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ERIC Number: ED519390
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 292
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-0300-6
How Does Second Language Vocabulary Grow over Time? A Multi-Methodological Study of Incremental Vocabulary Knowledge Development
Huang, Hung-Tzu
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
This study investigated the longitudinal development of L2 vocabulary by 17 individual adult L2 learners in an English as a second language (ESL) instructed context over one academic year, combining a longitudinal case study design with two cross-sectional comparisons in order to enhance (a) detailed documentation addressing the idiosyncrasy of L2 vocabulary learning and (b) comparability across previous and future research. The research design and theoretical framework emphasized the incremental and multidimensional nature of L2 vocabulary development. Seventeen L2 learners from intermediate ESL writing courses at a U.S. university were recruited for participation in a one-academic-year investigation for the longitudinal case study. They contributed triangulated data through four semi-structured vocabulary interviews designed after Schmitt (1998), two standardized vocabulary tests of vocabulary size (Nation, 1990) and suffixation knowledge (Schmitt & Meara, 1997) administered in a pre-post test design, and written assignments produced throughout the research period. A hierarchical cluster analysis and other analytical and graphic display techniques from Dynamic Systems Theory (DST, e.g., Larsen-Freeman, 2006) were applied to the interpretations of individual L2 students' development. For the purpose of providing a backdrop on the instructional context in which participants of the longitudinal case study were situated, cross-sectional data were collected involving vocabulary tests (n = 123) and a learner corpus of placement essays (n = 150) within the same instructional context as the longitudinal case study. The findings showed that individual learners exhibited growth in meaning, grammar information, and collocation knowledge, but no change in spelling and association knowledge. The development in meaning, grammar, and collocation knowledge were found to be supportive of each other. In addition, improvement of vocabulary size mainly came from low-frequency words while advancement of morphological knowledge was manifested in productive derivational knowledge. Investigation into writing assignments collected over the research period suggested that L2 learners' opportunities for vocabulary output and development were affected by instructional contexts in which participants were situated. The study contributes insights for the development of theoretical models of L2 vocabulary learning. It also demonstrates the need for adopting multiple methodologies in the same design and for emphasizing ecological validity in L2 vocabulary development research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States