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Title: Fluency: A Critically Important Yet Undervalued Dimension of L2 Vocabulary Knowledge
Contributor(s): Cheng, Junyu (author); Matthews, Joshua  (author)orcid ; O'Toole, John Mitchell (author)
Publication Date: 2015
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-47490-7_8
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Abstract: Measurements of vocabulary knowledge are powerful indicators of language proficiency, as they correlate with other language skills (Milton 2013; Staehr 2009). It is evident to all L2 educators that L2 vocabulary knowledge is an essential component of L2 competency. The underlying constructs of vocabulary knowledge are generally accepted as consisting of multiple dimensions (Milton 2013). Among these knowledge dimensions, vocabulary fluency, or the ability to access and apply vocabulary knowledge under time constraints, is arguably one of the most important. This is especially the case in regard to the ability to apply existing L2 vocabulary knowledge in a communicatively competent manner. This paper asserts that the ability to apply vocabulary knowledge in a fluent manner has been systemically undervalued in contemporary L2 educational contexts. In support of this assertion, empirical data drawn from the results of two equivalent vocabulary tests administered among a cohort of 113 tertiary-level L2 learners are presented. Results showed significantly lower mean vocabulary scores on the fluency dependent (FD) test than those attained by the cohort on the fluency non-dependent (FND) test. The implications of this significant discrepancy between these two measures of vocabulary knowledge are discussed. The paper concludes that the cohorts' FD knowledge of high frequency and academic words was significantly lower than their FND knowledge of those same categories of words. These results encourage an invigoration of teaching, testing, and learning approaches that emphasize the development of FD word knowledge. Practical suggestions on improving the vocabulary fluency of English as a second language students are provided.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: PROMS 2014: Pacific Rim Objective Measurement Symposium, Guangzhou, China, 5th - 6th August, 2014
Source of Publication: Pacific Rim Objective Measurement Symposium (PROMS) 2014 Conference Proceedings: Rasch and the Future, p. 99-114
Publisher: Springer
Place of Publication: Berlin, Germany
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 200499 Linguistics not elsewhere classified
200401 Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics
130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 470499 Linguistics not elsewhere classified
470401 Applied linguistics and educational linguistics
390402 Education assessment and evaluation
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930103 Learner Development
930201 Pedagogy
930299 Teaching and Instruction not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160302 Pedagogy
HERDC Category Description: E2 Non-Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
Appears in Collections:Conference Publication

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