demand side of consumers which in turn cannot ensure the required output for the sustainable growth. Continue reading

Call for the blog posts!

Welcome to IRRAL PG SIG Blog!

We are very much delighted to inform you that the newly formed IRRAL PG SIG has decided to come up with their own blog to generate discourse around several areas in applied linguistics (AL) through the brief write-ups related to any recent studies or through the book and article reviews related to AL. The blog post can vary in length and can be from 1500 to 3000 words. Each blog will be posted bimonthly. If you are interested in writing the first blog post which will have scheduled to bring it out in August, please remain in contact with us by sending an email at iraalpgsig@gmail.com. We will provide more details through to you. 

Regards, 

Editorial Team

PG SIG Blog