Studies of Danish L2 learners’ vocabulary knowledge and the lexical richness of their written production in English

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningfagfællebedømt

Birgit Henriksen, Lise Danelund

A number of lexical studies report a strong correlation between L2 learners’ vocabulary size and depth and their writing skills. Three Danish empirical studies explore this relationship further by looking at the vocabulary knowledge of young upper-secondary school learners of English and their written productions with a focus on the lexical richness of their L2 writing. The first study investigates the learners’ receptive vocabulary level (Nation’s VLT) and their lexical error production in free written compositions. The second study looks at the learners’ productive vocabulary size (Laufer and Nation’s PLT), and the vocabulary profiles of their compositions in terms of lexical variation and sophistication. The last study combines a focus on receptive (Nation’s VLT) and productive vocabulary (Laufer and Nation’s PLT) and a word association task (Meara and Fitzpatrick’s Lex 30) with a lexical analysis of written essays from learners across two educational levels. All studies show a surprisingly low level of receptive and productive vocabulary knowledge for the pupils tested. Moreover, the lexical analyses of the texts reveal that the learners do not exploit the vocabulary resources they have in their written production. Even the high-level learners, who have more L2 vocabulary, are using a “playing-it-safe strategy”, relying on familiar high-frequent lexical items in their writing. The results are discussed in light of the meaning-based teaching approaches used in Danish EFL classrooms and the lack of testing tradition, which may induce the learners to make do with a limited vocabulary repertoire.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TitelLexical issues in L2 writing
RedaktørerPäivi Pietilä, Katalin Doró, Renata Pípalová
Udgivelses stedNewcastle upon Tyne
ForlagCambridge Scholars Publishing
Publikationsdato1 okt. 2015
Sider29-56
Kapitel2
ISBN (Trykt)978-1-4438-8022-1
StatusUdgivet - 1 okt. 2015

ID: 170136306