Computer Assisted Individual Approach to Acquiring Foreign Vocabulary of Students Major

  • Nadezhda Almazova
  • Marina Kogan
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8524)


Multiple challenges for organizing an effective ESP language course for non-linguistics post-graduate students at St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University (SPbSPU) are inherently rooted in the broad spectrum of students’ majors in ESP classes. Diversity of students’ academic interests calls for new approaches and for tailoring the course in accordance with the students’ needs. Our study represents an approach to individualizing the course by introducing data-driven learning (DDL) elements into the syllabus. More specifically, our approach is aimed at having post-graduate students getting concordances of their readings corpora for identifying unfamiliar vocabulary. The paper describes the recommended software for concordance building, concordance-based activities with unfamiliar vocabulary and the way of controlling the vocabulary acquisition. Test results show steady progress in independent vocabulary acquisition among the experiment participants. Questionnaires show they see the usefulness and efficiency of DDL approach to identifying and learning unfamiliar vocabulary.


data-driven learning (DDL) approach teaching methodology ESP course for post-graduates concordance building software knowledge rating unfamiliar vocabulary 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Almazova, N., Kogan, M.: Organizing polytechnic post-graduate students individual work on required reading corpora (wihtin ESP course). Universitetskii Nauchnyi Zhurnal=Humanities and Science University Journal 6, 13–25 (2013)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Boulton, A.: Beyond concordancing: Multiple affordances of corpora in university language degrees. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 34, 33–38 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carver, R.P.: Percentage of unknown vocabulary words in text as a function of the relative difficulty of the text: Implications for instruction. J. of Reading Behavior 26(4), 413–437 (1994)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chung, T.M., Nation, P.: Technical vocabulary in specialized texts. Reading in a Foreign Language 15(2), 103–116 (2003)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chung, T.M., Nation, P.: Identifying technical vocabulary. System 32(2), 251–263 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cobb, T., Greaves, C., Horst, M.: Can the rate of lexical acquisition from reading be increased? An experiment in reading French with a suite of on-line resources. In: Raymond, P., Cornaire, C. (eds.) Regards sur la didactique des langues secondes, Éditions logique, Montréal, pp. 133–153 (2001)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cobb, T.: Is there any measurable learning from hands-on concordancing. System 25(3), 301–315 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Coxhead, A.: A new academic word list. TESOL Quarterly 34(2), 213–238 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Day, R.R., Bamford, J.: Extensive Reading in the Second Language Classroom. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1998)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Diniz, L.: Comparative review: Textstat 2.5, AntConc 3.0, and Compleat Lexical Tutor 4.0 Language Learning & Technology  9(3), 22–27 (2005)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Horst, M.: Learning L2 vocabulary through extensive reading: A measurement study. Canadian Modern Language Review 61(3), 355–382 (2005)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Horst, M., Cobb, T., Nicolae, I.: Expanding academic vocabulary with an interactive on-line database. Language Learning & Technology 9(2), 90–110 (2005)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Horst, M., Cobb, T.: Growing academic vocabulary with a collaborative online database. In: IT-MELT 2001: Information Technology & Multimedia in English Language Teaching, Kowloon, Hong Kong (2001)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Horst, M., Meara, P.: Test of a model for predicting second language lexical growth through reading. Canadian Modern Language Review 56(2), 308–328 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hu, M., Nation, I.S.P.: Vocabulary density and reading comprehension. Reading in a Foreign Language 13(1), 404–430 (2000)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Huntley, H.: Essential Academic Vocabulary. Houghton Mifflin, Boston (2006)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Joe, A., Nation, P., Newton, J.: Vocabulary learning and speaking activities. English Teaching Forum 43(1), 2–7 (1996)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Laufer, B., Goldstein, Z.: Testing vocabulary knowledge: Size, strength, and computer adaptiveness. Language Learning 54(3), 399–436 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nation, I.S.P.: Learning Vocabulary in Another Language. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nation, I.S.P.: Teaching Vocabulary: Strategies and Techniques. Thompson Heinle, N.-Y. (2008)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nation, P., Chung, T.: Teaching and testing vocabulary. In: Long, M.H., Doughty, C.J. (eds.) The Handbook of Language Teaching, pp. 543–559. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Hong Kong (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pigada, M., Schmitt, N.: Vocabulary acquisition from extensive reading: a case study. Reading in a Foreign Language 18(1), 1–28 (2006)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Popova, N., Kogan, M.: Didactic Links as means of Profiling Technology Realization for Masters of Linguistics. In: Proceedings in the 1st Global Virtual Conference workshop, pp. 185–189. Publishing Institution of University of Zilina, Zilina (2013)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Read, J.: Assessing Vocabulary. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Schmitt, D., Schmitt, N.: Focus on Vocabulary. Longman Pearson Education, White Plains, NY (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadezhda Almazova
    • 1
  • Marina Kogan
    • 1
  1. 1.Dep. of Linguistics and Cross-Cultural CommunicationSt. Petersburg State Polytechnical UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

Personalised recommendations