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ERIC Number: EJ864873
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0965-8416
ESL Learners' Semantic Awareness of English Words
Chiu, Chia-Hui
Language Awareness, v18 n3-4 p294-309 Aug 2009
This study investigates ESL learners' semantic awareness of English words by attempting to estimate a threshold beyond which ESL learners can be said to have reached native-like semantic knowledge. The "Vocabulary Levels Test," originally designed by Nation (1990) and later revised and expanded by Schmitt (2000), was used to operationalise this threshold. Version 1 of the test by Schmitt was adopted. The Chinese-speaking ESL learners were divided into two groups (high-level vs. low-level), depending on whether they had achieved the 5000-word level. The "Semantic Knowledge Test," self-developed by the researcher, was used to measure the participants' semantic development in English vocabulary. Native speakers of English also participated as the comparison group to the ESL learners. The "Semantic Knowledge Test" scores were analysed to compare the performances of the participants. The results indicated that even high-level ESL learners performed significantly worse than the native speakers of English. The 5000-word level thus was not high enough to be considered as constituting the semantic threshold level for the Chinese-speaking ESL learners. The researcher also examined the relationship between selected ESL learners' background variables and their semantic development. Pedagogical implications are discussed. (Contains 7 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A