VLI 2(1): Tseng (2013)

Validating a Pictorial Vocabulary Size Test via the 3PL-IRT Model
Wen-Ta Tseng
National Taiwan Normal University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v02.1.tseng
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The paper presented a newly conceived vocabulary size test based on
pictorial cues: Pictorial Vocabulary Size Test (PVST). A model-based
(1-2-3 parameter logistic item response theory model comparisons)
approach was taken to check which model could absorb the most
information from the data. Junior high school and primary school
students participated in the study (N = 1,354). Subjects’ ability estimates
and item parameter estimates were computed based on expected a
posteriori (EAP) method, one type of Bayesian method. BILOG-MG 3
was adopted to execute parameter estimates and model comparisons. The
results showed that the 3PL-IRT model best fit the empirical data. It was
then argued that test takers’ English vocabulary size could be best
captured under the 3PL-IRT model, as not only the discrimination
parameter, but also the guessing parameter has a fundamental role to
play in consideration of the test format adopted in the PVST. The article
concluded that the PVST could have positive washback effects on test
development and English vocabulary instruction.

Tseng, W.-T. (2013). Validating a pictorial vocabulary size test via the 3PL-IRT model. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 2 (1), 64-73. doi: 10.7820/vli.v02.1.tseng

VLI 2(1): Coulson et al. (2013)

Difficulties in Reading English Words: How do Japanese Learners Perform on a Test of Phonological Deficit?
David Coulson, Mayumi Ariiso, Rina Kojima, and Masami Tanaka
University of Niigata Prefecture
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v02.1.coulson.et.al
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The motivation for this research is the observation of frequent read-aloud
miscues among Japanese university students, and the slow rate of reading
on simplified graded readers by many post-secondary learners. We
investigate what components of the second-language reading complex
may remain undeveloped. Word recognition in different languages
employs different phonological processes; so inadequately developed skill
in the foreign language processes may lead to poor decoding. This
situation requires formal assessment. However, practical tests of word-
recognition skill for second-language learners are not well developed.
Therefore, we adapted a test from Wydell and Kondo, replicating their
methodology to test the phonological skill of a JapaneseEnglish
bilingual diagnosed with dyslexia. We do not assume dyslexia among
Japanese English learners. Rather, the use of this test format aims to
elucidate the state of phonological skill of word-recognition ability in
ordinary learners. The subjects were university students at discrete
proficiency levels. The results show that this skill can be remarkably
underdeveloped. The average skill of subjects with lower proficiency was
similar to the objective standard of Wydell and Kondo’s English-reading
disabled subject. Higher-proficiency subjects performed much better. The
results do not imply dyslexia, although some lower-proficiency students
may, in fact, be English-dyslexic. Instead, they focus attention on the lack
of appropriate reading skills development in English education in Japan,
and its possible effect on overall proficiency. This situation principally
indicates a need for prolonged phonics training and more extensive L2

Coulson, D., Ariiso, M., Kojima, R., & Tanaka, M. (2013). Difficulties in reading English words: How do Japanese learners perform on a test of phonological deficit? Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 2 (1), 56-63. doi: 10.7820/vli.v02.1.coulson.et.al

VLI 2(1): Stoeckel & Bennett (2013)

Sources of Differential Item Functioning between Korean and Japanese Examinees on a Second- Language Vocabulary Test
Tim Stoeckel and Phil Bennett
Miyazaki International College
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v02.1.stoeckel.bennett
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The use of item response theory in equating or creating computeradaptive
tests relies on the assumption of invariance of item parameters
across populations. This assumption can be assessed with an analysis of
differential item functioning (DIF). The purpose of this study was (a) to
ascertain whether DIF between two native language groups was present
on a 90-item multiple-choice English vocabulary test and (b) to explore
the causes of DIF, should it exist. Participants were 184 Korean and 146
Japanese undergraduate students learning English as a foreign language
in their home countries. A separate calibration t-test approach was used
to identify DIF, with the criteria set at p < 0.01 and effect size > 1 logit,
calculated as the difference in Rasch item-difficulty between the two
groups. Twenty-one items displayed DIF. The causes of DIF in nine of
those items were tentatively identified as relating to their status as
loanwords in the L1. When a tested word was a loanword in both Korean
and Japanese, differences in both the frequency and range of use of the
loanword in the two languages predicted the direction of DIF. Similarly,
phonological/orthographic overlap between two separate English loanwords
in the L1 was found to be a possible cause of DIF. Implications for
test development and further research in this area are discussed.

