Theology lectures as lexical environments: A case study of technical vocabulary use
Cook School of Intercultural Studies
This article presents a descriptive case study on the use of technical vocabulary in the lectures of a first-year graduate theology course in Canada. It first contextualizes this research by noting four kinds of English vocabulary and the study of classrooms as lexical environments. Next it outlines the study’s methodology, including the observation of 23 classes over one semester, the transcription of 34 h of audiotaped lectures, and the use of computer programs VocabProfile and MonoConc Pro to analyze the files of the lecture transcripts. Data analysis addresses two research questions: 1) What kind of lexical environments are these lectures (and what is the specific frequency and distribution of vocabulary within them)? 2) How are representative technical theological terms used, in oral and written form, during these lectures? Quantitative results are presented on the frequency of each of four types of vocabulary, and sample transcript, handout, and whiteboard extracts offer examples and a qualitative description of the use of specialized theological vocabulary within the lectures observed. The final section discusses possible implications for specialized vocabulary learning, suggesting that academic lectures may offer a rich lexical environment for ESL students trained to observe and acquire technical vocabulary in context.
EAP; Lexical environments; Technical vocabulary
Journal of English for Academic Purposes
DOI of Published Version
Lessard-Clouston, Michael, "Theology lectures as lexical environments: A case study of technical vocabulary use" (2010). Faculty Articles & Research. 597.