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Modeling Taiwanese adolescent learners’ English vocabulary acquisition and retention: The washback effect of the College Entrance Examination Center's reference word list
Barry Lee Reynolds1; Ying-Chun Shih2; Wei-Hua Wu3
2018-10-01
Source PublicationEnglish for Specific Purposes
ISSN0889-4906
Volume52Pages:47-59
Abstract

Compilation and utilization of second language word lists have the potential to positively or negatively affect curriculum design, materials development, instructional practice, and high-stakes assessments. This study firstly exemplifies this phenomenon by tracing the compilation of the “unauthorized” English language Reference Word List (RWL), the de facto list of words used for Taiwanese high school textbook and materials development compiled by the College Entrance Examination Center. Secondly, this study examines the influence of the RWL and word property variables (Polysemy, Part of Speech, Word Length, and Word Family Size) on non-English majors’ (n = 566) vocabulary acquisition (VA). Results show medium to large correlations between RWL Level/Inclusion and VA as well as small to medium correlations between Polysemy, Frequency, Word Length and VA. An eight explanatory variable sequential regression accounted for 50% of the variance in VA, with RWL Level and RWL Inclusion adding the most explanatory power to the model. Next, washback effects of the RWL on Taiwanese high school English learners’ VA are discussed and suggestions on compiling an empirically-informed new RWL are provided. Lastly, our critique and suggestions for revision of the RWL are discussed in connection to the creation and revision of word lists for other learning contexts.

KeywordFrequency High-stakes Exams Polysemy Vocabulary Acquisition Vocabulary Lists Washback
DOI10.1016/j.esp.2018.08.001
URLView the original
Indexed BySSCI
Language英語English
WOS Research AreaLinguistics
WOS SubjectLinguistics
WOS IDWOS:000446291400004
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Cited Times [WOS]:3   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
CollectionFaculty of Education
Corresponding AuthorBarry Lee Reynolds
Affiliation1.Faculty of Education,University of Macau,,Taipa,Macao
2.Department of Applied Foreign Languages,National Taipei University of Business,,Taipei,Taiwan
3.Taipei Municipal Nanmen Junior High School,,Taipei,Taiwan
First Author AffilicationFaculty of Education
Corresponding Author AffilicationFaculty of Education
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Barry Lee Reynolds,Ying-Chun Shih,Wei-Hua Wu. Modeling Taiwanese adolescent learners’ English vocabulary acquisition and retention: The washback effect of the College Entrance Examination Center's reference word list[J]. English for Specific Purposes,2018,52:47-59.
APA Barry Lee Reynolds,Ying-Chun Shih,&Wei-Hua Wu.(2018).Modeling Taiwanese adolescent learners’ English vocabulary acquisition and retention: The washback effect of the College Entrance Examination Center's reference word list.English for Specific Purposes,52,47-59.
MLA Barry Lee Reynolds,et al."Modeling Taiwanese adolescent learners’ English vocabulary acquisition and retention: The washback effect of the College Entrance Examination Center's reference word list".English for Specific Purposes 52(2018):47-59.
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