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Words from where? Predictors of L2 English vocabulary among Norwegian university students

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This study investigated variation in receptive L2 English vocabulary among Norwegian university students in relation to their field of study and exposure to English, both within and outside of formal education. A survey comprising the Vocabulary Levels Test (Schmitt, Schmitt, & Clapham, 2001) and questions about sources of language acquisition was completed by 189 Norwegian university students. The results indicate that vocabulary knowledge varied between students whose courses required different amounts of English reading. Extramural exposure to English was found to be a stronger predictor of vocabulary scores than formal English education. Since vocabulary knowledge is an important predictor of reading comprehension, it is important to consider how much the observed variation in vocabulary knowledge might affect academic outcomes.
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Keywords: English as a second language; English for academic purposes; L2 acquisition; extramural English; vocabulary

Appeared or available online: March 23, 2020

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