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Is Receptive Vocabulary Knowledge a Predictor for English as a Second Language Learners’ Level of Speaking Performance?

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Research studies from a few decades ago have explored relationship between learners’ vocabulary knowledge and language skills namely speaking, writing, listening and reading. However, there is hardly any study which examines the link between receptive vocabulary knowledge and speaking proficiency of Malaysian learners of English as a second language (ESL). This paper therefore aims to present a study which was conducted to systematically investigate how well receptive vocabulary knowledge predicts the speaking performance of ESL students studying at pre-university level. Seventy Malaysian ESL pre-university students participated in the study. In order to collect the data, the Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) and a MUET-like speaking assessment were administered. The result reveals that there is no statistically significant correlation between the students’ receptive vocabulary knowledge level and their speaking performance. This study thus concludes that receptive vocabulary knowledge is not a significant predictor of speaking performance of ESL pre-university students.
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Keywords: Malaysian University English Test (MUET); Receptive Vocabulary Knowledge; Speaking Performance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, 54100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2: School of Education and Modern Languages, College of Arts and Sciences, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 Kedah, Malaysia

Publication date: April 1, 2017

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  • ADVANCED SCIENCE LETTERS is an international peer-reviewed journal with a very wide-ranging coverage, consolidates research activities in all areas of (1) Physical Sciences, (2) Biological Sciences, (3) Mathematical Sciences, (4) Engineering, (5) Computer and Information Sciences, and (6) Geosciences to publish original short communications, full research papers and timely brief (mini) reviews with authors photo and biography encompassing the basic and applied research and current developments in educational aspects of these scientific areas.
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