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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Receptive and productive vocabular learning: The Effects of Reading and Writing on Word Knowledge
Author: Stuart Webb
Institution: Victoria University of Wellington
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study investigates the effects of receptive and productive vocabulary learning on word knowledge. Japanese students studying English as a foreign language learned target words in three glossed sentences and in a sentence production task in two experiments. Five aspects of vocabulary knowledge—orthography, syntax, association, grammatical functions, and meaning and form—were each measured by receptive and productive tests. The study uses an innovative methodology in that each target word was tested in 10 different ways.
The first experiment showed that, when the same amount of time was spent on both tasks, the reading task was superior. The second experiment showed that, when the allotted time on tasks depends on the amount of time needed for completion, with the writing task requiring more time, the writing task was more effective. If the second experiment represents authentic learning, then a stronger argument can
be made to use productive vocabulary learning tasks over receptive tasks.


This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 27, Issue 1.

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