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Abstract

This study focused on the relationship between percentage of vocabulary known in a text and level of comprehension of the same text. Earlier studies have estimated the percentage of vocabulary necessary for second language learners to understand written texts as being between 95% (Laufer, 1989) and 98% (Hu & Nation, 2000). In this study, 661 participants from 8 countries completed a vocabulary measure based on words drawn from 2 texts, read the texts, and then completed a reading comprehension test for each text. The results revealed a relatively linear relationship between the percentage of vocabulary known and the degree of reading comprehension. There was no indication of a vocabulary “threshold,” where comprehension increased dramatically at a particular percentage of vocabulary knowledge. Results suggest that the 98% estimate is a more reasonable coverage target for readers of academic texts.

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... Vocabulary is the most important aspect in language and plays a fundamental role in most if not all language abilities or skills (Laufer and Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010;Schmitt et al., 2011;van Zeeland and Schmitt, 2013;Cheng and Matthews, 2018;Lange and Matthews, 2020;Qian and Lin, 2020;Ha, 2021b). In fact, the lexical resource of learners has been proven to be of even greater importance to their comprehension compared to the knowledge of grammatical structures and subject matters (Lewis, 2002;Barcroft, 2007;Guo and Roehrig, 2011;Zhang, 2012;Zhang and Koda, 2013). ...
... The idea behind the terminology is that a reader need to know a certain proportion of words in a text in order to reasonably comprehend it (Nation, 2013;Webb and Nation, 2013). In general, it has been widely accepted that readers or listeners of different text genres need to be familiar with at least 95% and preferably 98% of the running words in a text to gain adequate comprehension (Laufer and Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010;Schmitt et al., 2011;Laufer, 2013;van Zeeland and Schmitt, 2013). Despite a small gap of only 3% coverage, the difference between the two thresholds could be far more significant than some people may think. ...
... Research have also shown a close relationship between lexical coverage and language teaching, especially when selecting materials for reading-related activities. According to Nation's (2007) principles of the four strands, for language-focused or form-focused instructions, it is suggested that learners should know no less than 85% of the words in their reading texts (Schmitt et al., 2011;Stoeckel et al., 2020). If the purpose involved supported reading comprehension, a 95% coverage would be demanded (Laufer, 1989;Schmitt et al., 2011). ...
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The present study analyzed the vocabulary profile of the News on the Web (NOW) corpus, which contained 12 billion words from online newspapers and magazines in 20 countries to determine the vocabulary knowledge needed to reasonably understand online newspaper and magazine articles. The results showed that, in general, knowledge of the most frequent 4,000 word families in the British National Corpus/ Corpus of Contemporary American English (BNC/COCA) wordlist plus proper nouns, marginal words, transparent compounds and acronyms was necessary to gain 95% coverage for the NOW corpus. However, when it came to the 98% coverage, online newspaper and magazine articles from different countries had relatively distinct lexical demands. In-depth analyses were carried out and the findings offered comprehensive insights into the issue. Implications for teaching and learning were also provided.
... (Nation, 2006). This line of research focuses on the percentage of known words (in this case, word families -see below) in L2 written texts (e.g., Hu & Nation, 2000;Laufer, 1989;Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010;Schmitt et al., 2011). These researchers found that if 98% of the words in a written text are known to L2 learners, this text can be comprehended without any assistance, and a 95% coverage figure (95 out of 100 words) can lead to adequate reading comprehension with assistance. ...
... Nation & Webb, 2011;Read, 2000). By using this format, a large number of target words can be measured for their form-meaning relationship within a short period of time (Read, 2000;Schmitt, 2008;Schmitt et al., 2011). In the current study, the learners were required to selfreport whether they recognized the target words in the textbook materials by choosing Yes or ...
... While the percentage of the pseudowords depends on the number of target words and the particular research purposes (e.g., Schmitt et al., 2011), a proportion of one-third is recommended to control overestimation (Nation & Webb, 2011). The pilot task showed that learners needed 10-15 minutes to complete the Yes/No task with 100 words (see more details about the pilot below). ...
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Listening is an important skill for second language learners of any language. To develop listening skills effectively, research suggests using a more process-oriented than product-oriented approach to teaching listening. That is, placing greater emphasis on developing learner awareness and strategic competence than on answering listening comprehension questions. The present study investigates how listening is taught by two teachers in the context of Chinese tertiary English foreign language (EFL) classes, where listening tends to be taught as a discreet skill. Another focus of the research is how the relationship between vocabulary and listening is understood and addressed in this context. While it is well known that vocabulary knowledge is needed for and can be learnt through listening, less is known about how the vocabulary support is provided and vocabulary knowledge is gained in such listening classes. This research involved three main areas of investigation. The first area investigated the teaching of listening. It involved a content analysis of listening materials in the textbook (e.g., listening texts and listening activities), followed by classroom observations of listening instruction practices, and post-lesson interviews with the teachers and their learners about their beliefs about teaching and learning listening. Findings showed that a product-oriented approach dominated the textbook materials, the classroom practices and the beliefs of the teachers and learners. The second area concerns the vocabulary demands of these listening classes. This involved a corpus-based analysis of the frequency and kinds of vocabulary in the textbook, followed by measurement of the learners' vocabulary size (i.e., the Vocabulary Size Test by Nation & Beglar, 2007) and knowledge (i.e., a recognition task in the Yes/No format). The corpus analyses results showed that: (1) vocabulary knowledge of 3000-word families was required to comprehend the textbook; (2) high frequency vocabulary made up the majority of the words in the textbook. The VST results showed that, on average, the learners' written receptive size ranged from 5000 to 7000-word families. The pre-lesson Yes/No task results showed that the students had difficulty recognizing a substantial number of the words they met in the textbook. The third area investigated the nature of vocabulary support and vocabulary learning in the listening class. Firstly, an analysis of the teachers' classroom practices from observation data ii relating to vocabulary was carried out. Secondly, interview data from the teachers was examined for evidence of their beliefs about vocabulary and listening. Thirdly, post-lesson interview data with learners and data from a post-test repeat of the vocabulary recognition task were examined to find out more about the learners' perceptions of vocabulary in listening class and the vocabulary learning gains they made in these classes. Findings revealed that the learners relied on the glossaries to prepare for listening classes. They also expected vocabulary instruction from the teachers, so long as it did not distract from listening activity completion. Both teachers primarily used translation to provide vocabulary support, but differed markedly in the amount of vocabulary support they provided. In both classes, significant vocabulary gains were found in a comparison of the pre-and-post lesson Yes/No task results. The vocabulary-related episodes in the listening classes were a notable influence on these learning gains. This research has pedagogical implications for the EFL listening classroom. The findings highlight the mutually reinforcing influences of textbook design and teacher beliefs on how listening is taught. These influences, in turn, shape how learners perceive the process of developing their L2 listening skills. With respect to vocabulary and listening, the findings also suggest that even where the lexical demands of listening appear to be well within the vocabulary level of the learners, there is considerable potential for vocabulary learning from listening classes. Teachers and learners alike are likely to benefit from systematically building on this potential. Future research could further investigate L2 learners' behaviors and perceptions in the listening class, and examine their vocabulary knowledge in the spoken form. iii Acknowledgements
... The lexical coverage-reading comprehension relationship was further assessed in Schmitt, Jiang, and Grabe's (2011) study using two academic texts of different lengths: one familiar-topic and one unfamiliar-topic text. Lexical coverage was determined by participants' responses on a vocabulary YES/NO checklist pre-test. ...
... Additionally, these early studies did not strictly control topic familiarity, which has been found particularly important in reading expository texts (Brantmeier, 2005). Although Schmitt et al. (2011) considered topic familiarity, it was not directly assessed as the texts were selected based on the "assumed degree of familiarity" without verifiable means (p.30). Besides, when exploring the contribution of topic familiarity, Schmitt et al. (2011) used t-test analyses which cannot examine for an interaction effect between topic familiarity and lexical coverage. ...
... Although Schmitt et al. (2011) considered topic familiarity, it was not directly assessed as the texts were selected based on the "assumed degree of familiarity" without verifiable means (p.30). Besides, when exploring the contribution of topic familiarity, Schmitt et al. (2011) used t-test analyses which cannot examine for an interaction effect between topic familiarity and lexical coverage. ...
Article
This investigation is one part of a large study exploring the relationship between comprehension, lexical coverage, text genre, and other reading-related variables. To further the field’s current understanding of the lexical coverage-reading comprehension relationship, we examined the effect lexical coverage and topic familiarity have on L2 comprehension of the expository genre by controlling L2 reading ability and L2 vocabulary size. As previous research has reported 95% or 98% as the minimal coverage for unassisted reading (Hu & Nation, 2000; Laufer, 1989), our study worked with six lexical coverage figures (95%, 96%, 97%, 98%, 99%, and 100%) to answer the following research question: Is there an interaction effect between topic familiarity and lexical coverage on L2 learners’ reading comprehension of expository texts?
... More recently, Schmitt et al. (2011) studied the coverage-comprehension relationship of 661 adult L2 English learners. Vocabulary knowledge was determined with a 150-word checklist (yes-no) test, which sampled words from two academic, expository texts (757 and 582 word tokens). ...
... In addition, the authors of the studies listed in Table 1 all recommended that lexical coverage between 95% and 98% be the target to enable adequate comprehension. Nevertheless, previous studies pointed out that what is "adequate" depends on the reading context (Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010) and the goals of the reader (Schmitt et al., 2011). For instance, the use of academic texts in every study but Hu & Nation (2000) implies the purpose of reading to study or learn, which carries stricter "standards of coherence" than reading for entertainment (van den Broek et al., 1995, p. 356; see also van den Broek et al., 2011). ...
... For instance, the use of academic texts in every study but Hu & Nation (2000) implies the purpose of reading to study or learn, which carries stricter "standards of coherence" than reading for entertainment (van den Broek et al., 1995, p. 356; see also van den Broek et al., 2011). The target amount of comprehension has been based on the lowest passing score (55%) in an English-for-Academic-Purposes course (Laufer, 1989), the point above which a majority of the L2 readers with 100% coverage scored (Hu & Nation, 2000), how scores are used for program placement (Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010), and the supposition that readers would want comprehension to exceed 60% (Schmitt et al., 2011). ...
