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The Effect of Korean University Students’ Lexical Size and Coverage in Reading Comprehension in English

  • Modern English Education
  • Abbr : MEESO
  • 2017, 18(2), pp.25-43
  • Publisher : The Modern English Education Society
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Language Teaching
  • Published : May 31, 2017

Jihee-jeong 1 Yousun Shin 1

1부경대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study investigated whether Korean university students’ vocabulary size and their proficiency levels affect their reading comprehension in an EFL environment. Additionally, the study attempted at exploring to what extent vocabulary knowledge determines ‘adequate’ reading when lexical coverage are considered. For this purpose, vocabulary size was measured by the revised version of Vocabulary Levels Test (Schmitt, Schmitt, & Clapham, 2001). Reading comprehension items were adopted from commercially published TOEIC practice test items. Lexical coverage was calculated by using Vocabulary Profile. A total of 50 students who have existing TOEIC scores took part in the study, and none of them majored in English. The combination of regression, correlation coefficient, and ANOVA analysis were carried out to analyze the collected data. The results revealed that vocabulary size and reading comprehension scores were highly correlated. Evidently, Korean university students need to reach approximately 5,000 word families in order to be an ‘adequate’ reader in an academic setting, which resulted in the word coverage of around 97% including proper nouns. Pedagogical implication and further research directions are also suggested.

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