The Investigation of Vocabulary Input in High School EFL Textbooks

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The Investigation of Vocabulary Input in High School EFL Textbooks and
University Admission Tests
Navinda Sujinpram1*, Asst. Prof. Dr. Natawan Senchantichai2#, Dr. Kornwipa Poonpon3#
English Program, Khon Kaen Univesity, Khon Kaen
*[email protected], #[email protected], #[email protected]
Abstract
The relationship between vocabulary and language ability has gained theoretically and
empirically accepted. This is especially true for reading comprehension which the strong
relationship is found. As such, there is a possibility that knowledge of vocabulary can predict
the ability to use the language, in particular to gain adequate comprehension in reading any
material. This study set out to investigate vocabulary input in high school EFL textbooks and
English tests for university admission, and to find out if there is any difference between them.
Three research questions were addressed as follows: 1) what is the vocabulary input in high
school EFL textbooks? 2) what is the vocabulary input in the English tests for university
admission? and 3) is there difference of vocabulary input between them? To answer the
questions, a corpus-based investigation was conducted. The British National Corpus (BNC)
was selected as a representative corpus, and run on the VocabProfile BNC-20, an online word
profiling program. Two textbook series and three high-steak English tests for university
admission were compiled as new corpora. The criterion for the analysis was set at 95 percent
text coverage. The results showed that one textbook contained 3,000 words inclusive of
proper nouns, and the other contained 4,000 words inclusive of proper nouns as resources for
reading any texts. One of the two English tests needed 3,000 words inclusive of proper nouns
for gaining adequate comprehension, and the other two tests needed 4,000 words inclusive of
proper nouns to do so. It was apparent that a textbook with 3,000 words failed to contain
adequate vocabulary input for gaining adequate comprehension in two of the three English
tests. So, some additional materials to increase vocabulary knowledge are potentially useful
to bridge the gap between them.
Keywords: O-NET, GAT, KKU, BNC, VocabProfile BNC-20
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