Contextual Vocabulary Acquisition: A Computational Theory and Educational Curriculum

In Nagib Callaos, Ana Breda & Ma Yolanda Fernandez J. (eds.), Proceedings of the 6th World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics. International Institute of Informatics and Systemics (2002)
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We discuss a research project that develops and applies algorithms for computational contextual vocabulary acquisition (CVA): learning the meaning of unknown words from context. We try to unify a disparate literature on the topic of CVA from psychology, first- and secondlanguage acquisition, and reading science, in order to help develop these algorithms: We use the knowledge gained from the computational CVA system to build an educational curriculum for enhancing students’ abilities to use CVA strategies in their reading of science texts at the middle-school and college undergraduate levels. The knowledge gained from case studies of students using our CVA techniques feeds back into further development of our computational theory. Keywords: artificial intelligence, knowledge representation, reading, reasoning, science education, vocabulary acquisition.
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