Errors in JACET 8000 Level Marker

I have been using the JACET8000 Level Marker (new link here) page for my research. It is a great tool. And I would like to thank the creator, Shinichi Shimizu, for it. However, when I checked the output I had found a number of errors. Below is a list of words which have been incorrectly numbered. The digit to the left (in red) of the word is what the output gives. The digit to the right (in green) is what the number or level should be:

1 march

2

1 lower

3

1 saw

3

1 means

4

1 thanks

4

1 leading

4

1 finding

4

1 thinking

4

1 china

4

1 sin

4

1 colored

4

1 saying

5

1 forward

5

1 basin

5

1 doing

5

1 making

5

1 controlled

5

1 kin

6

1 mar

8

2 audience

1

2 preferred

6

2 flatter

7

3 interpret

2

3 clothes

4

3 handicapped

6

4 including

3

4 upward

7

5 boom

4

5 ethics

6

5 summons

6

6 constructive

5

6 ragged

7

6 robin

7

7 chatter

6

8 coastline

7

9 alight

8

I had checked this with the March 2003 data as well as the publication “Daigaku Eigo Kyoiku Gakkai Kihongo ni Motozuku JACET 8000 Eitango” (ISBN 9784342788734). This information was correct at the time of posting.

[update] Checking through some of the words I found they were difficult to classify. For example, ‘saw’ could be the past tense of the verb ‘see’. In that case it would be placed in JACET 1. But as a noun – an tool to cut things in half – it would be in JACET 3. But others were clearly errors. ‘Audience’, ‘interpret’, ‘including’, ‘boom’, ‘constructive’, ‘chatter’ and ‘alight’ were numbering errors at the cut-off point between levels. The rest of the errors I cannot figure out.

KH Coder

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KH Coder is a corpus linguistic tool for Japanese texts. Follow this link to learn more about Japanese corpus linguistics.

A Wordsmith Tools discussion list

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Mike Scott, the creator of Wordsmith Tools has a mailing list by that name. The archive is open to public, but to post one must become a member of the list, pending approval.

Two useful pages for Range program

Here are two useful pages I found about Paul Nation’s Range program:
BNC spoken freq
TV as language teacher

Fixing the ‘Range check error’ in Range

I finally got Paul Nation’s Range program to work with my base word files, thanks to S.F..

The problem was in the fact I had unnecessary tabs and carriage returns between word families. But not having a digit after each word (like the original files) didn’t seem to affect the program’s performance.

Speaking isn’t the key

… most students learn how to speak English by actually speaking it.

This comment original made in a letter to a Taiwanese newspaper about how teachers should make sure students produce a lot of L2 language while in classroom echoes the sentiment and attitude of many teachers in Japan. It could well have been a letter in a Japanese newspaper.

Here Stephen Krashen, a leading researcher in language acquisition (LA) and co-author of an important study Language Two, gives a concise explanation as to why the belief that increased speaking of L2 will promote language acquisition is ultimately a mistake.

The best hypothesis is that the ability to speak is the result of language acquisition, not the cause. If this is true, forcing students to speak before they are ready is not only useless, but counterproductive.

The italics are mine. He continues by suggesting the way to develop spoken fluency is “to provide lots of interesting and comprehensible input” instead. In other words, rich reception or input, is better and more logical. And I agree with this.

But because input is predominately a passive activity it is often equated, both by the teachers and students, to low language acquisition. It is avoided by both groups because the language gains are not seen immediately in a world that demands immediate results. More often than not more effective methods, like rich input, simply take the backseat in ELT because of profitability, and students suffer for this linguistically as well as financially. Students pay large sums of money only to have poor results. Their language foundation is weak and bad habits form that later become hard to change; all the while the teachers and language schools are laughing all the way to the bank.