Article
This study examined the relationship between lexical coverage (i.e., the percentage of known word tokens in a text) and second language (L2) reading comprehension. Several studies have suggested that adequate comprehension occurs between 95% and 98% coverage, but no study has investigated beginning‐level learners reading under the conditions of extensive reading. Therefore, the present study recruited 50 native English‐speaking learners enrolled in a second‐semester Spanish course. Learners chose between 1 of 2 interesting, graded texts and read for general understanding. A yes–no vocabulary test was used to measure knowledge of all the words in the texts, and comprehension of the 10 main events was assessed with cued written recall and multiple‐choice tests. Additionally, to begin to understand how coverage relates to different types of comprehension, a literal and an inferential question was asked of each main event. The results indicated that (a) the relationship between lexical coverage and comprehension was moderate to strong, (b) lexical coverage was more associated with literal comprehension, and (c) 98% coverage would predict the productive recall of 8 of the 10 main events. The findings support the importance of having texts written at the lexical level of beginning L2 learners when engaging in extensive reading.
... In emerging readers as well as adults, the percentage of familiar words in a text is a key factor in determining the extent to which comprehension occurs (Allington, McCuiston, & Billen, 2015;Amendum, Conradi, & Hiebert, 2018;Hsueh-Chao & Nation, 2000;Lawrence, Hagen, Hwang, Lin, & Lervåg, 2019;Schmitt, Jiang, & Grabe, 2011;Shanahan, Fisher, & Frey, 2012). Other evidence suggests that vocabulary knowledge facilitates indices of lexical access, word integration, and comprehension monitoring (Guerra & Kronmüller, 2020;Hessel, Nation, & Murphy, 2020;Hofmann, Müller, Rölke, Radach, & Biemann, 2020). ...
... It is critical, however, that texts are well-matched to a student's instructional level. Both comprehension and behavioral engagement (e.g., the likelihood of students staying on task) are reduced when a text is excessively challenging (e.g., Allington et al., 2015;Amendum et al., 2018;Amendum, Conradi, Liebfreund, 2016;Schmitt et al., 2011). On the other hand, students who continually read texts that are below their instructional level are less likely to encounter new vocabulary words with sufficient regularity to expand their vocabulary knowledge effectively and efficiently. ...
Article
This study examined silent reading rates (SRRs) in relation to students’ estimated academic vocabulary grade levels (EVGLs) and comprehension accuracy (Comprehension Items Correct; compIC). Analyses were based on data from 288,934 students in grades 2-12 who completed an adaptive silent reading assessment that yielded measures of the three variables of interest. Silent reading rate was measured while students read five 150- to 300-word passages. Each student’s initial passage difficulty was aligned with their EVGL. Each passage was followed by five comprehension questions, such that in total, students could answer up to 25 comprehension items correctly. Two-level Multilevel Models (MLMs) were fitted to evaluate SRR in relation to EVGL, compIC, and their interactions. The final MLM included the random intercept and three random slopes for the two level-1 predictors (school-mean-centered EVGL as the focal predictor and school-mean-centered compIC as the moderator) and their interactions. Results indicated that: (a) the fixed effect of higher EVGL on SRR was positive and significant, (b) the fixed effect of higher compIC on SRR was negative and significant, and (c) there was a significant interaction indicating that the relationship between school-mean-centered EVGL and SRR grew stronger as school-mean-centered compIC increased. These results suggest that vocabulary knowledge and SRR increase in concert among students with good comprehension, whereas SRRs measured in the absence of good comprehension are less meaningful and may indicate inadequate skills or insufficient motivation to fully comprehend what is being read.
... Related to readers' approaches to text, readers' reading enjoyment is important for facilitating reading experiences; readers who report enjoying reading more difficult or challenging texts have more reading experiences (Schutte & Malouff, 2007;Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997). Experience with challenging texts may allow more opportunities to engage in comprehension repair or prompt the use of contextual knowledge to support inferences (2011b; McNamara et al., 1996McNamara et al., , 2012Schmitt et al., 2011;van den Broek et al., 2011). Furthermore, experience with more challenging texts may contribute to increased vocabulary and reading comprehension gains. ...
... We first tested a cognitiveonly model of reading comprehension in an SEM that revealed higher vocabulary knowledge was strongly related to higher reading comprehension ability, consistent with the assumption that vocabulary knowledge is a key component of reading comprehension (Joshi, 2005;National Reading Panel, 2000). For successful comprehension, readers must know a majority of the words they read (Moghadam et al., 2012;Schmitt et al., 2011;Stahl et al., 1991). Furthermore, in the cognitive-only model, vocabulary knowledge fully mediated the relationship between reading experience and reading comprehension. ...
Article
Readers have different motivations and approaches to text that covers a range of topics and difficulty levels. We introduce the concept of readers’ approaches to text to establish a link between motivational and cognitive aspects of reading comprehension. Study 1 describes the development of a self-report measure of readers’ approaches to text with a community sample. An exploratory factor analysis revealed that The Readers’ Approaches to Text Questionnaire (TReAT-Q) had four subscales: (1) intrinsic goals, (2) extrinsic goals and strategies, (3) effort at understanding, and (4) avoidance of text difficulty. Aside from avoidance of text difficulty, these factors predicted adults’ reading experience above and beyond the related, but more general, measure of need for cognition. A confirmatory factor analysis on TReAT-Q in Study 2 revealed that all subscales except effort at understanding contributed to a readers’ approaches to text latent construct for college students. A subsequent structural equation model (SEM) evaluating a cognitive model of reading comprehension showed that college students’ TReAT-Q scores predicted reading comprehension through an indirect pathway, mediated by reading experience and vocabulary knowledge. Readers who enjoy reading and deploy reading strategies to meet a desired level of understanding tend to have more reading experiences. The SEM also demonstrated the mediating role of vocabulary knowledge in text comprehension by linking reading experience and reading comprehension. Extending beyond measures of motivation, TReAT-Q incorporates the positive and negative approaches readers have to texts, which is fundamental for assessing what readers gain from their reading experiences that assists reading comprehension.
... This provides L2 learners with an adequate base for inferences and look-ups (Cobb, 2015) and should enable students to approach the reading comprehension threshold of an academic text suggested by Hu and Nation (2000). This threshold, again affirmed by a study as a realistic coverage target to read academic texts (Schmitt, Jiang, & Grabe, 2011), entails familiarity with 98-99% of the words in a text. It is therefore crucial to identify effective teaching and learning strategies to help students to learn these words. ...
... In the present study, although a variety of methods were suggested for the North American ESL classroom, only the universally promoted cognitive strategy of reading was perceived as "needed" but not widely used by most participants for vocabulary acquisition. These beginner level ELLs simply may not have reached the vocabulary threshold required to read English texts independently and were therefore unable to learn new words through reading comprehension (Hu & Nation, 2000;Schmitt et al., 2011). Overall, the students did perceive a mismatch between the instruction to which they were accustomed and North American ESL teaching strategies. ...
... However, reading academic texts in English is often a difficult process for learners, particularly when English is not their first language (L1). Research evidence suggests that the primary source of these difficulties posed by reading in a foreign language stems from the lack of vocabulary knowledge in English and the consistency of comprehension across different sections of the text among learners, which creates a barrier for many of them to understand the content presented in the text (e.g., Atai & Fatahi-Majd, 2014;Hsu, 2014;Rets et al., 2020;Schmitt et al., 2011;Ward, 2001). ...
... Earlier studies with subject teachers also identified that rewording or replacing words with synonymous terms or expressions more familiar to students was perceived by the teachers as the most important type of modifications (Basturkmen & Shackleford, 2015;Glass & Oliveira, 2014). Such an inclination towards simplifying lexis in intuitive text simplification can be supported by a sizeable body of vocabulary research, which showed that there is a relatively linear relationship between the percentage of vocabulary known by the learner and the degree of their text comprehension (e.g., Hsu, 2014;Schmitt et al., 2011). Learners need to know 95%-98% of the words in the text to be able to understand 70% of the information in it (Bi, 2020). ...
Article
Reading academic and specialised texts in a foreign language is a difficult process, and support for making materials more linguistically accessible is scarce. Approaches used in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teaching could inform responses to this, as in EFL academic texts are routinely simplified to make them more comprehensible. However, there is a lack of research on the most used method of making texts more accessible-intuitive text simplification. In this study, 24 experienced EFL teachers with Spanish, Chinese and Russian language backgrounds were asked to simplify two academic texts in an online task and then to explain their rationale for each change in a follow-up stimulated recall interview. The study showed that despite the reliance on subjective approximations of comprehensibility in intuitive simplification, there is a shared understanding among teachers as to what constitutes a more accessible academic text in English. The study creates a clearer conceptualisation of the processes involved in intuitive text simplification and suggests a set of pedagogical guidelines that can be used in language teacher training for both general and specific English teaching purposes, as well as in training and support of English-medium instruction (EMI) teachers.
... Vocabulary mastery does not only represent the word mere definition and form (Hiebert & Kamil, 2005;Strickland et al., 2003). It further deals with the way of associating and selecting various words to reflect an idea to be delivered (Schmitt et al., 2011). Students with limited vocabulary have a lower ability to communicate and comprehend an idea (Al-Kufaishi, 1988). ...
... Studies have discovered a linear relationship between vocabulary mastery and reading comprehension. Research carried out by Schmitt et al. (2011) and Hu and Nation (2000) identify that the forecasted percentage of vocabulary required for a second language learner to comprehend a text is 98%. The level of vocabulary mastery can predict the number of text parts that can be understood (Hu & Nation, 2000). ...
Article
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This study aims to establish and explore students' perception of a corpus in vocabulary learning. The corpus development was completed based on IDM ADDIE. This research was started by conducting a problem analysis that reveals students' obstacles in learning a language. The students' are identified to have a limited vocabulary of the language they learned. The corpus construction and development was begun by creating a script in PHP language. This research produces a corpus with 377880 tokens and five sub-corpora, namely Indonesian, English, German, Arabic, as well as art and design. The vocabularies are presented according to the highest frequency in the language and language teacher education field. The evaluation carried out by the experts of materials, language, and media discovers that the corpus is feasible to be integrated into the learning. Simultaneously, the assessment from students who have attended the corpus' implementation with data-driven learning (DDL) approach shows that this corpus helps students broaden their vocabulary, including the word meaning, form, and usage through observation on the concordance and collocation lines.
