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Make it Stick

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Scott Miles

on 25 June 2011

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Transcript of Make it Stick

Make it Stick:
Language teaching for long-term retention Sogang University Students
(2002, 450 students)

Receptive
2,000 Level: = 89%
3,000 Level: = 78%
University: = 60%

About 740 words missing

Productive
2,000 Level: 46.5%
3,000 Level: 27.6%
University: 46%

About 2,000 words missing Receptive Vocabulary
Sogang University Kanda University

2,000 Level: 89% 90%
3,000 Level: 78% 73%
University: 60% 67% So much to teach...
So little time The Problem

Regardless of how well you present
vocabulary and grammar
in the classroom... Not enough time to cover even a modest amount of vocabulary and grammar Students generally have poor study methods on their own Students have limited exposure to English Little recycling is taking place The cycle of memorizing
and forgetting Pimsleur's Memory Schedule (1967)

Study Spacing interval before
Session next study session

1 5 seconds
2 25 seconds
3 2 minutes
4 10 minutes
5 1 hour
6 5 hours
7 1 day
8 5 days
9 25 days
10 4 months Vocabulary Study Results (Miles & Kwon, 2008)

Receptive Productive
score score

CALL (spaced review) 75% 64%

Independent study 50% 33% Applications: CALL

Praxis Education www.praxised.com
Lexxica www.wordengine.jp
Vtrain www.vtrain.net

Flashcard Exchange www.flashcardexchange.com Non-CALL

Hand Computer (Mondria & Mondria-de Vries)

Notebook records

Course planning Kim and Krashen (1997) Recommendations:

1. Inform students and teachers of the benefits of extensive reading [especially in an EFL context] Access to Graded Readers

Graded readers should be every EFL student’s best friend

University/School Library
Department Library
Check out books through teacher
Students buy readers in any bookstore
Book sharing program If not extensive reading, then ... what?

Extensive reading is the only way in which learners can get access to language at their own level, read something they want to read, at the pace they feel comfortable with which will allow them to meet the language enough times to pick up a sense of how the language fits together. (Rob Waring, 2005) ER is an excellent activity for students to do on their own.

“It doesn't matter how much language students acquire in a classroom. What matters is whether they have the motivation and tools to continue to acquire after the course has ended.” (Sternfield, 1992) Breaking the cycle of learning and forgetting

1. Systematic repetition of vocabulary and grammar covered during class

2. Massive exposure to comprehensible input through extensive reading and listening


Scott Miles: scott@dhu.ac.kr Solution 1: The Spacing Effect

Memory research shows that information is retained better when encountered in spaced intervals.

'one of the most robust and dependable phenomena yet documented by behavioral scientists'
(Dempster, 1996) Set up the problem: voc needed, but not learned

Solution: spacing effect through online

Praxis site overview
Vocabulary HW site
Students get new words each sessions, and review
previous sessions

As a student:
Join and add student code
Go to study now
Complete sessions
Note: variety of exercise types
if they mess up...

As a teacher:
Create free account, set class code
Determine word list and course goals
Check reports for progress Praxis Ed Online Vocabulary System

Tested and based on memory research

Flexibility and control for students and teachers

Variety of exercises for depth of learning

Customization Introduction Vocabulary Exercise

Wishy washy uyu budan han
A spendthrift nangbi byeok issnun
Flaky (flakey) uiji halsu obsnun
Grumpy shimsul nan
Sensitive soshim han

Make Your Mate
My future (or imaginary) spouse...

1. is quite the opposite of _________________.
2. is _________________ only to a small extent.
3. is somewhat normal in regards to being __________________
4. has a bit of a problem with being ___________________
5. has a serious problem with being ___________________ Vocabulary Quiz: Matching
Wishy washy soshim han
A spendthrift uyu budan han
Flaky (flakey) shimsul nan
Grumpy uiji halsu obsnun
Sensitive nangbi byeok issnun Grammar results of dissertation study

Pretest Post test Delayed Post
G1 (spaced) 35% 75% 70% (-5)
G2 (block) 40% 80% 60% (-20) Voc. Quiz: Recall

uyu budan han
nangbi byeok issnun
uiji halsu obsnun
shimsul nan
soshim han Explicit Grammar instruction

Modest results

Gains often temporary Application: Grammar instruction

Recycle grammar points

1 day (homework) -> 1 week -> 1 month -> 2-3 months Solution 1: Spacing effect
Systematic review of content

Solution 2: Extensive Reading
'Natural' recycling of content Baddely and Longman (1978) Spacing effect on learning touch-type:
1 hr. day group reached 80 wpm in 60 hours
2 hr. day group reached 80 wpm at 80 hours
4 hr. day group reached 70 wpm at 80 hours Bloom and Shuell (1981)

Massed group: 30 minutes studying a list of words.

Spaced distribution group: 10 minutes a day for 3 days studying the list of words.



Unannounced delayed post test four days later:
Spaced distribution outperformed massed group by 35%. Solution 1: The Spacing Effect Pimsleur's Memory Schedule (1967)

Study Spacing interval before
Session next study session

1 5 seconds
2 25 seconds
3 2 minutes
4 10 minutes
5 1 hour
6 5 hours
7 1 day
8 5 days
9 25 days
10 4 months Spacing effect for grammar and vocabulary


1 day (homework) -> 1 week -> 1 month -> 2-3 months Word Text
knowledge coverage
6000 89.9 (+1.3%)
5000 88.6 (+1.9%)
4000 86.7 (+2.7%)
3000 84 (+4.3%)
2000 79.7 (+7.7%)
1000 72
10 23.7


(Cobb, Compleat Lexical Tutor) Grammar instruction

Modest results

Gains often temporary Extensive Reading
* Read a lot
* Read at a fairly easy level
[no dictionary needed]
* Read self-selected material Break the forgetting curve:

Systematic recycling

Extensive reading

scott@dhu.ac.kr How many words do you need to learn?

5,000 vocabulary words = functional Fighting the Forgetting Curve
Full transcript