EFL Vocabulary Growth in Intensive Language Study

Meral Ozturk

Abstract


Investigations into typical vocabulary growth rates of EFL learners are important to the setting of more realistic targets as well as to the evaluation of the success of language programs. The present study investigates the vocabulary growth of EFL learners in a pre-sessional intensive language program at the university level over one academic year. The rate of growth in written receptive (i.e. reading) vocabulary size of learners over English language proficiency levels was measured using the Vocabulary Size Test (Nation & Beglar, 2007). The results suggested greater annual growth than those reported in previous research which involved limited weekly instruction as well as those that involved incidental learning through degree study. The study has also indicated that vocabulary growth rates were not stable across proficiency levels, and showed a fall-rise pattern. However, when proficiency was determined lexically, the results suggested that growth slowed down as the vocabulary size increased. 


Keywords


EFL vocabulary growth, written receptive vocabulary size, intensive language study, proficiency level

Full Text:

PDF

References


Alderson JC (2005) Diagnosing Foreign Language Proficiency: the Interface Between Learning and Assessment. London: Continuum.

Cobb T, Horst M (2000) Vocabulary sizes of some City University students. City University (HK) Journal of Language Studies 1: 59-68.

David A (2008) Vocabulary breadth in French L2 learners. Language Learning Journal 36 (2): 167-180.

Danilović JR, Grujić TS (2014) Vocabulary growth at tertiary level: How much progress can Serbian EFL learners make in a year? Zbornik Instituta za Pedagoska Istrazivanja 46 (1): 200-218.

Golkar M, Yamini M (2007) Vocabulary, proficiency and reading comprehension. The Reading Matrix 7(3): 88-112.

Hazenberg S, Hulstijn JH (1996) Defining a minimal receptive second-language vocabulary for non-native university students: An empirical investigation. Applied Linguistics 17 (2): 145-163.

Horst M (2005) Learning vocabulary through extensive reading: A measurement study. The Canadian Modern Language Review 61 (3): 355-382.

Milton J (2009) Measuring Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Milton J, Meara P (1995) How periods abroad affect vocabulary growth in a foreign language? ITL Review of Applied Linguistics 107-108: 17-34.

Nation ISP (2011) Research into practice: Vocabulary. Language Teaching 44 (4): 529-539.

Nation ISP (2006) How large a vocabulary is needed for reading and listening? The Canadian Modern Language Review 63 (1): 59-82.

Nation ISP, Beglar D (2007) A vocabulary size test. The Language Teacher 31 (7): 9-12.

Nemati A (2010) Proficiency and size of receptive vocabulary: Comparing EFL and ESL environments. International Journal of Educational Research and Technology 1(1): 46-53.

Ozturk M (2015) The vocabulary growth of the advanced EFL learner. The Language

Learning Journal, 43(1): 94-109.

Ozturk M (2016) Second language vocabulary growth at advanced level. The Language Learning Journal, 44(1):6-16.

Richards B, Malvern D, Graham S (2008) Word frequency and trends in the development of French vocabulary in lower-intermediate students during Year 12 in English schools. Language Learning Journal 36 (2): 199-213.

Schmitt N (2010) Researching Vocabulary: A Vocabulary Research Manual. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Schmitt N, Meara P (1997) Researching vocabulary through a word knowledge framework: Word associations and verbal suffixes. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 20: 17-36.

Staehr LS (2008) Vocabulary size and the skills of listening, reading and writing. The Language Learning Journal 36(2): 139-152.

Tahmasebi, G-A, Ghaedrahmat M, Haqverdi H (2013) The relationship between language proficiency and Iranian EFL learners’ knowledge of vocabulary depth versus vocabulary breadth. Latin American Journal of Content and Language Integrated Learning 6(2): 96-111.

Terrazas-Gallego M, Agustin-Llach MP (2009) Exploring the increase of receptive vocabulary knowledge in the foreign language: A longitudinal study. International Journal of English Studies 9(1): 113-133.

Webb SA, Chang AC (2012) Second language vocabulary growth. RELC Journal 43(1): 113-126.