Vocabulary and listening in English among L1-Spanish learners: a longitudinal study

AOIZ PINILLOS, Martin (2021). Vocabulary and listening in English among L1-Spanish learners: a longitudinal study. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00376


Second language listening causes situations of stress and negative perceptions among learners and teachers. Research has suggested that L2 listening and vocabulary knowledge are related. However, this relationship has been barely explored, and in most cases with inadequate instruments. This thesis is an attempt to bridge those gaps by examining the contribution of the language learners’ vocabulary size to their listening ability. A bilingual multiple-choice vocabulary test, based on the official vocabulary list in a standardized language exam, was created to assess the vocabulary size of L2-English learners. Its 81 items were delivered first orally, and then in writing. The ability to comprehend aural texts was assessed through the listening paper in the same standardized examination. 284 language learners took the vocabulary and listening tests. After an observation period of 35 weeks, the study participants were given the same tests. Both datasets were analyzed with the Rasch model to determine the participants’ abilities and the item difficulties. Evidence from data analyses supported the following findings: 1) A strong and positive relationship exists between L2 vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension. 2) Aural and written vocabulary knowledge are two dimensions that should be assessed and investigated separately, particularly in relation to listening comprehension. 3) Aural vocabulary knowledge is a better predictor of listening comprehension than written vocabulary knowledge, especially among language learners with comparatively weaker listening skills. 4) Knowing 71.71% of the words featured in a listening comprehension test is sufficient to answer 72% of its questions correctly. 5) Language learners increase their aural and written vocabulary size, and improve their listening ability after attending classes for about 35 weeks. This improvement is particularly acute among lower-level learners. Based on these results, L2 learners, teachers and researchers should focus more on the aural form of words to improve listening comprehension.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Nicholas, Moore
Thesis advisor - Morgan, Jane
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Nicholas Moore and Dr. Jane L. Morgan
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00376
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2021 14:29
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2021 08:30
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28911

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