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Current Perspectives in Second Language Vocabulary Research


Edited By David Hirsh

Reflecting growth in research interest in second language vocabulary over the past 30 years, this edited volume explores the current themes and possible future directions in second language vocabulary research. The collection brings together review papers and quantitative studies, and considers vocabulary in the contexts of teaching, learning and assessment. Key themes explored in the volume include multidimensionality of vocabulary knowledge, the nature of word learnability, the interface between receptive vocabulary knowledge and productive vocabulary use, the partial-to-precise continuum of vocabulary knowledge, conditions favouring vocabulary learning and use, and the use of corpora to develop word lists to inform second language teaching. The themes presented in this volume reflect current thinking and research avenues at the interface between research enquiry and second language teaching practice.


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HUA ZHONG Multidimensional Vocabulary Knowledge: Development from Receptive to Productive Use 23


HUA ZHONG Multidimensional Vocabulary Knowledge: Development from Receptive to Productive Use 1. Introduction Vocabulary, as an essential building block of language, has been found to predict success in reading (Laufer 1992; Lervåg/Aukrust 2010; Qian/Schedl 2004), listening (Stæhr 2009), speaking (Daller van Hout/Treffers-Daller 2003; Hilton 2008; Yu 2010), writing (Laufer/ Nation 1995; Yu 2010) and in general academic performance (Harrington/Carey 2009; Zareva/Schwanenflugel/Nikolova 2005). One stream within the broad field of second language vocabulary re- search which is receiving growing interest is the interface between receptive and productive vocabulary use (see Fan 2000; Laufer 1998; Webb 2005), seen as an ‘intriguing’ area to explore (Henriksen/ Haastrup 1998: 77). The purpose of this chapter is to explore the theoretical basis for research into the interface, and to introduce test instruments available for future research into the development of vocabulary knowledge from receptive to productive use. This chapter will first describe vo- cabulary knowledge as a multi-dimensional construct and define each dimension of this construct and its containing aspects of vocabulary knowledge. It will also critically review vocabulary assessment in- struments, and analyse the constructs of these instruments. Implica- tions for vocabulary teaching and assessment will be discussed at the end of the chapter. 24 Hua Zhong 2. Quality and quantity of receptive and productive vocabulary knowledge Research looking into the development of receptive and productive vocabulary use is primarily associated with size (see Gallego/Llach 2009; Laufer 1998; Laufer/Goldstein 2004). Many research findings show that L2 learners’ receptive vocabulary size is larger...

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