John Read

John Read


MY 632

Assessing academic vocabulary knowledge in more depth

John Read - Professor Emeritus, The University of Auckland

How well do learners know the words they “know”?

Published research on second vocabulary assessment has been dominated by measures of vocabulary size, such as the Vocabulary Levels Test and the Vocabulary Size Test. To complement such measures, there have been some efforts to develop ways to assess depth of knowledge of important high-frequency words, notably the word associates format, but little in the way of fresh thinking on the topic. This presentation will report on two initiatives to develop a template for innovative measures of vocabulary depth, focusing on word associates, collocational knowledge and word family membership. One was for first-year Business students at the University of Auckland, drawing on an analysis of the vocabulary in their course readings. The second project (in collaboration with Yen Dang) was to produce a similar test based on the Academic Vocabulary List that would be suitable for students at Vietnam National University studying through the medium of English.