Stoeckel, T., & Bennett, P. (2013). Sources of differential item functioning between Korean and Japanese examinees on a second-language vocabulary test. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 2 (1), 47-55. doi: 10.7820/vli.v02.1.stoeckel.bennett

VLI 2(1): Stubbe (2013)

Comparing Regression versus Correction Formula Predictions of Passive Recall Test Scores from Yes-No Test Results
Raymond Stubbe
Kyushu Sangyo University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v02.1.stubbe
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A novel form of scoring formula for self-report yesno vocabulary tests
was presented in Stubbe and Stewart, based on multiple regression
models that use both real-word and pseudoword reports to predict
subsequent scores on a test of passive recall knowledge (as measured by
L2 to L1 translations). The aim of the present study is to determine how
well passive recall test scores can be predicted from yes-no test results
adjusted using two methods: (1) regression formulas versus (2) the four
established correction for guessing formulas outlined in Huibregtse,
Admiraal, and Meara: h-f, cfg, Δm and lsdt. After taking a yes-no test
followed by a passive recall test of the same 96 real-words, the sample of
Japanese university students (N 431) was split into two groups of
comparable proficiency (A and B). The original Stubbe and Stewart
regression formula was compared to the four correction formulas by
analyzing their application with the Group A. Despite having a lower
correlation with passive recall test scores than one of the correction
formulas, the predicted scores produced were significantly closer. A new
regression formula was then created using the Group A’s test results and
this was used to predict translation test scores on Group B, along with the
four correction formulas. As the resulting predictions were superior to
those of any of the correction formulas, and not significantly different
from the actual passive recall test scores, plus the correlation with these
translation test scores was the highest (0.845), it was concluded that
regression formulas produced the best predictions.

Stubbe, R. (2013). Comparing regression versus correction formula predictions of passive recall test scores from yesno test results. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 2 (1), 39-46. doi: 10.7820/vli.v02.1.stubbe

VLI 2(1): Nation (2013)

Commentary on Four Studies for JALT Vocabulary SIG
Paul Nation
LALS, Victoria University of Wellington
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v02.1.nation
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Four papers by Tomoko Ishii, Emilie Masson, Atsushi Mizumoto and
Rachael Ruegg will be presented in morning session of the Second
Annual JALT Vocabulary SIG Vocabulary Symposium in Fukuoka, Japan
on July 2, 2013. As discussant, it is my pleasure to comment upon each
manuscript. These four lexical researchers originate from all over Japan:
Tokyo, Fukuoka, Osaka and Akita. The range of their lexical topics is
almost as wide: semantically related words; loanword usage difficulties;
self-efficacy and autonomy in vocabulary learning; and, lexical feedback
on writing. After commenting on each paper in turn, I shall present a few
suggestions for their future research.

Nation, I.S.P. (2013). Commentary on four studies for JALT Vocabulary SIG. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 2 (1), 32-38. doi: 10.7820/vli.v02.1.nation

VLI 2(1): Ruegg (2013)

A Comparison of Lexical Feedback on Writing Received from Peers and a Teacher
Rachael Ruegg
Akita International University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v02.1.ruegg
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While a vast number of studies have compared feedback from different
sources, few studies if any have compared feedback on lexis from different
sources. It is therefore unclear whether the amount or type of feedback
given by peers is comparable to that given by a teacher. This study
considers feedback on lexical errors in writing as a method of incidental
vocabulary instruction and compares lexical feedback given by peers and
a teacher over a period of one academic year. While it was found that the
teacher gave significantly more feedback on word choice than the peers
did, there was no significant difference between the amount of feedback
on word use, or the total amount of lexical feedback given by peers and
the teacher. It was also found that both peers and the teacher gave a
considerable amount of feedback on word use and much less on word
choice. If written feedback on writing is to be effective as a form of
incidental vocabulary instruction, it is suggested that both teachers and
peers should focus more on word choice when giving feedback on writing.

Ruegg, R. (2013). A comparison of lexical feedback on writing received from peers and a teacher. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 2 (1), 25-31. doi: 10.7820/vli.v02.1.ruegg

VLI 2(1): Mizumoto (2013)

Enhancing Self-efficacy in Vocabulary Learning: A Self-regulated Learning Approach
Atsushi Mizumoto
Kansai University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v02.1.mizumoto
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The current study aimed to explore the effects of integrating a selfregulated
learning approach on self-efficacy in vocabulary learning. A
group of 115 English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners from a
university in Japan participated in this longitudinal study. The participants
were assigned as the treatment group, the contrast group 1, and the
contrast group 2. Only the treatment group received the intervention based
on the self-regulated learning approach. The participants completed a
questionnaire on self-efficacy in vocabulary learning three times and a
vocabulary test twice. Multilevel analysis of change was employed to
examine the trajectories of change in the participants’ self-efficacy over the
measurement occasions. The gain scores in the vocabulary test were
submitted to analysis of variance. The results showed that the treatment
group showed a steady increase in self-efficacy and vocabulary knowledge
compared with the other two contrast groups. The findings from the
current study provide empirical evidence suggesting that through a selfregulated
learning approach, it might be possible to enhance self-efficacy,
which in turn may contribute to the development of vocabulary knowledge.

