TITLE

BREADTH AND DEPTH OF VOCABULARY KNOWLEDGE IN SECOND LANGUAGE READING

AUTHOR(S)
Li, Miao; Kirby, John R.
PUB. DATE
November 2012
SOURCE
Journal of Communications Research;2012, Vol. 4 Issue 4, p335
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The focus of this chapter is the nature of vocabulary knowledge and its effects on reading in second language learners. There is a great deal known about the factors that influence word reading (e.g., Kirby, Desrochers, Roth, & Lai, 2008; Nation, 2001) and reading comprehension (e.g., Kirby & Savage, 2008; Koda, 2005). One of the strongest predictors of both aspects of reading is vocabulary, but vocabulary itself is not well understood. It has been proposed that traditional measures of vocabulary assess mainly breadth of vocabulary, because although they do capture a sense of how many words are known, they do not indicate how well or how deeply those words are known (Nation, 2001; Read, 2000). Depth of vocabulary knowledge is a relatively new construct which has been claimed to measure the deep understanding of word meanings (Henriksen, 1999). However the measurement of vocabulary depth has not been well established. We describe how depth and breadth of vocabulary have been and could be measured, and discuss the nature of the relations between different dimensions of vocabulary knowledge and different aspects of reading. We concentrate upon the role of vocabulary knowledge and illustrate our position with results from a recent study of vocabulary in second language reading. Implications for instruction and assessment are discussed.
ACCESSION #
93261910

 

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