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ERIC Number: EJ1258128
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2020
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2369-4211
Are Academic English Words Learned Incidentally? A Canadian Case Study
Freimuth, Hilda
BC TEAL Journal, v5 n1 p32-43 2020
This study at a Canadian university grew out of the need to know whether students acquired academic vocabulary incidentally through text exposure (extensive reading) in class. The ability to explicitly teach all the words on the academic word list is an unreasonable expectation for a one-semester course. This study, therefore, investigated whether thirteen English as an additional language (EAL) students in a capstone foundation course (academic reading and writing) acquired vocabulary simply through exposure to a variety of different academic texts (such as policy papers, essays, journal articles, and book chapters) in class. Students assessed their own vocabulary knowledge and development through Paribakht and Weschke's (1993) "Vocabulary Knowledge Scale" ("VKS") at the beginning of the study (Week 3) and again at the end of the semester (Week 13). Results indicated a vocabulary gain for almost all students, even with word exposure frequencies as low as one to four. Further research on incidental academic vocabulary acquisition is needed using other instrumentation to confirm the findings.
Association of BC Teachers of English as an Additional Language. #206 - 640 West Broadway, Vancouver BC, V5Z 1G4, Canada. Tel: 604-736-6330; Fax: 604-736-6303; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A