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English language vocabulary profiles of undergraduate students at different proficiency levels

Lateh, Nor Hazwani Munirah (2018) English language vocabulary profiles of undergraduate students at different proficiency levels. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

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Abstract

Vocabulary knowledge is influential to learners’ language ability. While vocabulary studies in Malaysia have investigated learners’ vocabulary knowledge, they however do not consider learners across various proficiency levels. Furthermore, previous studies do not focus on both the receptive and productive vocabulary knowledge of learners. To fill this gap, the present study systematically investigated the profiles of receptive and productive vocabulary of Malaysian undergraduate students at the Band 1 (very limited), Band 2 (limited), Band 3 (modest), Band 4 (satisfactory) and Band 5 (proficient) levels of the Malaysian University English Test (MUET). The Vocabulary Size Test and the Vocabulary Levels Test were administered to gauge the students’ receptive vocabulary knowledge. Additionally, parts of their written and spoken corpora were analysed to examine the vocabulary they used in terms of lexical variation, lexical density, lexical sophistication, lexical frequency, lexical originality and lexical collocation. The findings reveal that students attain different extent of receptive vocabulary knowledge. Next, the findings also show that Bands 1, 2 and 3 students lacked receptive vocabulary knowledge to use the language at the university. Furthermore, their knowledge of the academic vocabulary is also limited. When writing the essays, the Bands 1, 2 and 3 students produced almost similar extent of lexical variation, lexical density, lexical sophistication, lexical frequency and lexical collocation. When speaking, the Bands 1, 2, 3 and 4 students produced similar extent of lexical variation, lexical sophistication and lexical collocation. All students demonstrated high use of the General Service List when writing and speaking (more than 86%). Lastly, the finding points to an underuse of lexical collocation categories by the students. The profiles of receptive and productive vocabulary unveiled in the study serve as a practical guideline to incorporate effective vocabulary teaching at higher learning institutions in Malaysia for students at various proficiency levels.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:MUET, General Service List, language ability
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions:Language Academy
ID Code:81518
Deposited By: Narimah Nawil
Deposited On:23 Aug 2019 13:21
Last Modified:23 Aug 2019 13:21

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