Identifying Indonesian-core vocabulary for teaching English to Indonesian preschool children: a corpus-based research

Maryani Maryani


This corpus-based research focuses on building a corpus of Indonesian children’s storybooks to find the frequent content words in order to identify Indonesian-core vocabulary for teaching English to Indonesian preschool children. The data was gathered from 131 Indo¬nesian children’s storybooks, which resulted in a corpus of 134,320 words. These data were run through a frequency menu in MonoConc Pro, a corpus program. Data analysis was analyzed by selecting the frequent nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs before each of them was lemmatized. The result showed that the children were already exposed to both ordinary and imaginative concepts, antonym in adjective, time reference, and compound nouns. The narrative discourse clearly influenced the kind of verbs the children exposed to


corpus, vocabulary, content words

Full Text:



Arka, I. W. & Simpson, J. (2007). Challenges of developing a balanced and representative corpus for Indonesian ParGram. Paper presented at the Eleventh International Symposium on Malay/Indonesian Linguistics, Manokwari, Indonesia.

Barrett, M. (1995). Early lexical development. In P. Fletcher & B. MacWhinney (Eds.), Handbook of child language (pp. 362-392). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Beck, I. L., & McKeown, M. G., (2001). Text talk: Capturing the benefits of read-aloud experiences for young children. The Reading Teacher, 55(1), 10-20.

Beck, I., McKeown, M.G. & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary development. New York: Guilford Press.

Biber, D. (1993). Representativeness in corpus design. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 8(4), 243-257. [CrossRef]

Biber, D., Conrad, S. & Reppen, R. (1998). Corpus linguistics: Investigating language structure and use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [CrossRef]

Chen, H. C. (1992). Lexical processing in a non-native language: Effects of language proficiency and learning strategy. Memory and Cognition, 18, 279-288. [CrossRef]

de Groot, A. M. B. (2006). Effects of stimulus characteristics and background music on foreign language vocabulary learning and forgetting. Language Learning, 56(3), 463-506. [CrossRef]

De Temple, J. & Snow, C. E. (2003). Learning words from books. In S. Stahl, A. van Kleeck & E. B. Bauer (Eds.), On reading books to children: Parents and teachers (pp. 16-36). Mahwah: Erlbaum.

Faber, P. & Linares, C. F. M. (2001). Design of a corpus-based vocabulary for teaching English in the primary school. In J. Raya, M., Faber, P., Gewehr, W. & Peck, A. J. (Eds.), Effective foreign language teaching at the primary level (pp. 25-38). New York: Oxford Press.

Fenson, L., Dale, P. S., Reznick, J. S., Thal, D., Bates, E., Hartung, J. P., Pethick, S., & Reily, J. S. (1993). Technical manual for the MacArther Communicative Development Inventory. San Diego: Singular Press.

Gil, D. (2006). The acquisition of voice morphology in Jakartan Indonesia. In Gagarina, N. & Gulzow, I. (Eds.). The acquisition of verbs and their grammar: The effect of particular languages (pp. 201-227). Dordrecht: Springer. [CrossRef]

Hardjadibrata, R. R. (1969). An Indonesian newspaper wordcount. Cayton: Monash University.

Hunston, S. (2002). Corpora in applied linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Justice, L. M., Pence, K. L., Beckman, A. R., Skibbe, L. E., & Wiggins, A. K. (2005). Scaffolding with storybooks. Newark: International Reading Association.

Leung, C. (1992). Effects of word-related variables on vocabulary growth through repeated read-aloud events. In C. Kinzer & D. Leu (Eds.), Literary research, theory, and practice: Views from many perspectives: Forty-first yearbook of the National Reading Conference (pp. 491-498). Chicago: National Reading Conference.

Lonigan, C. J. & Whitehurst, G. J. (1998). Relative efficacy of parent and teacher involvement in a shared-reading intervention for preschool children from low-income backgrounds. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 13, 263-290. [CrossRef]

Lotto, L. & de Groot, A. M. B. (1998). Effects of learning method and word type on acquiring vocabulary in an unfamiliar language. Language Learning, 48, 31-69. [CrossRef]

Meara, P. (1993). The bilingual lexicon and the teaching of vocabulary. In R. Schreuder & B. Weltens (Eds.) The bilingual lexicon (pp. 279-297). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Meyer, C. F. (2002). English Corpus Linguistics: An Introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. [CrossRef]

Nation, P. (1993). Vocabulary size, growth, and use. In R. Schreuder & B. Weltens (Eds.) The bilingual lexicon (pp. 115-134). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Nazief, B. (2000). Development of computational Linguistics research: A challenge for Indonesia. Paper presented at the 15th Indonesian Scientific Conference, Tokyo, Japan.

Robbins, C. & Ehri, L. (1994). Reading storybooks to kindergarten helps them learn new vocabulary words. Journal of Educational Psychology, 86(1), 54-64. [CrossRef]

Roberts, T. & Neal, H. (2004). Relationships among preschool English language learner’s oral proficiency in English, instructional experience and literacy development. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 29, 283-311. [CrossRef]

Senechal, M. (1997). The differential effect of storybook reading on preschooler’s acquisition of expressive and receptive vocabulary. Journal of Child Language, 24(1), 123-138. [CrossRef]

Silverman, R. D. (2007). Vocabulary development of English-language and English-only learners in kindergarten. The Elementary School Journal, 107(4), 365-383. [CrossRef]

Sinclair, J. (1996). EAGLES preliminary recommendations on corpus typology. EAG-TCWG-CTYP/P. Pisa: ILC-CNR.

Torgesen, J. (1998). Catch them before they fall: Identification and assessment to prevent reading failure in young children. American Educator, 22, 32-39.

Walker, D., Greenwood, C. R., Hart, B. & Carta, J. (1994). Prediction of school outcomes based on early language production and socioeconomic factors. Child Development, 65, 606-621. [CrossRef]

Wolter, B. (2006). Lexical network structures and L2 vocabulary acquisition: The role of L1 lexical/conceptual knowledge. Applied Linguistics, 27(4), 741-747. [CrossRef]

Uchikoshi, Y. (2006). English vocabulary development in bilingual kindergarteners: What are the best predictors? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 9(1), 33-49. [CrossRef]

Vos, J. (2007). Can preschool children be taught a second language? Retrieved July 27, 2007 from view.aspx?ArticleId=60.


The Journal is published by The Institute of Research & Community Outreach - Petra Christian University. It available online supported by Directorate General of Higher Education - Ministry of National Education - Republic of Indonesia