Departmental Bulletin Paper The Relationship between Vocabulary Size and Reading Comprehension among Japanese EFL Learners

Daniel, Ball  ,  Daniel, Buller

106pp.1 - 10 , 2017-09 , 関西外国語大学・関西外国語大学短期大学部
This paper explores the correlation between reader performance on a standardized reading exam, which was gauged using scores from the reading section of the TOEFL ITP and the GTEC, and vocabulary size, which was measured by administering the bilingual Japanese version of the Vocabulary Size Test (BJVST). A few factors influence reading comprehension, vocabulary size being the primary consideration. To determine the degree to which vocabulary size measured by the Japanese bilingual version of the VST could be used to predict academic reading proficiency measured by the TOEFL ITP reading section, 100 Japanese first-year university students were given the Vocabulary Size Test (Nation & Beglar, 2007) and two reading comprehension tests. The results showed a weak correlation between vocabulary size as determined by the Japanese bilingual version of the VST and performance on the TOEFL ITP and the GTEC. Since other research has established strong links between reading proficiency and vocabulary size, the findings suggest that the VST, especially this bilingual version, alone may be unreliable predictors of reading comprehension levels. In the conclusion, we will suggest possible remedies for the continued use of the VST and paths of future study.

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