... Moreover, most of the previous research that explored the impact of AO on L2 acquisition (L2A) focused either on morphosyntax (e.g., DeKeyser et al., 2010;Hartshorne et al., 2018) or phonology (e.g., Abrahamsson;Abrahamsson & Hyltenstam, 2009), while lexis as a variable of interest generally remained less explored. This lack of research on the AO to EMI and L2 lexical attainment needs to be addressed, especially because previous research shows significant contributions of vocabulary knowledge to various language abilities, including reading comprehension (Schmitt et al., 2011), scores on major aptitude tests (e.g., GRE, GMAT; Gardner & Davies, 2014), and overall academic attainment (Goldenberg, 2008). In terms of the four skills, command of vocabulary appears to be the major determinant of proficiency in writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills (Miralpeix & Muñoz, 2018). ...
... This limited proficiency at the level of academic word list might have serious implications for learners' reading comprehension, among other areas. Previous research suggests that, with instructional support, L2 learners need to know 98% of words in an academic text to read it successfully (Schmitt et al., 2011). A strong correlation between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension is well established. ...
Article
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The current study investigated differences in lexical knowledge of Arabic learners whose age of onset (AO) of exposure to English medium instruction (EMI) was at the elementary, secondary, and tertiary educational levels. Ninety undergraduate students enrolled in a public university in the UAE took part in the study. Data collection involved a background questionnaire, a vocabulary size task, and a vocabulary depth task. Using the background questionnaire, the participants were separated into the early, middle, and late learners - those exposed to EMI in elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels, respectively. The results revealed a significant multivariate main effect for the AO to vocabulary knowledge. The post hoc analysis confirmed a significant effect for vocabulary size only; no such effects were observed for vocabulary depth. Theocratical, methodological, and pedagogical implications are discussed
... Uso-Juan (2006) using different types of tests concludes that discipline -related knowledge and English language proficiency affected EAP reading performance. Grabe, Jiang& Schmitt (2011) in their study investigating the relationship of percentage of vocabulary and the degree of reading comprehension throughout Lextutor frequency analysis methodology have found that the students should know 98% of the vocabulary to comprehend academic texts. Dogan (2002) has defined reading comprehension strategies as key points to differentiate the necessary and unnecessary information, and to comment on the subject matter critically. ...
... Conclusions drawn from these studies generally suggest that vocabulary knowledge is a main predictor of L2 reading and listening comprehension, and that vocabulary size is used as a proxy for general proficiency in L2 (see Alderson, 2005). Having recognized the central role of vocabulary knowledge in language comprehension and the fact that the lexicons of most languages are very large, researchers have addressed the need for vocabulary size measures to assess whether L2 learners have attained a sufficiently large vocabulary to meet the demands their academic or communicative goals place on them (e.g., Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010;Nation, 2006;Schmitt et al., 2011;van Zeeland & Schmitt, 2013). ...
Article
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Vocabulary size measures serve important functions, not only with respect to placing learners at appropriate levels on language courses but also with a view to examining the progress of learners. One of the widely reported formats suitable for these purposes is the Yes/No vocabulary test. The primary aim of this study was to introduce and provide preliminary validity evidence for a lemma-based vocabulary size test (LVST), which has been designed to measure L2 learners’ receptive vocabulary size of English. The test was administered to 219 participants. Various validity measures were operationalized to examine the performance of the test. Results show high reliability indices for the test in terms of parallel forms and internal consistency. The results also indicate that a single dimension underlies the test construct, and that the test is capable of distinguishing learners of varying proficiency levels. Concerning the item difficulty, results show approximately a linear order of difficulty across frequency levels. The test also correlated significantly with a measure of general English proficiency. The results, collectively, suggest that the LVST can usefully measure the intended construct of receptive vocabulary size, and greatly extends the range of vocabulary size measurement provided by other Yes/No tests.
... However, such tests require about 90 mins to get reliable results (e.g., Laufer & Aviad-Levitzky, 2017;Schmitt et al., 2011). Therefore, we decided to rely on teachers' end-of-term marks. ...
... In short, lexical demand refers to the proportion of words in a text a learner need to know to adequately comprehend it. It has been generally agreed that the minimum threshold for acceptable comprehension is 95% coverage and the coverage for optimal text comprehension would be 98% (Schmitt et al., 2011;van Zeeland and Schmitt, 2013). As Hu and Nation (2000) explained, when learners knew 95% of the running word in a text, they would encounter an unfamiliar token in every 20 words, and that ratio would be reduced to 1/50 if they were to be familiar with 98% of the tokens, a huge gap for a 3% difference. ...
Article
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The article presents a methodological update on the lexical profile of informal spoken English with the emphasis on movies, television programs, and soap operas. The study analyzed Mark Davies's mega-corpora with data containing approximately 625 million words and employed Paul Nation's comprehensive and up-to-date British National Corpus/ Corpus of Contemporary American English (BNC/COCA) wordlists. Data from the analyses showed that viewers would need a vocabulary knowledge at 3,000 and 5,000 words frequency levels to understand 95 and 98% of the words in scripted dialogs, respectively. Soap operas were found to be less lexically demanding compared to TV programs and movies. Findings are expected to fill in the methodological gaps between vocabulary assessment and vocabulary profiling research.
... Conclusions drawn from these studies generally suggest that vocabulary knowledge is a main predictor of L2 reading and listening comprehension, and that vocabulary size is used as a proxy for general proficiency in L2 (see Alderson, 2005). Having recognized the central role of vocabulary knowledge in language comprehension and the fact that the lexicons of most languages are very large, researchers have addressed the need for vocabulary size measures to assess whether L2 learners have attained a sufficiently large vocabulary to meet the demands their academic or communicative goals place on them (e.g., Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010;Nation, 2006;Schmitt et al., 2011;van Zeeland & Schmitt, 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Vocabulary size measures serve important functions, not only with respect to placing learners at appropriate levels on language courses but also with a view to examining the progress of learners. One of the widely reported formats suitable for these purposes is the Yes/No vocabulary test. The primary aim of this study was to introduce and provide preliminary validity evidence for a lemma-based vocabulary size test (LVST), which has been designed to measure L2 learners’ receptive vocabulary size of English. The test was administered to 219 participants. Various validity measures were operationalized to examine the performance of the test. Results show high reliability indices for the test in terms of parallel forms and internal consistency. The results also indicate that a single dimension underlies the test construct, and that the test is capable of distinguishing learners of varying proficiency levels. Concerning the item difficulty, results show approximately a linear order of difficulty across frequency levels. The test also correlated significantly with a measure of general English proficiency. The results, collectively, suggest that the LVST can usefully measure the intended construct of receptive vocabulary size, and greatly extends the range of vocabulary size measurement provided by other Yes/No tests.
... Researchers have also stressed the significance of word knowledge in reading comprehension (see Read, 2000). It has been argued that a learner who knows more than 98% of the words used in a passage can fully understand it autonomously (e.g., Schmitt et al., 2011). Therefore, it can be argued that a good vocabulary knowledge including both its breadth and depth is a significant element of reading competencies. ...
Article
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The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of two types of repeated reading (i.e., assisted and unassisted) on incidental vocabulary learning of Iranian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners. In so doing, a sample of 45 intermediate EFL students from two intact classes of a language institute were selected as the participants. The two classes were randomly assigned to an unassisted group ( N = 21) who were required to just read and an assisted group ( N = 24) who were asked to read and listen to 24 short texts several times. The assisted group employed their smartphones to listen to the audio files of the short stories. The data were gathered via a researcher-made vocabulary test and vocabulary learning self-efficacy scale. The results of ANCOVA revealed that although both types of repeated reading contributed to enhancing vocabulary learning of the participants, assisted repeated reading led to significantly greater EFL vocabulary gains. Additionally, the findings revealed that both assisted and unassisted repeated reading improved vocabulary learning self-efficacy of the participants and there was not a significant difference between the two types of interventions. The findings of the present study have implications for EFL researchers and practitioners.
... The average vocabulary size of the current study was nearly 2700 word families, which went in line with previous studies (e.g., [5], [9], [12]). Generally, students could not reach 95%, which represented the sufficient vocabulary size that enabled learners to read authentic texts [71]. ...
... Answering this question is, however, not straightforward because it depends on the degree of understanding that is required. Schmitt et al. (2011) argue that if a score of 70 per cent on a post test is required, 98 to 99 per cent of the words need to be known, but readers may need to be familiar with all the words if even better comprehension is required. Of course, how many words a person knows (vocabulary size or breadth) is not the only issue that matters: How well words are known (vocabulary depth) is also relevant. ...
Article
The aim of the study was to find out to what extent low socio-economic status (SES) children enrolled in government-run primary schools in Hyderabad are ready to receive instruction through the medium of English (English medium instruction [EMI]). To this end we investigated children’s oral vocabulary skills, the lexical complexity of their textbooks, as well as the amount of English input they receive in class. A subsample of 90 children from primary school Grades 4 and 5 who opted to carry out a story retelling task in English rather than in Telugu took part in the study. Results reveal that the children’s oral vocabulary levels are far below the levels required to read the textbook materials. The lexical diversity of the children’s stories as analysed with the Index of Guiraud was also a significant predictor of their reading comprehension scores. We conclude that children from low-SES enrolled in government schools are not ready for EMI, and call for further investigation into the levels of English vocabulary knowledge that are needed for EMI.
... First, vocabulary development is fundamental to language mastery. Various studies have definitively established that vocabulary knowledge is associated with effective reading (Hu & Nation, 2000;Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010;Schmitt et al., 2011), writing (Daller & Phelan, 2007;Kyle & Crossley, 2016;Lee et al., 2021), listening (Staehr, 2009;van Zeeland & Schmitt, 2013;Wang & Treffers-Daller, 2017), and speaking (Hilton, 2008;Koizumi & In'nami, 2013;Uchihara & Saito, 2019). Second, the relevant literature has shown that vocabulary learning continues to pose considerable challenges for second and foreign language learners (Choi & Ma, 2015;Ma, 2009;. ...
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Despite its significance, the relationship between changes in teachers’ beliefs regarding specific aspects of language learning and teaching, and the developmental processes of such beliefs in relation to teacher reflection has remained under-researched. Accordingly, this paper reports the results of a case study that examined how two English language teachers who engaged in dialogic reflection on vocabulary learning and teaching experienced changes in their beliefs. Data collected from in-depth semi-structured interviews, teachers’ professional dialogues and reflective journals confirm the role of dialogic reflection in facilitating professional learning; reveal the diverse development processes of teachers’ epistemological and pedagogical beliefs; and highlight the complicated relationship between knowledge enhancement and belief change. Based on insights gleaned from the study, this paper provides practical suggestions for teacher development and directions for further research.
