Aspects of Word Knowledge: Receptive Versus Productive Performances

| February 3, 2014

Volume 8-1 February 2012.

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Title

Aspects of Word Knowledge: Receptive Versus Productive Performances

Authors

Alireza Barouni Ebrahimi (M.A.) 

English Department, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran

Zahra Fotovatnia (Ph.D.) 

English Department, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran

Biodata

Alireza Barouni Ebrahimi M.A. in TEFL from Islamic Azad University, Najafabad Branch, Iran. His areas of interest are applied linguistics, methodology and vocabulary learning and teaching. He is an English teacher in Sadr Institute of Higher Education. He has the experience of publishing and presenting some papers in a few international and national journals and conferences.

Zahra Fotovatnia, assistant professor at the English department of Islamic Azad University, Najafabad Branch, Iran. Her areas of interest are psycholinguistics and pedagogical phonetics and phonology. She has published and presented papers in some national and international journals and conferences.

Abstract

The present study aimed at evaluating mastery over various aspects of depth of vocabulary knowledge as defined by Nation (2001) in both receptive and productive modes by TEFL graduate students as well as TEFL graduate teachers.  The purpose was to show which aspect in which mode was more difficult to master even in advanced levels and even when teaching experience is involved. The study also examined two tests designed to measure depth of vocabulary knowledge. To construct the tests, Nation’s table of word knowledge was used. This table divides depth of vocabulary knowledge into three main aspects of form, meaning, and use in both receptive and productive modes, 18 items in total. 41 TEFL graduate students and teachers received the word-knowledge tests. Results show significant low performance on use part in both modes for both groups while higher nonsignificant performance on form over meaning is also observed. Surprisingly four years of teaching did not have any effect on the results. Furthermore, both groups performed better receptively than productively. One reasonable pedagogical implication is to give more importance to aspects that are more difficult to learn, especially aspects that are related to the use of language which are highly related to syntagmatic and paradigmatic relationship between words.

Key words: depth of vocabulary knowledge, performance on word knowledge, receptive versus productive modes

Category: 2012