VLI 6(1): Munby (2017)

i-lex v1 and v2: An Improved Method of Assessing L2 Learner Ability to See Connections between Words?
Ian Munby
Hokkai Gakuen University
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v06.1.Munby
Download this article (pdf)

Abstract
Knowing a word’s associations is considered an aspect of word knowledge.
It follows that L2 learner ability to see connections between
words may improve with gains in vocabulary knowledge. Word association
tests (WATs) may measure not only learner ability to see links
between words, but they may also assess the degree of organization
of L2 learner lexical knowledge which plays a role in the development
of lexical competence. The aim of this study is to develop a new WAT
wherein learners are presented with the three most common associates
of a cue word. The task is to supply the missing cue word. Following
this format, a test was developed using sets of three cue words chosen
from the five most common associates to 50 target words (TWs) listed
in the Edinburgh Associative Thesaurus, or EAT. Results of an initial
study (i-lex v1) showed that, on average, a group of native speakers
outperformed an experimental group of Japanese learners of English
ranging in level from elementary to upper intermediate. Further, both
in the initial study and a follow-up study (i-lex v2), significant and positive
correlations were found among nonnative i-lex scores and a translation
test. In i-lex v2, significant and positive correlations were also
found among nonnative i-lex scores and the New Vocabulary Levels
Test. These results indicate that the ability of these groups of participants
to see links between highly frequent English words is related to
their vocabulary knowledge.

Citation
Munby I. (2017). i-lex v1 and v2: An improved method of assessing L2 learner ability to see connections between words?. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 6 (1), 75–94. doi: 10.7820/vli.v06.1.Munby