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Title: Matrix models of second language vocabulary acquisition
Author: Rodrigeuz-Sanchez, I.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2000
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Most of the current research in L2 vocabulary acquisition has been too focused on what it is to learn a word, and has neglected how whole vocabularies grow or decline. In general, it is assumed that vocabulary gains and losses are incremental and follow a linear progression. This thesis postulates a model which considers several discrete stages of knowledge and accounts for the unstable nature of vocabulary knowledge, where words can change from one state to any other. Matrix algebra is a tool capable to operate with such a model and produce long-term forecasts of vocabulary size. Our experimental work describes the retention and the overall growth of the vocabulary of advanced learners of Spanish. These experiments show that forecasts of vocabulary size generated by the matrix model are far more accurate than those generated by a linear model. With data from two self-rating tasks containing a large number of words completed within a given lapse we build matrices which generate forecasts of vocabulary knowledge. These forecasts highly correlate to the actual knowledge measured three and four months later. This methodology is tested with subjects of various groups, using words from different frequency bands, and different measurement scales. In addition, we indicate ways of identifying matrices likely to generate inaccurate predictions. This methodology is considered one step forward towards the establishment of a model for L2 vocabulary acquisition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available