Title

Definitions in theology lectures: Implications for vocabulary learning

Publication Date

5-2009

Abstract

English language learners studying at the tertiary level face many challenges, and developing academic language proficiency is a major one which requires the acquisition of both the academic and technical vocabulary of their disciplines. Recognizing that the natural oral input such learners receive is a key resource for relevant vocabulary learning, this article describes a case study of definitions in the introductory theology course of one graduate school in central Canada. Eight representative lectures from the semester-long course were transcribed and 269 definitions were identified in them, and then categorized using Flowerdew’s (1992) classifications. The article outlines both quantitative and qualitative data, with example definitions, and draws on and compares its results with relevant previous work in the sciences. It concludes that there are many commonalities between definitions in the two fields, yet there are also understandably some major differences. Thus the article adds to an earlier taxonomy and discusses possible implications for technical vocabulary learning in theology and other fields, noting several key points for EAP and ESP professionals.

Keywords

Technology--Language; English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers

Publication Title

Asian ESP Journal

Volume

5

Issue

1

First Page

7

Last Page

22

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