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Dynamic Vocabulary Development in a Foreign Language


Yongyan Zheng

The Dynamic Systems Theory perspective offers new lenses to probe into long-term foreign language development. This book reports on findings of a longitudinal multiple-case study on the vocabulary development of eight university-level Chinese learners of English. Framed within the Dynamic Systems framework, the study assumes a holistic perspective towards vocabulary knowledge and aims to project a comprehensive picture of vocabulary development in a typical foreign language learning setting such as the Chinese context. To this end, a wide array of quantitative measurements and qualitative methods was employed. In-depth examination was given to both psycholinguistic and sociocultural processes involved in the complex and dynamic development of vocabulary knowledge. Efforts were also made to establish meaningful links between the learners’ cognitive, mental, pedagogical and social contexts. Although the focus is on vocabulary development, what is discussed in the book is applicable to a wide range of topics in foreign language learning and development.


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Appendix II An interview guide with major topics 255


255 Appendix II An interview guide with major topics 1. When did you first start learning English? x Age when first started learning English x Family influence on the learning of English x English learning before entering the elementary school 2. How would you describe your vocabulary learning in your Eng- lish classes both in your secondary-school and now in the uni- versity? x English learning experience in general x Strategies used by the participants’ English teachers to teach vocabulary in class x Strategies used by the participants to learn vocabulary after class x Methods used by the participants to review vocabulary learned before x If the learning and teaching strategies changed over the year 3. Do you speak, write, or read English with your parents, family members or friends in your daily life other than academic stud- ies? How will describe your vocabulary learning and use in your daily life? x Language used in the family x Language used among friends x Kinds of vocabulary used in daily life 4. What part of English do you think is most difficult and deserve your most efforts in your learning experience? x The part of English that the participants think is the most difficult x Reasons why x If the participants’ belief changed over the year 256 5. What are the most obvious problems or major confusions in your vocabulary learning? Have you taken any measure to tack- le the problems? x The most difficult problem in vocabulary learning and examples...

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