|Title:||Evaluating the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension in English as a foreign language|
|Subject:||Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations|
Second language acquisition
|Department:||Faculty of Humanities|
|Pages:||263 pages : illustrations|
|Abstract:||The present study evaluates the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension in English as a foreign language (EFL), which has not been sufficiently investigated empirically. In particular, the present research has an added focus on the use of aural vocabulary knowledge tests in detecting the role of vocabulary knowledge in listening comprehension. This study examined the relationship between vocabulary size and depth, and listening comprehension in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) among 718 high and low proficiency EFL listeners in China. Vocabulary Levels Test (Schmitt, Schmitt, & Clapham, 2001), Word Associates Test (Read 1998, Qian, 1999, 2002) and TOEFL Listening Test were used. Vocabulary knowledge was measured both in written forms (research design I: written vocabulary test) and listening forms (research design II: aural vocabulary test). In addition, questionnaires and interviews examined the role of vocabulary learning strategies and listening strategies in listening comprehension.|
It was found that both written and aural vocabulary knowledge measures were positively associated with listening test scores to different extents. Written vocabulary depth and aural vocabulary size were highly predictive of listening comprehension. Written vocabulary depth was found to be more predictive than written vocabulary size in listening comprehension. Aural vocabulary size was more predictive than written vocabulary size. Written and aural vocabulary depth better predicted listening performance of EFL advanced learners than written and aural vocabulary size tests, which in turn better predicted listening performance of low proficiency learners than vocabulary depth measures. Vocabulary learning strategies and listening strategies both predicted listening comprehension. Metacognitive dimension of vocabulary learning and listening strategies was found to be positively predictive of listening performance. Cognitive activation vocabulary learning strategies appeared to be statistically significant contributors to listening success. Implications of these results for language teaching are discussed. The current research findings highlight the role of vocabulary knowledge in determining listening success. Specifically it draws scholars' attention to the contributions of aural vocabulary knowledge to listening comprehension. The study also confirms the previous hypotheses of higher correlations between aural vocabulary size knowledge and listening comprehension. Pedagogically, it confirms the significance and necessity of improving both aural and written forms of vocabulary knowledge and focusing on strategy-embedded listening activities in EFL listening education.
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