... Bei den Prozessen auf den unteren Verarbeitungsebenen handelt es sich also um die grundlegenden "mechanischen" Fertigkeiten, d.h. um "word recognition, syntactic parsing (using grammatical information), and semantic-proposition encoding (building clause-level meaning from word meanings and grammatical information)" (Grabe, 2009, S. 22 Wörter im gelesenen Text vertraut sein müssen (Hu & Nation, 2000;Laufer & Ravenhorst-Kalovski, 2010;Schmitt et al., 2011Schmitt et al., , 2017. ...
Thesis
See https://folia.unifr.ch/global/documents/312929
... More specifically, there is a linear relationship between vocabulary size and reading comprehension (Laufer, 1992;Schmitt, Jiang & Grabe, 2011). Moreover, "the crucial role of vocabulary knowledge in reading comprehension has been well recognized in first language (L1) situations and this has appeared to be true of second language (L2)", (Zhang, 2008). ...
... Congruent with Laufer [10], Webb and Rodgers [11] suggest that 95% coverage is necessary to have adequate understanding of television programs. Schmitt et al. [12] have worked on text coverage and reading comprehension and have suggested that 98% is more promising. However, the same paper points out that 95% text coverage seems to work as well if the comprehension rate is set at 60%, whereas 98% coverage is most suggested for academic reading and academic courses. ...
Article
This paper investigates sports news text in order to ascertain a useful word list for physical education and sport science students. A Sports News Corpus was compiled for this study. The Sports News Corpus consists of 12 newspapers written in English with a total 3,571,501 running words. This sports news was collected every day in their electronic version from The newspapers were chosen based on their electronic availability and open access. The selected newspapers originated in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Australia. Apart from GSL and AWL, the results reveal that students should be familiar with 3,043 word families in order to comprehend sports news. The 3,043 word families, can be categorized into 3 types which are words with common meanings but do not appear frequently in general contexts, words that appear common but include specialized meanings, and words with specialized meanings.
... Pour Bergqvist et Österholm (2010) les processus de lecture et les processus de résolution de problèmes sont indissociables. De ce fait, il est possible que les caractéristiques linguistiques (comme la longueur du texte) d'une tâche en sciences (notamment les items PISA Science s'appuyant beaucoup sur des textes), influencent sa lecture, sa compréhension et donc sa résolution (Bergqvist et al., 2018 ;Schmitt et al., 2011). ...
... The knowledge of word meanings, defined in this study as lexical knowledge, should thus play a critically important role in text comprehension. This instrumentalist view (Anderson & Freebody, 1981) of the importance of lexical knowledge in text comprehension can be well understood from a strand of L2 research that has focused on lexical coverage and adequate comprehension of texts (e.g., Hu & Nation, 2000;Schmitt, Jiang, & Grabe, 2011). Other studies of L2 readers of English have revealed strong positive correlations between vocabulary size/breadth of knowledge (i.e., the number of words whose meanings are known) and reading comprehension ability (e.g., Farran, Bingham, & Matthews, 2012;Qian, 1999;Zhang, 2012). ...
Article
This study compared how distinct lexical competences, including lexical knowledge as well as processing skills at both word/lexical and sublexical/morphological levels, collectively and relatively predict reading comprehension in adult learners of English as a foreign language (EFL). The participants were 220 Arabic-speaking EFL learners in a Saudi university. A battery of paper- and computer-based tests was administered to measure the participants’ lexical competences, reading comprehension ability, and working memory. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that over and above working memory, both lexical and sublexical knowledge were significant and unique predictors of reading comprehension, and sublexical processing efficiency, as opposed to lexical processing efficiency, predicted reading comprehension significantly. In addition, among the measured lexical competences, lexical knowledge was the strongest predictor, and the two knowledge variables collectively had a far greater influence on reading comprehension than did the two processing efficiency variables. These findings are discussed in light of the lexical basis of text comprehension.
... First, vocabulary learning is vital to language mastery. Specifically, word knowledge is key to understanding and social interaction, for a certain vocabulary threshold must be reached before successful reading is possible (Schmitt, Jiang and Grabe 2011) and communication breakdown can be prevented (Hilton 2008). In addition, vocabulary diversity and such measures of lexical complexity as the use of polysyllabic words and abstract words have been found to exert an effect on L2 writing quality (Lee, Ge and Chung 2021). ...
Article
Given the significant role vocabulary plays in second language acquisition, how to help learners acquire vocabulary has always been a concern for educators. Despite the general consensus that beliefs influence learners’ behaviour, limited research effort has been devoted to the exploration of English as a second language (ESL) learners’ beliefs about vocabulary knowledge and learning in the secondary education context and how their beliefs are affected by such factors as grades and proficiency levels. This paper reports on a convergent mixed-methods study that addresses the research gap with the use of a questionnaire administered to 556 ESL students in a Hong Kong secondary school. Results revealed that while students in general perceived vocabulary learning as important, their beliefs about vocabulary knowledge and learning were found to be related to their grade and proficiency levels. Open-ended responses provided further insights into learners’ beliefs qualitatively about the difficulties faced by learners and their perceptions of the effective ways to tackle these difficulties. Overall, this paper broadens the understanding of L2 learners’ beliefs about vocabulary knowledge and learning. It complements existing literature on L2 vocabulary learning and sheds light on issues related to vocabulary learning and teaching.
... However, even with such a focus on decoding skills at early stages of L2 literacy instruction, L2 learners may need to develop their competence in the sub-components of L2 comprehension abilities, which would play a meaningful role collectively at earlier and later stages of L2 reading. For example, it may be important for learners to expand their vocabulary knowledge (e.g., Alderson, 2000;Grabe, 2009;Nation, 2013), which may be related to a lexical coverage rate of reading texts (e.g., Schmitt et al., 2011). Similarly, the advance in L2 grammar knowledge, noted as a key determinant for L2 reading (e.g., Bernhardt, 2011;Grabe, 2009), may be beneficial for L2 learners, as the improvement of such knowledge would facilitate the syntactic processing of the written input in reading texts, which may be fundamental to achieve L2 reading comprehension (Jeon & Yamashita, 2014). ...
Article
Purpose: The present study aimed to systemically summarize the structural relationships among correlated components of second language (L2) reading comprehension to investigate the extent to which the two major components language comprehension abilities and decoding skills-could account for reading comprehension in L2 contexts in accordance with the model of Simple View of Reading. Method: We used a meta-analytic structural equation modeling. This study included 81 samples (from 67 studies) including 10,526 participants, and the collected dataset successfully fitted the proposed model of Simple View of L2 Reading. Results: L2 comprehension abilities and L2 decoding skills accounted for over 60% of the variation in L2 reading comprehension, with the former having a larger contribution. Considering age and L2 proficiency as mod-erator variables, it was revealed that L2 decoding skills played less important roles for more proficient and older learners, whereas L2 comprehension abilities maintained their importance across different ages and L2 proficiency levels. The moderators related to language differences between learners' first language and L2 did not show significant moderating effects. Conclusion: The study presented acceptable model fit indices for its models. Future studies can incorporate more pooled correlation coefficients and variables to investigate an effective instruction for L2 reading.
... Researches in the field of vocabulary study have proven a linear and strong relationship between lexical coverage and listening comprehension (Matthews & Cheng, 2015;Ha, 2021b;Lange & Matthews, 2020;Cheng & Matthews, 2018;Van Zeeland & Schmitt, 2013). Discussions concerning such relationship normally came to the same conclusion that learners should be familiar with at least 95% and preferably 98% of the running words in the text in order to gain adequate comprehension, with little or even zero controversy (Hu & Nation, 2000;Laufer, 1989;Nurmukhamedov & Webb, 2019;Schmitt et al., 2011;Webb, 2020). ...
Article
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The article offers an in-depth lexical analysis of the listening sub-test of the famous International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The vocabulary profile of 239 listening transcripts from 60 IELTS official practice tests were analyzed. The results showed that, 3,000 most frequent word families in the British National Corpus/Corpus of Contemporary American English (BNC/COCA) word list were necessary to safely gain 95% coverage of all four sections in the test. Meanwhile, a vocabulary knowledge at the 5,000 level would secure the 98% coverage. The study also reveals that, with the support of 570 word families from the Academic Word List (AWL), learners only need to be familiar with 2,000 word families to achieve 95% coverage of the first, second, and third listening sections, equaling 75% of the IELTS listening test. The differences in lexical demands between listening sections were also highlighted.
... A total of 150 items (with 24 items each 1000 word-frequency level and 30 items of academic words) were read by a male native American English speaker. In a pilot study of 64 Chinese EFL undergraduate students, all participants mastered the first 1000 word-frequency level, which indicated that knowledge of the first 1000 words was not the critical feature that differentiated our participants and their aural vocabulary sizes (see also Schmitt et al., 2011). Removal of the first 1000 words from the LVLT also has the extra benefit of shortening the test to be administered (Schmitt et al., 2001). ...
Article
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Research has shown that person factors and strategic processing are associated with L2 listening comprehension. Few studies, however, have considered to what extent person factors and strategic processing account for the variance of L2 listening comprehension. This study aims to investigate the predictive power of person factors (i.e., aural vocabulary size, listening metacognitive knowledge, and listening self-efficacy) and listening strategy use (i.e., top-down strategies and bottom-up strategies) on L2 listening comprehension. Data collected from a survey among 367 Chinese EFL undergraduate students were analyzed using a partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) approach. The results of the study indicate that altogether 20.9% of the variance in L2 listening comprehension could be explained by person factors and strategic processing. Aural vocabulary size and listening metacognitive knowledge were significant predictors of L2 listening comprehension whereas listening self-efficacy was not. Listening strategies were not significant predictors of L2 listening comprehension. Person factors did not indirectly predict L2 listening comprehension through listening strategies, either. Implications for listening instruction are considered.
... In this regard, learning the vocabulary items in the NAWL is of significant importance for university students and might be regarded as a more appropriate vocabulary learning goal. Mastery of the items in these lists facilitates achieving the minimum comprehension threshold for understanding academic discourse (Schmitt et al., 2011;Laufer, 2013). ...
