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Relationship between Vocabulary Size and Reading Comprehension


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This paper was presented at the 2nd International FLLT2011 Conference.

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Relationship between Vocabulary Size and Reading Comprehension

  1. 1. 1<br />Relationship Between Vocabulary Size and Reading Comprehension<br />Asst. Prof. Preawpan Pringprom, Ph. D Buppha Obchuae<br />
  2. 2. 2<br />Background of Problem<br />Inability to decode the meaning of words<br />How many words do students know?<br />Inability to guess from the context<br />Inability to comprehend the written texts<br />
  3. 3. 3<br />Research Objectives<br />There are two main folds of this research objective: <br />To find out the students’ vocabulary sizes <br />To study the relationship between students’ vocabulary size and their English reading comprehension<br />
  4. 4. 4<br />Research Questions<br />
  5. 5. 5<br />Subjects<br />Thirty first-year-students studying EN 111 in academic year 2010 at Bangkok University<br />Research Instruments<br />Vocabulary Level Test (Schmitt. N; Schmitt D & Clapham C (Nation, 2001: 416-420)<br />Reading Comprehension Test<br />
  6. 6. 6<br />Vocabulary Knowledge<br />Two primary dimensions:<br />Receptive vocabularyrefers to a learner’s ability to recognize a word and retrieve its meaning while listening or reading.<br />Productive vocabulary refers to a learner’s ability to use a word to send a message or express his/her thought appropriately through speaking or writing (Nation, 2006: 24). <br />
  7. 7. 7<br />Vocabulary Level Test (VLT)<br />The bilingual version was based on the original version B of Norbert Schmitt, Diane Schmitt and Caroline Clapham (2001). <br />
  8. 8. 8<br />Research Procedures<br />1st week of the course, the 2000, 3000, and 5000 VLT were administered at the beginning of class time.<br />2nd week of the course, the RCT was administered at the beginning of class time.<br />
  9. 9. 9<br />Data Analysis<br />Descriptive Statistic was used to find means and standard deviations of the VLT2000, VLT3000, and VLT5000. <br />Pearson correlation was conducted to analyze the relationship between the subjects’ reading comprehension and their receptive vocabulary size.<br />
  10. 10. Results and Discussion<br />N = 30<br />Each word in the test represents 33 words (1000 divided by 30)<br /><ul><li> 518 words out of 1000 at the 2000 frequency-words level
  11. 11. 479 words out of 1000 at the 3000 frequency-words level
  12. 12. 310 words out of 1000 at the 5000 frequency-words level </li></ul>10<br />
  13. 13. 11<br />N = 30<br />The subjects’ VLT scoresdropped as the word-frequency levels decreased<br />
  14. 14. 12<br />Average percentage scores on the VLT <br />N = 30<br />At least 95% of text coverage is needed for successful guessing of the meaning of the unknown words (Liu and Nation, 1985). To reach 95% coverage of academic text, a vocabulary size of around 4000 word families is needed, consisting of 2000 high-frequency word, other academic words, technical words, proper nouns, and low frequency words.<br />
  15. 15. 13<br />Individual’s Profile of Vocabulary <br />
  16. 16. 14<br />Relationship Between Reading Comprehension <br />and Vocabulary Size<br />N = 30<br /> r = 0.684; p = <.0.01 r = 0.779; p = <.0.01 r = 0.571; p = <.0.01<br />
  17. 17. 15<br />Pedagogical Implications<br />Vocabulary assessment and instruction should be an important part of every English course, especially at the beginning level. <br />Vocabulary Strategies<br />Activities<br />Training<br />Vocab Bookkeeping<br />Word parts<br />Word Families<br />Vocabulary Dictation<br />Prefix-Suffix-Roots<br />
  18. 18. 16<br />