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Comparing receptive vocabulary knowledge and vocabulary production

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Title:Comparing receptive vocabulary knowledge and vocabulary production
Authors:Michel, Jessica Fast
Plumb, Emily Gazda
Date Issued:2019
Abstract:Vocabulary development in a second language is a complex process that has broad implications across all domains of language learning. In order for language learners to meaningfully engage with academic content in the target language, they must have a strong command of the kind of vocabulary used in an academic setting. The Vocabulary Levels Test (Nation, 1990; Beglar & Hunt, 1999), which assesses receptive vocabulary knowledge by asking learners to match lexical items to a short definition or description, is a common vocabulary assessment in academic settings. However, according to Coxhead and Nation (2001): For learners studying English for academic purposes, academic vocabulary is a kind of high frequency vocabulary and thus any time spent learning it is time well spent. The four major strands of a language course—meaning focused input, language focused learning, meaning focuses output, and fluency development—should all be seen as opportunities for the development of academic vocabulary knowledge, and it is important that the same words occur in each of these four strands. (p. 258) Thus, in order to get a more balanced idea of learners’ actual knowledge of academic vocabulary for both passive recognition and active output, tests for measuring it in both arenas are important. Most studies of language learners’ vocabulary knowledge have focused on only the measurement of their receptive knowledge (Beglar, 2010). Some have also considered learners’ vocabulary production in a writing sample (Laufer & Nation, 1999; Zheng, 2012) and few have investigated vocabulary knowledge in the domains of listening and speaking (but see McLean, Kramer & Beglar, 2015, for a report on creating and validating a vocabulary levels listening test). For those studies that examine written vocabulary abilities, they generally focus on either passive or active measures of vocabulary. This study attempts to compare and contrast analyses of receptive and productive vocabulary size from the same group of students in order to explore how these two facets of vocabulary knowledge may manifest in different ways.
Pages/Duration:28 pages
Appears in Collections: SLS Papers (2000-present)

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