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The current study explored the effects of using digital flashcards (DFs) and mobile devices on learning academic vocabulary. The participants were 86 university students majoring in Psychology in two experimental conditions and one control group. A list of 361 core academic words frequently used in Psychology was taught to the participants using different materials, and the learning outcomes were compared across the three groups. Accordingly, the participants in the experimental group 1 (N = 31) used a DF application (i.e., NAWL builder), participants in the experimental group 2 (N = 30) used traditional materials (i.e., paper flashcards), and those in the control group were given a list of target words with their definitions. Receptive knowledge of the target words was tested before and after the treatment, and the learning outcomes were compared across the groups using one-way between-groups ANOVA. The findings of the study indicated that using DFs enhanced students’ engagement with learning their discipline-specific academic vocabulary and that experimental group 1 outperformed those participants in other learning conditions. The findings add to the existing literature on mobile-assisted vocabulary learning and provide empirical support for the effectiveness of such platforms for learning academic vocabulary. The implications of the study were discussed in terms of the affordances provided by DFs on mobile devices and corpus-based word lists for informing vocabulary learning components in teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP).
... Feng and Webb (2020) also found a significant positive relationship between prior vocabulary knowledge and vocabulary learning through reading. The explanation suggested by researchers for the impact of greater vocabulary knowledge on learning more vocabulary than limited vocabulary knowledge is that greater vocabulary knowledge should yield better comprehension of the text which makes the context easier for guessing meanings of unfamiliar vocabulary (Liu & Nation, 1985;Schmitt et al., 2011;Webb & Paribakht, 2015). ...
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Call for Papers and Special Issue Proposals Aims and Scope Journal of Language Teaching and Research (JLTR) is a scholarly peer-reviewed international scientific journal published bimonthly, focusing on theories, methods, and materials in language teaching, study and research. It provides a high profile, leading edge forum for academics, professionals, consultants, educators, practitioners and students in the field to contribute and disseminate innovative new work on language teaching and research. JLTR invites original, previously unpublished, research and survey articles, plus research-in-progress reports and short research notes, on both practical and theoretical aspects of language teaching, learning, and research. These areas include, but are not limited to, the following topics: • Language teaching methodologies • Pedagogical techniques • Teaching and curricular practices • Curriculum development and teaching methods • Programme, syllabus, and materials design • Second and foreign language teaching and learning • Classroom-centered research • Literacy • Language education • Teacher education and professional development • Teacher training • Cross-cultural studies • Child, second, and foreign language acquisition • Bilingual and multilingual education • Translation • Teaching of specific skills • Language teaching for specific purposes • New technologies in language teaching • Testing and evaluation • Language representation • Language planning • Literature, language, and linguistics • Applied linguistics • Phonetics, phonology, and morphology • Syntax and semantics • Sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and neurolinguistics • Discourse analysis • Stylistics • Language and culture, cognition, and pragmatics • Language teaching and psychology, anthropology, sociology • Theories and practice in related fields Special Issue Guidelines Special issues feature specifically aimed and targeted topics of interest contributed by authors responding to a particular Call for Papers or by invitation, edited by guest editor(s). We encourage you to submit proposals for creating special issues in areas that are of interest to the Journal. Preference will be given to proposals that cover some unique aspect of the technology and ones that include subjects that are timely and useful to the readers of the Journal. A Special Issue is typically made of 15 to 30 papers, with each paper 8 to 12 pages of length. A special issue can also be proposed for selected top papers of a conference/workshop. In this case, the special issue is usually released in association with the committee members of the conference/workshop like general chairs and/or program chairs who are appointed as the Guest Editors of the Special Issue. The following information should be included as part of the proposal: • Proposed title for the Special Issue • Description of the topic area to be focused upon and justification • Review process for the selection and rejection of papers • Name, contact, position, affiliation, and biography of the Guest Editor(s) • List of potential reviewers if available • Potential authors to the issue if available • Estimated number of papers to accept to the special issue • Tentative time-table for the call for papers and reviews, including o Submission of extended version o Notification of acceptance o Final submission due o Time to deliver final package to the publisher If the proposal is for selected papers of a conference/workshop, the following information should be included as part of the proposal as well: • The name of the conference/workshop, and the URL of the event. • A brief description of the technical issues that the conference/workshop addresses, highlighting the relevance for the journal. • A brief description of the event, including: number of submitted and accepted papers, and number of attendees. If these numbers are not yet available, please refer to previous events. First time conference/workshops, please report the estimated figures. • Publisher and indexing of the conference proceedings. If a proposal is accepted, the guest editor will be responsible for: • Preparing the “Call for Papers” to be included on the Journal’s Web site. • Distribution of the Call for Papers broadly to various mailing lists and sites. • Getting submissions, arranging review process, making decisions, and carrying out all correspondence with the authors. Authors should be informed the Author Guide. • Providing us the completed and approved final versions of the papers formatted in the Journal’s style, together with all authors’ contact information. • Writing a one- or two-page introductory editorial to be published in the Special Issue.
... Respectively, knowledge of strategy means the reader has knowledge of reading strategy and knows the purpose of reading whether it is for specific or general purpose. According to the findings of the studies related to vocabulary dimensions, it is stated that a student should master 4000 to 8000 foreign language words to improve their comprehension when reading a text (Laufer, 2010& Schmitt et al. 2011, While (Masrai, 2019) suggested that low-level students should master at least 3000 words and high-level students with 8000 words. ...
... Each experience gives new data about the word meaning and makes it easy for acquisition to occur. Schmitt, et al. (2011) declare that facing great amount of repletion is what a learner needs in order not only to solidify a word, but to master the different sort of word information. Ellis, R. ...
Article
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Learning the vocabulary of a language has great impact on acquiring that language. Many scholars in the field of language learning emphasize the importance of vocabulary as part of the learner's communicative competence, considering it the heart of language. One of the best methods of learning vocabulary is to focus on those words of high frequency. The present article is a corpus based approach to the study of vocabulary whereby the research data are analyzed quantitatively using the software program "AntWordprofiler". This program analyses new input research data in terms of already stored reliable corpora. The aim of this article is to find out whether the vocabularies used in the English textbook for Intermediate Schools in Iraq are consistent with the vocabulary selection criteria already established in the field in terms of high/low frequency, coverage, word families and recycling. The findings of this study reveal that the Iraqi first intermediate school English textbook (English for Iraq) contains numerous number of vocabulary with low frequency, low number of word families, an average around 90% of coverage, and no/ or insufficient recycling. Therefore, a re-evaluation and modification was suggested to be done for this course.
... As a result, knowledge of strategy denotes that the reader is aware of the reading approach and the objective of reading, whether specialized or broad. According to the findings of a study on the dimension of vocabulary, students must know between 4000 and 8000 foreign languages to improve their comprehension when reading texts (Laufer, 2010;Schmitt et al., 2011). Students at the lower levels must know at least 3000 words, while high-level students must know 8000 words (Masrai, 2019).Meanwhile, a survey of vocabulary proficiency conducted by local scholars found that students have a low level of proficiency (Aisah Hasmam et al., 2017;Nur Naimah Akmar Kamarudin & Harun Baharudin, 2017;Uraidah Abdul Wahab et al., 2021). ...
Article
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This study was conducted to develop and evaluate the applicability of an Arabic text reading skills model based on the Integrated Dini Curriculum inquiry activities. This study uses a Design & Development Research (DDR) founded by Richey and Klein (2007). The development process of this model is based on Constructivism Theory (Vygotsky, 1978), and a combination of three models namely the Inquiry Model (Alberta Learning, 2004), the Taba Curriculum Model (Taba, 1962), and the Interactive Reading Model (Rumelhart, 1997). The study uses the Fuzzy Delphi approach involving eleven experts. The findings indicate a high consensus from the expert panel. In conclusion, this study produces a model of Arabic text reading skills based on inquiry activities to produce students who master the skills of reading Arabic text well. The study can also be used as a guide to help teachers in planning more effective teaching and learning activities. The researcher suggested that the model of Arabic text reading skills based on this inquiry activity be detailed in the form of modules in the future.
... In that regard, Masson and Waldron (1994) found that the use of common words (which match the readers own vocabulary) and of explanations for technical terms is helpful in making concepts more accessible to readers. At the same time, the education literature highlights that good vocabulary knowledge supports reading comprehension (Schmitt et al. 2011) and that a glossary may overcome readers' difficulties in understanding (Hu & Nation 2000). These studies suggest that less content complexity (henceforth referred to as "content clarification" to simplify the interpretation of signs) requires lower levels of mental effort to process the content. ...
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This study investigates the conditions under which transparency contributes to citizens’ understanding of financial reporting and examines how this enhanced understanding is associated with public participation. To this end, a survey experiment was conducted in which two attributes of financial reporting transparency (i.e., content clarification and presentation format) were the manipulated variables, whereas citizens’ understanding and public participation were the outcome variables. Results demonstrate that the provision of explanations to clarify obscure technical jargon does have a positive effect on citizens’ understanding. A similar effect was found for the provision of graphical and visual representations. However, the study reveals that there is no additional benefit in simultaneously providing both explanations of technical jargon and visual aids. Furthermore, findings show that the levels of public participation are highest among the individuals who felt they understood the financial information the best, but yet possessed the lowest level of actual understanding. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... In L2 vocabulary research (e.g., Hu & Nation, 2000;Schmitt, Jiang, & Grabe, 2011;van Zeeland & Schmitt, 2013), it has been proposed that some level of coverage of the target text is required to achieve an adequate comprehension thereof, implying that low lexical coverage of the target text may hamper comprehension. Based on such a proposition, we hypothesized that the ratio of target words to the total number of words in target passages may influence L2 vocabulary learning through TVLE, in that the greater the ratio (more target words relative to length of passage) would result in less learning than a lower ratio. ...
Article
This article reports a meta‐analysis of studies on the effects of teachers’ verbal lexical explanation (TVLE), as one type of lexical focus on form, on second language vocabulary learning. The dataset for this meta‐analysis included 14 studies, representing a total of 36 independent samples (N = 3,304). The results of this study reveal that TVLE resulted in more vocabulary gains than an absence of TVLE, at posttest and delayed posttest. In addition, explanation in the first language was more effective than explanation in the second language at posttest and delayed posttest. We further identified a range of potential moderators that may influence the effects of TVLE. In particular, we found that the overall effectiveness of TVLE was greater when the degree of vocabulary knowledge was measured through recall tests rather than through recognition tests in the long term.
