A Longitudinal Study of Swedish Upper Secondary School Students’ Vocabulary Development
Keywords:vocabulary, textbooks, learner corpus, vocabulary notebooks, frequency levels
The importance of vocabulary is stressed as a central aspect of language learning. The aim of this investigation1 was to study how lexical input from a textbook and use of individual vocabulary notebooks affected Swedish upper secondary school students’ vocabulary acquisition by answering the three following research questions: What frequency levels are represented in the vocabulary taught in the textbook? To what extent does the productive vocabulary knowledge of the group, as measured by the Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT), change after exposure to the textbook? To what extent did the students benefit from the vocabulary notebooks? Firstly, a corpus of texts from the textbook was created and analysed to establish the frequency levels of the vocabulary in the corpus. Laufer and Nation’s Vocabulary Levels Test was then used to establish the group’s productive vocabulary knowledge. Lastly, the effectiveness of the vocabulary notebook was examined. The results indicate that the particular textbook was well-suited in terms of frequency levels and the students’ knowledge of K3 words improved, but the vocabulary notebook was not found to be effective.
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