ERIC Number: ED350829
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
Vocabulary Size as a Placement Indicator.
Meara, Paul; Jones, Glyn
The student placement test in English as a Second Language used for the Eurocentres schools in the United Kingdom differs from traditional placement tests in that it is a vocabulary test and does not attempt to measure other aspects of learner knowledge of English. The test attempts to measure absolute size of the learner's English vocabulary. The totally automated test is administered by displaying a large number of words on a computer screen, asking the learner which he knows, and using mathematical formulas to estimate vocabulary size. The examinee proceeds through a series of such screens. An example with French vocabulary illustrates the method. The mathematical model used for calculating vocabulary size evolved from military research. Results of administration of the test to about 250 students from a wide range of language backgrounds were compared with results of the previously-used placement test at the Eurocentres schools found relatively high correlations between the tests but some variation by language group. It is concluded that the test works well for placement but needs further refinement, and that visual recognition of words may not accurately reflect knowledge of them. Use of imaginary words in the test should also be reconsidered. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Eurocentres Schools (United Kingdom); United Kingdom
Note: In: Grunwell, Pamela, Ed. Applied Linguistics in Society. Papers from the Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (20th, Nottingham, England, United Kingdom, September 1987. British Studies in Applied Linguistics, 3; see FL 020 520.