LQ, DQ and Language Noticing

Explanation and examples of LQ and DQ

Language usage questions

Discussion questions

Language Noticing


Recycling Language

Language noticing =
noticing how language is used by native speakers (or near-native speakers)
It’s not just word lists.
Take a look at what is probably a typical vocabulary textbook for TOEIC preparation. There’s no context. How do these words fit together? Why is “oyster” next to “inventory” and “assassinate”? Was someone taking inventory of oysters in a restaurant assassinated when he came across something suspicious?

I use the word “recycle” to refer to the last part of the “language noticing” process. If you’re looking for the right definition in a dictionary, it’s closest to the two I highlighted in the screenshot below.

As a reminder, the other parts of the process are:
1) context — write down where you got the language: the whole sentence or paragraph if necessary
2) definition — explain what the word or phrase means. Try to do this in your own words and not copy from a dictionary.
3) connections — look for synonyms, antonyms, and etymology. These may or may not be interesting or useful. If they’re not interesting or useful, don’t bother writing them down. Also, look for collocations. Finally, compare the usage of the word or phrase in other languages (Japanese and/or another language you’re learning).
4) recycle — use the word or phrase in original sentences. Make these sentences detailed and interesting/relevant. The goal here is trying to make the language part of your active vocabulary. If your original sentences aren’t relevant or connected to your own experiences, ideas, or things you’re learning about, they won’t help you to remember the words/phrase and its usage (or at least not as effectively).


Here’s an example of the whole process:
You don’t have to do all parts of the process every time you’re trying to learn a new word, but the “recycle” part is especially important if you want to make that new word part of your active vocabulary. Try using the word in your own original sentences, about things you’re interested in talking and writing about. Then, ask me or another native (or near-native) speaker if you’re using the word naturally. Do this as often as you can.
If you need more examples or different explanations of any of these, please ask anytime.