... Schmitt (2010) states that in order to function in English, learners need to be equipped with a large body of lexical items, a task that seems to face them with one of the biggest stumbling blocks they ever experience in their language learning journey. The results of the study conducted by Schmitt et al. (2011) indicated that learners need to know 98% of the words in academic texts to comprehend them adequately. Nation (2006) found that for 98% text coverage, one needs to know 8000-9000 word families to comprehend written texts and 6000-7000 word families to comprehend spoken texts. ...
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This study aimed to compare the predictive power of Involvement Load Hypothesis (ILH) and Technique Feature Analysis (TFA) using five different vocabulary learning tasks that had similar and different rankings based on the two models. The experimental tasks included reading and true/false statements, reading and choosing definitions, reading and fill-in-the-blanks, and reading and rewording the sentences. The control task was a reading and comprehension questions task. Participants were 114 young adult EFL learners from five intact classes, assigned to one of the five tasks. During-task performance was assessed. Initial learning was measured by administering an L2/L1 word translation immediate posttest, and medium-term retention was measured by administering the same test with rearranged items one week later. ANOVA and hierarchical multipleregression results showed that TFA was a more powerful predictor of both initial and medium-term learning. Pedagogical and theoretical implications of the findings will be discussed.
Article
This paper investigates multiple aspects of incidental vocabulary acquisition through a series of thematically connected graded texts (crime stories) designed for English L2 learners. In line with some of the main trends in L2 extensive reading research, the study focuses on the effects of extensive reading on vocabulary growth, contextual and syntactic use of target items, and the enhancement of L2 associative networks. The pre-test/post-test research design employed multiple measurement instruments, including a lexical familiarity assessment scale and a sentence production task. Results indicate improvement on all the three measured aspects of vocabulary acquisition, with vocabulary growth and associative recall being the most salient benefits of the reading process.
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Instrument measurement conducted with Rasch analysis is a common process in language assessment research. A recent systematic review of 215 studies involving Rasch analysis in language testing and applied linguistics research reported that 23 different software packages had been utilized. However, none of the analyses were conducted with one of the numerous R-based Rasch analysis software packages, which generally employ one of the three estimation methods: conditional maximum likelihood estimation (CMLE), joint maximum likelihood estimation (JMLE), or marginal maximum likelihood estimation (MMLE). For this study, eRm, a CMLE-based R package, was utilized to conduct a dichotomous Rasch analysis of a Yes/No vocabulary test based on the academic word list. The resulting parameters and diagnostic statistics were compared with the equivalent results from four other R-based Rasch measurement software packages and Winsteps. Finally, all of the packages were utilized in the analysis of 1000 simulated datasets to investigate the extent to which results generated from the contrasting estimation methods converged or diverged. Overall, the differences between the results produced with the three estimation methods were negligible, and the discrepancies observed between datasets were attributable to the software choice as opposed to the estimation method.
Article
Studies on teachers’ beliefs about vocabulary learning and teaching have focused, so far, on English as a second language (L2), or foreign language (FL), in different contexts but little attention has been given to other L2s and FLs. In this study, 15 Spanish L2 instructors at large universities were interviewed in order to better understand where they stand when it comes to (1) the importance they give to vocabulary, as compared to grammar, in their classes, (2) how they decide which words to teach, and (3) how they assess students’ word knowledge. These interviews were subsequently analysed following Grounded Theory. Most instructors declared favoring grammar over vocabulary in their courses because the former is seen as more challenging and useful than the latter and because institutional practices and materials also present such a preference. When it comes to vocabulary selection, most of them declared feeling insecure in their decisions due to lack of access to useful resources and to vocabulary goals not being stated clearly anywhere in the syllabi. This lack of clarity when it comes to vocabulary learning goals also results in doubts about the usefulness of even evaluating word learning at all and an overreliance on informal assessments.
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Despite the role of teachers and learners in vocabulary learning and teaching, no studies have combined the information from these sources with that from corpora to examine vocabulary in EAP learning materials for learners in EFL contexts. This study employed a mixed-method approach which combined corpus, learners, and teachers to investigate vocabulary in all core materials in an EAP course for postgraduates in China. First, the vocabulary levels of 537 students in this course were measured. Then, the vocabulary in the course learning materials was analyzed with RANGE (Heatley et al., 2002). Finally, semi-structured interviews were conducted with six teachers teaching in the EAP course. As a whole the learners had mastered only the most frequent 1000 words. However, to achieve reasonable comprehension of their learning materials, they would need to know the most frequent 4000 words. Interviews with teachers also revealed that vocabulary in the materials appeared to be difficult for learners. One possible reason for the heavy vocabulary load of the learning materials was the insufficient attention to vocabulary in the design of these materials, which was in turn due to either the lack of knowledge or insufficient knowledge of research-based principles on vocabulary instruction.
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Israel is one of many countries in which English is not the spoken language. In these countries, it is of the utmost importance for students to acquire literacy in English as a foreign language (EFL) to support their entry into higher education and enhance their social and business opportunities. However, many students do not acquire adequate literacy skills by the conclusion of their elementary school years. To obtain these skills, the curriculum as reflected in EFL textbooks must include extensive and accurate content related to the constructs of the English language. This study aimed to explore to what extent literacy instruction components, as defined by research, are incorporated into textbooks that are commonly used for teaching EFL in elementary schools in Israel according to teacher self-reports. The textbook examination was based on the research-based literacy components aligned with the Science of Reading for English as a first language and on additional EFL literacy instruction components. The findings indicate that textbooks inadequately cover theory-based instructional materials for each of the literacy components. The conclusions of this study can be used to raise awareness regarding how EFL literacy instruction in Israel may be improved by providing theory-based textbooks.
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This article provides a practical example of how English teachers can use the of a prospective text, test, or worksheet. The paper begins with an introduction to the coverage comprehension model (McLean, 2021) and its implications for selecting classroom materials. Importantly, this section discusses the recommended coverage benchmarks for different receptive modalities, or what percentage of words learners
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The present study combines both online (eye-tracking) and offline (reading comprehension test) measures to investigate the relationships among word processing, working memory (WM) and second language (L2) reading comprehension performance. Forty-eight Chinese students read an English text with 17 unfamiliar words while their eye movements were recorded with two different settings (L1-glossed and non-glossed). A reading comprehension test and a reading span task were respectively used to evaluate participants' L2 reading comprehension performance and WM capacity. The results indicated that L2 reading comprehension performance was related to first fixation duration (FFD) on unfamiliar words, and the FFD on unfamiliar words was related to participants' WM capacity. Moreover, the effect of unfamiliar words' FFD on L2 reading comprehension performance can be moderated by participants' WM capacity. These relationships were not found when the unfamiliar words were glossed by L1. The results expand our understanding of the role of WM in unfamiliar word processing during L2 reading comprehension.
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You can download the full article here until July 10, 2022: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1f6Wj,7ttA6E13 ーー APA: Peterson, J. (2022). A case study of the effects of hybrid extensive reading on JFL learners’ reading rates and comprehension. System, 107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2022.102815 ーー Research into the effects of extensive reading (ER) has surged over the past few decades. However, these studies almost exclusively focus on English language learners and tend to be limited by their lack of control over how the ER treatment is conducted. Furthermore, experimental and quantitative studies that investigate the possible effects of ER on the reading skills of learners of Japanese have yet to be fully explored. The goal of this study was to investigate the possible effects of hybrid ER on the reading rate development of learners of Japanese as a foreign language. This study also aimed to examine the level of comprehension learners maintained as their reading rates increased. Using a quantitative single-case study method, eight intermediate-level learners of Japanese were monitored while they engaged in hybrid ER and strictly adhered to ER principles over 2.5–4 months. Reading rate data, reading comprehension data, and general ER data were collected. Results showed that participants’ reading rates increased significantly following the hybrid ER treatment and that comprehension abilities were not hampered by an increase in reading rate. This study provides evidence that hybrid ER has the potential to provide a highly enjoyable activity while substantially increasing learner reading rates without hindering comprehension.
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Recently there has been some debate about the appropriacy of different lexical units in pedagogy and research (e.g., Brown et al., 2020; Dang & Webb, 2016a; Kremmel, 2016; Laufer & Cobb, 2020; McLean, 2018; Nation, 2016; Nation & Webb, 2011; Vilkaitė-Lozdienė & Schmitt, 2020). The lexical unit (word types, lemmas, flemmas, word families) needs to be considered when developing wordlists, vocabulary tests, and vocabulary learning programs. It is also central to the lexical profiles of text and corpora, which indicate the vocabulary learning targets associated with understanding different types of discourse. Perhaps most importantly, the lexical unit of words found in vocabulary learning resources such as word lists and tests may affect their pedagogical value. The aim of this article is to highlight aspects of research and pedagogy that are affected by lexical units and describe issues that should be considered when operationalizing words in studies of vocabulary and learning resources.
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This study examined the receptive vocabulary knowledge and lexical developmental patterns of the 3000 most frequent words among 953 university L2 learners of Spanish at different stages in their language studies, taking into consideration the effect of high school instruction on high‐frequency vocabulary knowledge. Results confirm that even students who are enrolled in the most advanced courses in their program lack considerable knowledge of the 3000 most frequent words in their L2. Most vocabulary gains take place during the first semesters of instruction, and the learning of these words decreases substantially in intermediate and upper‐division courses. Furthermore, high school instruction plays an essential role in developing a solid high‐frequency vocabulary baseline but falls short in providing lexical learning beyond the first 1300 most frequent words. These results corroborate the need to implement a more lexically driven syllabus in the L2 Spanish language classroom to foster the learning of high‐frequency words. U.S. university students enroll in 2 years of language courses before advancing to linguistics, literature, and culture courses. However, do students have the basic vocabulary needed to transition to advanced courses? This article answers this question by examining 943 L2 Spanish students' knowledge of high‐frequency words at different proficiency levels.
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The Universidad de la República, in Uruguay, offers reading comprehension in English courses within the career of dentistry for students to access information in this language. The study sought to analyze the fulfilment of the course’s aims and to test the hypothesis that the greater the vocabulary that dentistry students possess, the better they will be able to understand written dentistry texts. A mixed approach, based on interviews and a class survey, was used. Data showed that the course’s objectives were achieved. Participants stated that the course is highly meaningful, and they believed that the previously mentioned correlation exists. However, this could not be statistically verified, which indicates that multiple reading comprehension skills are involved when trying to understand academic texts.
