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Comparing the Receptive Vocabulary Knowledge of Intermediate-level Students of Different Native languages in an Intensive English Program

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Date Issued:
2015
Abstract/Description:
Because most(-)if not all(-)intensive English programs (IEP) assign students to specific levels based on a placement test that does not involve any form of explicit vocabulary testing, some degree of variation in lexical knowledge of students within an individual class should not be surprising. However, very little research has ever quantified this variation. The current study fills the gap in this important area of TESOL research by investigating vocabulary variation among intermediate-level students at one IEP. Participants (N=79) were split into two main proficiency groups, high intermediate (N=28) and low intermediate (N=51). The 2K, 3K, and 5K levels from the Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) were used as a vocabulary measure. In this study, VLT scores were analyzed by proficiency level and by students' original individual classes (N=7). The results revealed considerable vocabulary variation. In some instances, vocabulary size varied by 900 word families per student. First language influence was also investigated by comparing the largest two language groups in the sample, Arabic (N= 28) and Spanish (N=12). Spanish-speaking students significantly outperformed the Arabic speaking students in all vocabulary measures (except for the 2K level). The study, therefore, raises questions about the approaches used in teaching a class that has both Spanish and Arabic speakers. Implications and suggestions for further studies are discussed.
Title: Comparing the Receptive Vocabulary Knowledge of Intermediate-level Students of Different Native languages in an Intensive English Program.
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Name(s): Alkhofi, Anas, Author
Folse, Keith, Committee Chair
Mihai, Florin, Committee Member
Purmensky, Kerry, Committee Member
Xu, Lihua, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Because most(-)if not all(-)intensive English programs (IEP) assign students to specific levels based on a placement test that does not involve any form of explicit vocabulary testing, some degree of variation in lexical knowledge of students within an individual class should not be surprising. However, very little research has ever quantified this variation. The current study fills the gap in this important area of TESOL research by investigating vocabulary variation among intermediate-level students at one IEP. Participants (N=79) were split into two main proficiency groups, high intermediate (N=28) and low intermediate (N=51). The 2K, 3K, and 5K levels from the Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) were used as a vocabulary measure. In this study, VLT scores were analyzed by proficiency level and by students' original individual classes (N=7). The results revealed considerable vocabulary variation. In some instances, vocabulary size varied by 900 word families per student. First language influence was also investigated by comparing the largest two language groups in the sample, Arabic (N= 28) and Spanish (N=12). Spanish-speaking students significantly outperformed the Arabic speaking students in all vocabulary measures (except for the 2K level). The study, therefore, raises questions about the approaches used in teaching a class that has both Spanish and Arabic speakers. Implications and suggestions for further studies are discussed.
Identifier: CFE0005569 (IID), ucf:50281 (fedora)
Note(s): 2015-05-01
M.A.
Arts and Humanities, Modern Languages
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Vocabulary variation -- vocabulary comparison -- first language (L1) influence -- placement test -- second language vocabulary -- VLT -- vocabulary size -- receptive vocabulary.
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0005569
Restrictions on Access: public 2015-05-15
Host Institution: UCF

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