Foreign Language Learners' Evaluation of Lexical Competence and Performance

Dilşah KALAY


Academic and general vocabulary knowledge and use are critically crucial for foreign language learners’ language proficiency and academic attainment. Through the aspects of lexical competence and performance, multidimensional facet of vocabulary knowledge and its interrelated constituents might be identified in detail thus vocabulary teaching process within the language education could be revealed efficiently. Keeping this in mind, the main purpose of the current study is to investigate foreign language learners' academic and general lexical competence and performance overarching all dimensions, namely receptive (i.e. the number and quality of vocabulary knowledge gained) and productive (i.e. use) aspects. Within this scope, via a multiple test approach, 371 Turkish preparatory school students in a state university were examined in terms of their multidimensional general and academic vocabulary knowledge. The findings revealed that language proficiency has had a critical impact on lexical competence and performance. Additionally, exposure to the vocabulary is of capital importance especially in terms of production. Regarding the academic vocabulary, as the participants were familiar with the words thanks to their academic reading and writing courses, the results indicated a tendency towards preference of academic vocabulary use.

Keywords: Academic vocabulary, general vocabulary, lexical competence, lexical performance, multidimensional vocabulary knowledge

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