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This study employed cognitive diagnostic modeling to examine whether learners' performance on the common subskills of listening and reading varied across modalities and performance levels, aiming to provide a better understanding of the similarities and differences between listening and reading in the Chinese EFL context. Specifically, we retrofitted a large-scale EFL test taken by 797 non-English-major undergraduates. We utilized the G-DINA package in R to obtain test takers’ mastery patterns of global and local subskills in the listening and reading tests and further compared them through a mixed-design ANOVA. The results showed that the comprehension subskills were manifested similarly in listening and reading, but a modality effect did exist. Learners generally performed worse in listening and their mastery status of local and global skills was significantly different across modalities in that learners fulfilled global tasks better in listening and local tasks better in reading. The high-performing group mastered global skills better in listening and local skills better in reading while the low-performing group mastered global skills better in both listening and reading. The findings of the study provide backing for a modality effect in L2 comprehension, encouraging comprehension theorists and language teachers to reconsider the value of the modality-specific characteristics.
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In this quasi‐experimental study, 165 learners of English for academic purposes at a university in China were randomly assigned to five experimental groups and a control group. Each experimental group encountered 19 target collocations in the same academic lecture in one of the following input modes: (a) reading, (b) listening, (c) reading while listening, (d) viewing, and (e) viewing with captions. The control group did not receive any treatment. The results revealed that reading, viewing, and viewing with captions led to learning at the form recognition level, but no significant differences were found in the learning gains across these modes. Nonverbal elaboration, type of vocabulary, and type of verbal elaboration affected learning, but frequency of occurrence, strength of association, comprehension, and prior knowledge of general vocabulary did not. This study provides further evidence supporting the use of academic lectures for incidental learning of collocations as well as expanding on the multimedia learning theory.
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Dans cet article, l'A. s'interesse a la question du developpement du vocabulaire des etudiants lors de programmes d'echanges linguistiques a l'etranger. Il examine plus particulierement le developpement du vocabulaire en Grande Bretagne, a travers l'analyse statistique de tests et de questionnaires proposes a 53 etudiants issus des programmes ERASMUS et LINGUA
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The use of yes-no tests seems to be a promising method for measuring the size of receptive vocabulary knowledge of learners of a foreign language. Items in a yes-no test each consist of either a word or a pseudoword. Participants are asked to indicate whether or not they know the meaning of these words. This article attempts to tackle the problem of determining a meaningful score for this type of test. Such a score should contain correction for guessing as well as for participants’ response style. Three possible methods are discussed, but none of these measures appear to apply this type of correction. Signal Detection Theory is applied and a new, more accurate index is suggested. Based on theoretical as well as empirical considerations, recommendations are made about the choice for the index to be used in a yes-no vocabulary test.
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In Reading in a foreign language: a reading problem or a language problem? Alderson (1984) ascribes poor reading in L2 to four possible causes: (a) poor reading ability in the first language; (b) inadequate knowledge of the foreign language; (c) incorrect strategies for reading in the foreign language; (d) reading strategies in the first language not being employed in the foreign language, due to inadequate knowledge of the foreign language.
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This study examined the rate at which English vocabulary was acquired from the 3 input modes of reading, reading-while-listening, and listening to stories. It selected 3 sets of 28 words within 4 frequency bands and administered 2 test types immediately after the reading and listening treatments, 1 week later and 3 months later. The results showed that new words could be learned incidentally in all 3 modes, but that most words were not learned. Items occurring more frequently in the text were more likely to be learned and were more resistant to decay. The data demonstrated that, on average, when subjects were tested by unprompted recall, the meaning of only 1 of the 28 items met in either of the reading modes and the meaning of none of the items met in the listening-only mode, would be retained after 3 months.
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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The ability to learn and execute the component processes of reading varies widely. Reading comprehension involves language specific processes as well as domain general cognitive abilities-sensation, perception, attention, memory, and reasoning. Variation in any of these abilities potentially underlies individual differences in comprehension performance. Thus, one important question concerns the extent to which variation in some ability is central to individual differences in comprehension performance and the extent to which variation in the ability is derivative. For example, researchers have found that poor comprehenders have more difficulty parsing complex syntactic structures than do good comprehenders. This chapter reviews five reader characteristics that are associated with comprehension ability in mature readers. Two criteria are used in selecting these particular characteristics from all of those that are potentially involved in comprehension. First, characteristics are selected that have the strongest correlations with comprehension performance. Second, characteristics are selected that play a central role in different theories of comprehension skill. The characteristics that selected are: word-level ability, working memory capacity, suppression ability, print exposure, and background knowledge.
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Examines what percentage of coverage of text is needed for unassisted reading for pleasure, where learners are able to read without the interruption of looking up words. Looks at the effect of three densities of unknown vocabulary on two measures of reading comprehension, a multiple-choice test and a cued written recall test. (Author/VWL)
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This study investigated the relationship between reading comprehension development of 389 adolescents in their dominant language (Language 1 [L1], Dutch) and a foreign language (Language 2 [L2], English). In each consecutive year from Grades 8 through 10, a number of measurements were taken. Students' reading comprehension, their linguistic knowledge (vocabulary and grammar knowledge) and processing efficiency (speed of word recognition and sentence comprehension) in both languages, and their metacognitive knowledge about reading were assessed. The relative strengths of the effects of these components of reading were analyzed to distinguish among 3 hypotheses about the relationship between L1 and L2 reading comprehension: the transfer hypothesis, the threshold hypothesis, and the processing efficiency hypothesis. The transfer hypothesis predicts a strong relationship between L1 and L2 reading comprehension and a strong effect of metacognitive knowledge on L2 reading comprehension, whereas the threshold and processing efficiency hypotheses predict a more important role of language-specific knowledge and processing skills. Results support the transfer hypothesis, although language-specific knowledge and fluency also contribute to L2 reading performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The authors report results of a study into the role of components of first-language (L1; Dutch) and second-language (L2; English) reading comprehension. Differences in the contributions of components of L1 and L2 reading comprehension are analyzed, in particular processing speed in L1 and L2. Findings indicate that regression weights of the L1 and L2 components are different. Although correlations between most processing speed components and reading comprehension are substantial, there are no unique contributions to the explanation of either L1 or L2 reading comprehension when linguistic and metacognitive knowledge are accounted for. In addition, L1 reading comprehension is shown to have a large contribution to L2 reading comprehension, supporting theories of L1-L2 transfer of reading skills. Results are discussed from a developmental perspective. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This chapter builds on prior reviews of reading theory, research, and assessment published in the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics and uses them and additional current research to develop a set of 10 instructional implications for second language reading. The review draws upon both L1 and L2 research to demonstrate support for instructional approaches that (1) ensure fluency in word recognition; (2) emphasize the learning of vocabulary; (3) activate background knowledge; (4) ensure acquisition of linguistic knowledge and general comprehension; (5) teach recognition of text structures and discourse organization; (6) promote development of strategic readers rather than mechanical application of strategy checklists; (7) build reading fluency and rate; (8) promote extensive reading; (9) develop intrinsic motivation for reading; and (10) contribute to a coherent curriculum for student learning. There is empirical support for each of these implications, although at the same time, additional research related to many is needed to further identify aspects of effective L2 reading instruction in particular settings. While further research alone does not guarantee improved reading pedagogy, it provides one means of identifying specific aspects of reading abilities and testing alternative instructional practices and is thus a crucial component in the search for more effective outcomes.
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Review of the book: Learning vocabulary in another language. This article has been published in the journal: New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistic. Used with permission.
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Introduction: Simple Ideas about Reading Comprehension. A Framework for Comprehension. Higher-Level Factors in Comprehension. The Linguistic-Conceptual Machinery for Comprehension. Word Identification, Decoding, and Phonological Awareness .Comprehension Instruction. Conclusion: A More General View of Comprehension Development
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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Most notably, comprehension necessitates the application of prior knowledge in combination with the encoding of information currently in discourse focus. Comprehension requires building connections between those events and existing representations in memory. For example, the situations described in the first two riddles take place in chronological order and are temporally contiguous. The elephant was put in the refrigerator first; unless the elephant is removed, the giraffe cannot be stored in the fridge. To answer the riddle, the reader must connect these two situations. Comprehenders routinely assume that consecutively described events take place in the order in which they are described, and that no unmentioned event will have occurred between them. Thus, the two events should be connected with each other and, given expectations about chronological order; those events should be assigned a predictable temporal association. In fact, a growing body of evidence suggests that comprehenders routinely and/or strategically keep track of protagonists, objects, locations, and events to build useful associations.
