Teenagers’ Vocabulary Knowledge and Self-Efficacy as Elements in Effective L2 Online Searches
Keywords:Vocabulary, size, online reading, VST, SORAB, Swedish learners of English
As English dominates the Internet, most education systems need to prepare pupils to perform L2 information searches. Generating efficient search terms and understanding the information retrieved requires good vocabulary knowledge. This study examined the relationship between vocabulary knowledge, L2 online searching, and attitudes towards online searching. A sample of Swedish pupils’ abilities in locating suitably difficult texts and learning words were tested by comparing their Vocabulary Size Test scores with the lexical density of their search results and subsequent text production. Long-term vocabulary recall and self-efficacy for searching online were also tested. The results indicate that pupils tended to read and write texts below their ability level. They were unaware that they could achieve more as their self-efficacy measures indicated high confidence levels despite rather modest skills. The challenge posed by the findings is to enable teenagers to recognize how much more effectively they could use the Internet, without damaging their confidence.
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