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Vocabulary acquisition and the textbook: What opportunities are there for young learners?

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Recycling words, that is, using and/or encountering words many times in different contexts, is important for vocabulary acquisition and long-term retention to be successful. In the language classroom, the textbook plays an important role, but despite that, surprisingly few studies have investigated the vocabulary component of textbooks. This is particularly the case for textbooks for young learners. To somewhat remedy this scarcity, this case study reports the analysis of vocabulary in teaching materials aimed at students aged 10–12 years in Sweden. A corpus of all texts in three textbooks was compiled to facilitate analysis and comparison as regards what words can be found in the texts, their frequency and to what extent and how they are recycled. The results suggest that more conscious attention is needed to what words are included in textbooks and to how often they are recycled.
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Keywords: corpus linguistics; language proficiency; recycling; second language acquisition; word frequencies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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