5 Macro-level Vocabulary Development 95
5 Macro-level Vocabulary Development This chapter reports findings on the macro-level vocabulary develop- ment of the four first-year participants (Cheryl, Nicky, Zara, and Linda) and the four third-year participants (Sharon, Muriel, Gloria, and Helen) during one academic year. Four aspects will be addressed in subsequence: the receptive vocabulary size, the controlled produc- tive vocabulary size, the relationship between the receptive and pro- ductive vocabularies, and the lexical richness in free productive vo- cabulary use. The chapter concludes with an overall discussion of the findings and a brief summary. For the sake of clarity, the first-year participants will be described first within each subsection, and then the attention will be directed to the third-year participants, followed by a comparison and contrast of the two cohorts. 5.1 Receptive vocabulary size 5.1.1 Overall Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) scores The participants’ receptive vocabulary size was measured by the VLT. Table 5.1 presents the individual scores and the mean scores of the two cohorts. Fig. 5.1 and 5.2 illustrate the developmental curves. First-year participants: The first-year participants had made great improvement in their VLT scores (from 121.25 to 133. 75, a 10% increase). They seemed to have undergone a remarkable expan- sion in their receptive vocabulary size during the first year of their university studies. In particular, the first-year student, Cheryl, pos- sessed a receptive vocabulary size no smaller than that of the third- year participants; her vocabulary size upon matriculation even emu- lated the starting point of the third-year participants. This result is probably...
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