Mizumoto, A. (2013). Enhancing self-efficacy in vocabulary learning: A self-regulated learning approach. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 2 (1), 15-24. doi: 10.7820/vli.v02.1.mizumoto

VLI 2(1): Masson (2013)

How L1 Loanwords Can Create a False Sense of Familiarity with L2 Vocabulary Meaning and Usage
Marie-Emilie Masson
Kyushu Sangyo University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v02.1.masson
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Almost 50% of high-frequency English (L2) words have Japanese
cognates in the form of loanwords, and depending on cognate type these
are generally considered to be an excellent way to promote vocabulary
retention. However, relatively unexplored is the impact loanword
cognates have on word usage in sentences. This paper will describe the
discrepancies between students’ perceived knowledge and actual knowledge
of meaning and usage of English words with Japanese cognates. The
results suggest that cognates which are usually more difficult for students
to retain, such as distant false friends (because they have undergone a
semantic shift), are not the only source of difficulty in terms of word
usage. In addition to this, it appears loanword cognates that students
consider themselves to know can create a false sense of familiarity with
L2 meaning and usage. True cognates and convergent cognates, which are
generally considered the easiest to recall meaning of, showed the most
discrepancies in terms of accurate word usage.

Masson, M.-E. (2013). How L1 loanwords can create a false sense of familiarity with L2 vocabulary meaning and usage. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 2 (1), 8-14. doi: 10.7820/vli.v02.1.masson

VLI 2(1): Ishii (2013)

Reexamining Semantic Clustering: Insight from Memory Models
Tomoko Ishii
Seikei University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v02.1.ishii
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It has been repeatedly argued that semantically related words should not
be learned together because learning is impeded. However, the results of
past studies are not uniform, some providing favorable results for
semantic clustering, and some seem to suggest different types of similarity
affect memory in different ways. The types of similarity that truly cause
the problem therefore need to be examined more carefully. Focusing on
visual features, which are commonly observed across different models of
working memory, a study was conducted to examine if learners have
difficulty memorizing a group of words that describe items with common
physical features. The study compared the learning of three types of word
sets: unrelated, semantically related, and physically related. While no
statistically significant difference was observed between semantically
related and unrelated sets, the scores for physically related sets were
significantly lower than those for the other two types. This suggests the
possibility that the impeding effect of semantic clustering reported in the
past could be partly due to the precise nature of semantically similar
words, which sometimes share visual features.

Reexamining semantic clustering: Insight from memory models. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 2 (1), 1-7. doi: 10.7820/vli.v02.1.ishii

VLI 1(1): Iso (2012)

Examining the Validity of the Lexical Access Time Test (LEXATT2)
Tatsuo Iso
Reitaku University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v01.1.iso
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This study aimed to investigate the validity of the Lexical Access Time Test (LEXATT2). The first step was to examine the test results to determine if it was able to differentiate between participants with different English proficiency levels. The results were further analyzed to see if longer target words elicited slower lexical access times. The results of the 119 participants indicated promise in that LEXATT2 established an ability to distinguish proficiency levels to some extent. Further, it was found that LEXATT2 elicited slower lexical access time from the participants with lower English proficiency.

lexical access; fluent reading; automaticity of lexical access; word recognition; meaning retrieval; lexical access time test; computerized language testing.

Iso, T.(2012).Examining the validity of the lexical access time test (LEXATT2). Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 1(1), 7882. doi: 10.7820/vli.v01.1.iso

VLI 1(1): Batty (2012)

Identifying Dimensions of Vocabulary Knowledge in the Word Associates Test
Aaron Batty
Keio University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v01.1.batty
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Depth of vocabulary knowledge (DVK) (i.e. how much a learner knows about the words he knows) is typically conceptualized as a psychologically multidimensional construct, including various forms of word knowledge. Read’s Word Associates Test (WAT) is the most common test of DVK in the literature, assessing knowledge of words’ synonyms and collocates. Despite the fact that the WAT aims to measure two dimensions of vocabulary knowledge, no studies until now have investigated whether these dimensions are psychometrically distinct. The present study seeks to fill that gap. A known-reliable-and-valid WAT developed by David Qian was administered to 530 Japanese university English majors. Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to investigate the psychometric dimensionality of the WAT. It was discovered that a bifactor model, wherein the primary explanatory factor is a vocabulary g-factor, with additional, uncorrelated factors for synonym and collocate items, demonstrated the best fit. This finding implies that although these dimensions of DVK may be somewhat distinct, they are largely subsumed by general vocabulary knowledge.

vocabulary; depth of vocabulary knowledge; word associates test; multidimensionality; structural equation modeling.

Batty, A.(2012).Identifying dimensions of vocabulary knowledge in the word associates test. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 1(1), 7077. doi: 10.7820/vli.v01.1.batty