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Assignment Questions

The Key Is in the Keyword

These are the specific requirements:

Article Review of “The Key Is in the Keyword: L2 Vocabulary Learning Methods With Beginning Learners of Spanish”
Authors: NURIA SAGARRA and MATTHEW ALBA
The Modern Language Journal
Volume 90 Issue 2, Pages 228 – 243
Published Online: 1 Jun 2006

The Critical Review. ‘review’ = a critical estimate of a specific work (in this case a published article) and by ‘critical’ I do not mean ‘inclined to judge severely and adversely,’ but rather ‘characterized by careful and exact evaluation and judgment.’ Your review may be either favorable or unfavorable. As to the writing itself, aim at being clear, concise, organized, and informative. Assume at all times that you are writing not for me but for someone who has not read the article you are reviewing or the book for the course. That is intended as an antidote against vagueness and imprecision. Be specific! At the same time don’t just repeat what the article says but summarize the information, concentrating on the relevant points. You are also expected to express your own views and not simply report what other people think. In making a point for or against something, it will be a big plus for you to support your arguments with concrete examples. Not using examples will weaken your review.
Some questions to consider:
1. What is the main topic of the article?
2. What was/were the main issue(s) the author said they want to discuss?
3. Why did the author claim it was important?
4. How does their work build on other’s work, in the author’s opinion?
5. What simplifying assumptions does the author claim to be making?
6. What did the author do?
7. How did the author claim they were going to evaluate their work and compare it to others?
8. What did the author say were the limitations of their research?
9. What did the author say were the important directions for future research?

Format of Review. The critical review must be written double space on a word processor and properly printed. Use 12 point font size. For the review follow either MLA or LSA style. Please number your pages and have your last name appear on every page.

Other Criteria the Critical Review Must Meet. Your review must be of an article published in 2003 or thereafter in one of the following journals: Language Acquisition, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Language Learning, Second Language Research; The Modern Language Journal. It must be a report on an empirical study conducted by its author or authors on some aspect of second language acquisition. It cannot be a survey article or an opinion article. You must write at least ten pages not counting title page or bibliography (a title page is not necessary). A review not meeting all these criteria will not be acceptable: you will get an Incomplete and will have to submit another review.

There are faxes for this order.

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