VLI 4(1): Chang (2015)

An Investigation of Different Text Levels on L2 Learners’ Vocabulary Learning Rates in an Extensive Reading Program
Anna C-S Chang
Hsing-Wu University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v04.1.chang
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This study investigated whether different text levels would affect L2
learners’ vocabulary learning rates and further examined the correlation
between the frequency of word occurrence and learning rates in two
different task conditions. A group of 31 year-11 senior high-school
students read five level 1 graded readers, a total of 28,796 words, and then
moved on to read five level 3 graded readers, 54,676 words, during a
13-week period. One hundred and twenty-five target words were selected
from the 10 graded readers, 51 words from level 1, and 74 from level 2
texts. A vocabulary test containing two test methods was administered
to students: a 125-item form-meaning matching test and a 42 item
contextualized translation test. Twenty-one low-frequency words from
each level text were selected to examine the frequency of word occurrence
and learning rates. The meaning matching test results demonstrated that
the learning rate at level 1 was significantly higher than those of level 3 in
the post-test. The attrition rate of level 1 texts was also higher, which
led to no significant difference in learning rates in the delayed post-test.
A similar learning pattern can be said for the contextualized translation
tests. Positive but statistically insignificant correlations between the
frequencies of occurrence of 21 target words were found in the post-tests
but were stronger in the delayed post-test in both meaning matching and
translation tests. Overall, the learning rates for both level 1 and level 3
texts were very high. Four reasons for the higher learning rates were
explained. Pedagogical implications are discussed.

Chang, A.C-S (2015). A Japanese word association database of English. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 4 (1), 47-57. doi: 10.7820/vli.v04.1.chang