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School children appear to increase their vocabularies by thousands of words per year. Many have hypothesized that a large proportion of this growth occurs through incidental learning from written context. However, experimental research has until now failed to provide unequivocal support of this hypothesis. The present study attempted to determine whether students do acquire measurable knowledge about unfamiliar words while reading natural text. Fifty-seven eighth-grade students of average and above average reading ability read either an expository or a narrative text about 1,000 words in length. After reading, subjects completed two vocabulary assessment tasks on 15 target words from each passage (thus serving as controls for the passage not read), an individual interview and a multiple-choice test, both designed to tap partial knowledge of word meanings. Results of within-subject, hierarchical regression analyses showed small but statistically reliable gains in word knowledge from context. Tentative extrapolations from the results and current estimates of the volume of children's reading lead us to believe that incidental learning from context accounts for a substantial proportion of the vocabulary growth that occurs during the school years. /// [French] Les écoliers semblent augmenter leur vocabulaire de milliers de mots par an. Nombreux sont ceux qui ont pour hypothèse qu'une large proportion de cette croissance intervient grâce à une acquisition accidentelle à partir d'un contexte écrit. Cependant, la recherche expérimentale n'a pas pu jusqu'à présent fournir un soutient univoque à cette hypothèse. L'étude présente essaie de déterminer si les élèves acquièrent en fait des connaissances mesurables sur les mots qui ne leur sont pas familiers au cours de la lecture de textes naturels. Cinquantesept élèves de quatrième à compétence de lecture moyenne et au-dessus de la moyenne ont lu un texte d'exposition ou de narration d'environ 1000 mots. Après la lecture, les sujets ont complété deux tâches d'évaluation de vocabulaire sur 15 mots cibles à partir de chaque passage (servant ainsi de contrôles pour le passage non lu), un entretien individuel et un test à choix multipes, désignés à aborder la connaissance partielle des significations de mots. Les résultats des analyses de régression hiérarchique de sujet unique ont montré des gains moindres mais statistiquement sûrs en connaissance de mots à partir d'un contexte. Des extrapolations d'essai à partir des résultats et des calculs courants du volume de lecture chez les enfants nous ont menés à croire que la lecture accidentelle à partir d'un contexte compte pour une proportion substantielle de la croissance du vocabulaire qui a lieu au cours des années scolaires. /// [Spanish] Al parecer, alumnos incrementan su vocabulario con miles de palabras cada año. Muchos han avanzado la hipótesis que una gran proporción de este incremento ocurre por medio de aprendizaje incidental del contexto escrito. No obstante, investigación experimental no ha provisto evidencia irrefutable para esta hipótesis. Este estudio trató de determinar si los alumnos adquieren conocimiento medible de palabras desconocidas durante la lectura de textos normales. Cincuenta y siete alumnos de octavo grado, de habilidad normal y superior en lectura, leyeron un texto descriptivo o narrativo, de approximadamente 1000 palabras. Después de la lectura, los alumnos completaron 2 actividades de evaluación de vocabulario sobre 15 palabras específicas de cada pasaje (sirviendo así como control de los pasajes no leídos), una entrevista individual y un test de elección múltiple, ambos diseñados para descubrir conocimiento parcial de significado de palabras. Los resultados por individuo, utilizando análisis de jerarquía de regresión, mostraron pequeño pero estadísticamente fiable progreso en el conocimiento de palabras por medio de contexto. Extrapolaciones tentativas de los resultados y cálculos presentes del volumen de lectura de alumnos, nos llevan a deducir que aprendizaje incidental del contexto da cuenta de una proporción considerable del incremento de vocabulario que ocurre durante los años escolares.
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Studies of vocabulary size based on dictionary sampling have faced several methodological problems. These problems occur in trying to answer the following three questions: (I) How do we decide what to count as words? (2) How do we choose what words to test? (3) How do we test the chosen words? The present study attempts to overcome these problems and checks in several ways to see if the problems have been overcome. The results indicate that what were previously thought of as conservative estimates of vocabulary size are likely to be the most accurate. These estimates suggest that well-educated adult native speakers of English have a vocabulary of around 17,000 base words. This represents an acquisition rate of around two to three words per day.
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An Academic Skills Questionnaire was distributed at San Diego State University to 200 randomly selected faculty from all departments in order to determine which skills (reading, writing, speaking or listening) were most essential to non-native speaker success in university classes. The receptive skills, reading and listening, were ranked first by faculty teaching both lower division and upper division/graduate classes. The faculty of all departments but Engineering ranked General English above Specific Purposes English. This study concludes with implications for testing, literacy requirements and curriculum development.
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This empirical study explored the relationships between depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension in English as a second language (ESL). Using multivariate analyses, the study examined the roles of depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge in assessing the performance of a group of young adult ESL learners with a minimum vocabulary size of 3,000 word families in carrying out general academic reading comprehension tasks. The results support the hypotheses that (1) scores on vocabulary size, depth of vocabulary knowledge, and reading comprehension are highly, and positively, correlated; and (2) scores on depth of vocabulary knowledge can make a unique contribution to the prediction of reading comprehension levels, in addition to the prediction afforded by vocabulary size scores. The findings from this study call for a recognition of the importance of improving depth of vocabulary knowledge in learners' ESL learning processes.
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This article overviews current research on second language vocabulary learning. It concludes that a large vocabulary is necessary to function in English: 8000—9000 word families for reading, and perhaps as many as 5000—7000 families for oral discourse. In addition, a number of word knowledge aspects need to be learned about each lexical item. Taken together, this amounts to a substantial lexical learning challenge, one which many/most learners fail to meet. To facilitate adequate vocabulary learning, four vocabulary learning partners (students, teachers, materials writers, and researchers) need to contribute to the learning process. Vocabulary learning programs need to include both an explicit, intentional learning component and a component based around maximizing exposure and incidental learning. The four learning strands (meaning-focused input, meaning-focused output, language-focused learning, and fluency development) suggested by Nation (2001) provide a structure by which to integrate intentional and incidental vocabulary learning. The overriding principle for maximizing vocabulary learning is to increase the amount of engagement learners have with lexical items. All four learning partners need to acknowledge the incremental nature of vocabulary learning, and to develop learning programs which are principled, long-term, and which recognize the richness and scope of the lexical knowledge that needs to be mastered.
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This paper reports a preliminary evaluation of the Y/N technique for producing tests of vocabulary knowledge. The results obtained suggest advantages over the more traditional multiple choice format for testing vocabulary.
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This article has two goals: to report on the trialling of fourteen 1,000 word-family lists made from the British National Corpus, and to use these lists to see what,vocabulary,size is needed for unassisted,compre- hension,of written and spoken,English. The trialling showed,that the lists were,properly,sequenced,and there were,no glaring omissions,from the lists. If 98% coverage of a text is needed for unassisted comprehension, then a 8,000 to 9,000 word-family vocabulary is needed for comprehension of written text and a vocabulary of 6,000 to 7,000 for spoken text. Résumé : L’article a pour objectif de parler des essais menés sur
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Part I. Theoretical Foundations: 1. Introduction 2. Theoretical underpinnings Part II. Essential Components: 3. Word recognition 4. Vocabulary knowledge 5. Intraword awareness and word-knowledge development 6. Information integration in sentence processing 7. Discourse processing 8. Text structure and comprehension Part III. Looking at the Whole: 9. Individual differences 10. Developing strategic reading Part IV. Theory into Practice: 11. Comprehension assessment 12. Comprehension instruction.
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ABSTRACTSThe purpose of the present study was to investigate the development of and interrelations between the language proficiencies and reading abilities of children learning to read in either a first language or a second language. The authors compared the reading-comprehension, word-decoding, and oral-language skills of both high and low SES Dutch third and fourth graders to the skills of low SES minority third and fourth graders from a Turkish or Moroccan background living in the Netherlands. Several tests of reading comprehension, word decoding, oral text comprehension, morphosyntactic knowledge, and vocabulary knowledge were administered at the beginning of third grade, the end of third grade, and the end of fourth grade. The results showed the minority children to be faster decoders than the Dutch low SES children. With respect to reading comprehension and oral language proficiency, however, the minority children were found to lag behind the Dutch children in all respects. With respect to the interrelations between oral-language skills and reading skills, the development of reading comprehension was found to be influenced more by top-down comprehension-based processes than by bottom-up word-decoding processes for both the first- and second-language learners. The oral Dutch skills of the minority children played a more prominent role in the explanation of their reading-comprehension skills than the oral-language skills of the Dutch children, however.
Article
EFL learners in two countries participated in two parallel experiments testing whether retention of vocabulary acquired incidentally is contingent on amount of task-induced involvement. Short- and long-term retention of ten unfamiliar words was investigated in three learning tasks (reading comprehension, comprehension plus filling in target words, and composition-writing with target words) with varying “involvement loads”—various combinations of need, search, and evaluation. Time-on-task, regarded as inherent to a task, differed among all three tasks. As predicted, amount of retention was related to amount of task-induced involvement load: Retention was highest in the composition task, lower in reading plus fill-in, and lowest in the reading. These results are discussed in light of the construct of task-induced involvement.
Article
This study investigated the role of higher–level syntactic and semantic processes and lower–level word recognition and graphophonic processes in adult English as a second language (ESL) reading comprehension. In particular, the study examined the extent to which these processes can discriminate skilled from less–skilled readers in a sample of fairly advanced ESL readers. Measures of reading comprehension, syntactic, semantic, word recognition, phonological, and orthographic processing skills were used. One–way discriminant function analysis revealed that lower–level component processes, such as word recognition and graphophonic processes, in addition to higher–level syntactic and semantic processes, contributed significantly to the distinction between skilled and less–skilled ESL readers. These findings suggest that efficient lower–level word recognition processes are integral components of second language reading comprehension and that the role of these processes must not be neglected even in highly advanced ESL readers.
Article
The present study was conducted in the context of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 2000 research to conceptually validate the roles of breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge in reading comprehension in academic settings and to empirically evaluate a test measuring three elements of the depth dimension of vocabulary knowledge, namely, synonymy, polysemy, and collocation. A vocabulary size measure and a TOEFL vocabulary measure were also tested. The study found that the dimension of vocabulary depth is as important as that of vocabulary size in predicting performance on academic reading and that scores on the three vocabulary measures tested are similarly useful in predicting performance on the reading comprehension measure used as the criterion. The study confirms the importance of the vocabulary factor in reading assessment.
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Bibliography: leaves 40-43 Supported in part by the National Institute of Education under contract no. US-NIE-C-400-76-0116
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Incluye bibliografía e índice
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Performance on the Yes/No test (Huibregtse et al., 2002) was assessed as a predictor of scores on the Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT), a standard test of receptive second language (L2) vocabulary knowledge (Nation, 1990). The use of identical items on both tests allowed a direct comparison of test performance, with alternative methods for scoring the Yes/No test also examined (Huibregtse et al., 2002). Overall, performance on both tests by English L2 university students (n - 36) was similar. Mean test accuracy on the various Yes/No methods ranged from 76-82%, comparable to VLT performance at 83%. However, paired t-tests showed the scoring methods used to correct raw hit performance increased the difference between the Yes/No test and criterion VLT scores to some degree. All Yes/No scores were strong predictors of VLT performance, regardless of method used, r = .8. Raw hit rate was the best predictor of VLT performance, due in part to the >5% false alarm rate. The low false alarm rate may be due to the participants, drawn primarily from non-Latin alphabet first languages (L1s), and the nature of the instructions. The results indicate the Yes/No test is a valid measure of the type of L2 vocabulary knowledge assessed by the VLT, with implications for classroom application.
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This handbook will be useful for both beginning and experienced teachers who want to improve their practical strategies in teaching second language reading and their understanding of the reading process. The book examines a variety of approaches from classrooms and research that are used in teaching reading, and explores teaching methods focused on strategies. Teachers are encouraged to think about their own beliefs and opinions on the nature of reading and to examine their own personal reading activities.
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