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Title: Investigating the construct of productive vocabulary knowledge with Lex30
Author: Clenton, Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 9068
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis investigates the construct of productive vocabulary knowledge with a productive vocabulary task, Lex30. The task is designed to elicit up to four vocabulary items in response to each of 30 cues. In this way, Lex30 generates a corpus for each subject up to 120 words, which is then categorised according to frequency bands. The test is scored according to the number, or proportion, of infrequent words elicited, with infrequent defined as all items excluding the most frequently occurring 1000 English words. The higher the Lex30 score, then, the more infrequent words that subject has produced in response to the cues. Each corpus generated by Lex30, therefore, offers information about subjects' relative knowledge of infrequent items, although this might only be threshold knowledge. A feature of Lex30 is that it appears to measure productive vocabulary knowledge discretely: it does not activate multiple aspects of language knowledge, and is not context engaging. This feature suggests that we can measure one of the many aspects that are commonly considered to constitute language knowledge, productive vocabulary knowledge, without interference from other aspects of language knowledge. Additionally, Lex30 offers the potential to hypothesize about subjects' relative L2 proficiency in terms of the proportion of infrequent items they provide. To investigate the construct of productive vocabulary with Lex30, this thesis examines, in a principled way, exactly what aspect of language competence it measures, and makes comparisons with other cognate tests. The test has been used in a number of contexts since its introduction; this thesis offers a thorough investigation of its reliability, different versions of the scoring system, the influence cue frequency and of specific cue items, and the mode of task delivery and response. The thesis concludes that Lex30 provides us with a helpful means to understand the construct of productive vocabulary knowledge.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English language ; Foreign speakers ; Vocabulary ; Ability testing