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Applied Linguistics Research and Methodology

Proceedings from the 2015 CALS conference

Edited By Kristina Cergol Kovacevic and Sanda Lucija Udier

This book offers a selection of sixteen papers presented at the 29th international annual conference of the Croatian Applied Linguistics Society held in 2015. The papers in this book tackle an array of applied linguistics research concerns and provide methodological solutions to many a related problem. The authors’ contributions fall into three main strands of research focus: 1) methodological issues in second language teaching and learning research, 2) experimental research in applied linguistics and 3) spoken and written corpus studies. Almost each individual paper focuses on a different methodological issue in applied linguistics research, treading the path to new related studies.

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Exploring EFL learners’ lexical competence: What numbers tell us about words (Višnja Pavičić Takač / Gabrijela Buljan)


Višnja Pavičić Takač – Gabrijela Buljan

Exploring EFL learners’ lexical competence: What numbers tell us about words

Abstract: An important finding of research on the lexical aspect of second language acquisition is that lexical competence is multidimensional. It encompasses several aspects of knowledge and can be described in terms of separate (listing and describing all aspects and dimensions of lexical knowledge) or global traits models (describing only a few critical dimensions). Starting from Housen, Bulté, Pierrard and Van Daele’s (2008) theoretical conceptualisation of lexical proficiency, i.e. its declarative component, and Read’s (2000) definition of lexical richness, this study explores how well various lexical measures portray EFL learners’ productive lexical proficiency. The declarative component of lexical competence includes the constructs of size, width and depth of lexical knowledge, which are inferred from the following lower-order constructs: lexical diversity (the number of different words used), lexical density or productivity (the percentage of content words), lexical sophistication (the proportion of low-frequency words) and lexical errors. To answer the research questions, 100 essays written by B2 EFL learners are analysed. The paper presents and discusses the results of statistical analyses used to explore the relationship between ‘the numbers’ (i.e. various linguistic measures) and a more impressionistic, holistic evaluation of lexical competence conducted by trained raters.

Ein wichtiger Befund bei der Erforschung lexikalischer Aspekte des Zweitsprachenerwerbs ist die Multidimensionalität der lexikalischen Kompetenz. Sie umfasst mehrere Elemente und kann unterschiedlich beschrieben werden: entweder durch spezialisierte Modelle, die alle...

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