This Saturday (6/4/16) I am showing a poster at the JALTCALL Conference in Tokyo. The poster describes a process for using Antconc, or any software that can generate frequency lists, to create wordlists that can be used by students during pre-reading activities. The basic idea is that students can use these lists to mark the words they don’t know or don’t feel confident about, and by doing so they create differentiated/personalized study lists. As a pre-reading activity, this can help students reach (or confirm) a word knowledge percentage threshold needed for comprehensible reading of a particular text. The underlying idea is actually quite flexible and doesn’t need to follow the exact steps as outlined in the poster, rather the process can be tailored to different contexts and settings. For example, I don’t always use the process to determine exact percents of word knowledge for each student, instead I might let students work in a group and research any unknown words together just before reading (especially if it’s a relatively short reading and I just want to ensure they will recognize most, if not all, of the words in a text).
If anyone is interested, below are a .pdf of the poster and a .docx of the stoplist I used in the example in the poster (I made the stoplist based mostly on frequency data found in COCA). If you want to use the stoplist with a program such as Antconc, you should save it as a .txt file first.
For some background on word knowledge percentage thresholds for reading, check out The Extensive Reading Foundation’s Guide to Extensive Reading.