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The impact of L1 lexical organisation in L2 vocabulary acquisition / Jim Milton
Language in Focus Journal, Volume: 1, Issue: 1, Pages: 15 - 34
Swansea University Author: Milton, Jim
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This paper presents an empirical study investigating the relationship between first language(L1) lexical organisation and second language (L2) vocabulary development. Theparticipants consisted of 191 native Arabic learners of English as a foreign language (EFL)within higher secondary education in Sa...
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This paper presents an empirical study investigating the relationship between first language(L1) lexical organisation and second language (L2) vocabulary development. Theparticipants consisted of 191 native Arabic learners of English as a foreign language (EFL)within higher secondary education in Saudi Arabia. To conduct the study, two receptivevocabulary size tests (L1 Arabic-Lex and L2 English X-Lex) were used with an L1 lexicalorganisation test (ALOT) which was designed for the purpose of the study. Learners' L1lexical organisation scores were found to be associated with their L1 and L2 receptivevocabulary scores. However, the strong correlation found between lexical organisation andthe size of the lexicon in learners’ L1 might well suggest that lexical networks and the size ofthe lexicon are one unified system. Nevertheless, to find any potential interaction between L1lexical organisation and size on L2 vocabulary acquisition, ‘moderation’ analyses wereperformed. Moderation results revealed three levels of interaction; low, average and high.The low level shows that a low level of lexical organisation leads to low levels of L1 and L2vocabulary size. The same relationship trend was logged for average and high levels. Theseresults thus emphasise the importance of a well-structured L1 mental lexicon on L2vocabulary acquisition.
lexical organisation, vocabulary acqusition
College of Arts and Humanities