Importance Of Vocabulary Knowledge

754 Words4 Pages
2.3.2 Vocabulary Breadth and Vocabulary Depth In order to clarify and better understanding of vocabulary knowledge, it is essential to investigate and explain the main construct of the ‘vocabulary’. In this section, vocabulary knowledge is separated into two broad categories including breadth and depth of vocabulary. Understanding and familiarity with the characteristics of these two aspects of an individual's vocabulary knowledge is useful. Vocabulary can be separated into two broad categories of knowledge: (1) how many words a person knows (vocabulary breadth) and (2) how well a person knows those words (vocabulary depth) (Nation, 1990; Richards, 1976). According to Gyllstad (2013, p. 16), “the breadth and depth terminology can be traced…show more content…
For example, Mehrpour, Razmjoo, & Kian (2011) attempted to investigate the particular role of depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge in learners’ reading comprehension performance. In order to collect the relevant data, researchers administered two tests measuring breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge. The results of the study indicated that while both depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge play an important role in EFL learners’ reading comprehension performance, depth of vocabulary knowledge makes a more important contribution. Furthermore, both size and depth of vocabulary knowledge are correlated and those learners who had large vocabulary size, had a deeper knowledge of the…show more content…
In the area of language learning, several studies (Fries & Traver, 1960; Lorge & Chall, 1963; Diller, 1978, cited in Goulden, Nation, and Read, 1990) investigated on vocabulary size and determined the number of words, which language learners need to read a text with reasonable comprehension. These studies asserted various estimates number of words known by college students and adults. Their estimate number was ranging from 3,000 words to 216,000 words. In another study, Nation and Waring (1997) examined the number of vocabularies that a second language learner need. They believed that a gap exists between vocabulary size of native and non-native speakers. Vocabulary size knowledge of many non-native speakers is much less than 5,000 word families, even after they studied English for several years. This amount of the gap is usually very large and according to Jamieson (1976), this gap is not closed. Moreover, according to Nation and Waring (1997) second language learners should not be despondent about this vocabulary gap, because “a small number of the words of English occur very frequently and if a learner knows these words, that the learner will know a very large proportion of the running words in a written or spoken text”(p.

More about Importance Of Vocabulary Knowledge

Open Document