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Automaticity in L2 learning: Correlation between vocabulary proficiency and response time in word recognition
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Automaticity (in this essay defined as short response time) and fluency in language use are closely connected to each other and some research has been conducted regarding some of the aspects involved. In fact, the notion of automaticity is still debated and many definitions and opinions on what automaticity is have been suggested (Andersson,1987, 1992, 1993, Logan, 1988, Segalowitz, 2010). One aspect that still needs more research is the correlation between vocabulary proficiency (a person’s knowledge about words and ability to use them correctly) and response time in word recognition. Therefore, the aim of this study has been to investigate this correlation using two different tests; one vocabulary size test (Paul Nation) and one lexical decision task (SuperLab) that measures both response time and accuracy. 23 Swedish students partaking in the English 7 course in upper secondary Swedish school were tested. The data were analyzed using a quantitative method where the average values and correlations from the test were used to compare the results. The correlations were calculated using Pearson’s Coefficient Correlations Calculator. The empirical study indicates that vocabulary proficiency is not strongly correlated with shorter response times in word recognition. Rather, the data indicate that L2 learners instead are sensitive to the frequency levels of the vocabulary. The accuracy (number of correct recognized words) and response times correlate with the frequency level of the tested words. This indicates that factors other than vocabulary proficiency are important for the ability to recognize words quickly.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 18 p.
Keyword [en]
Vocabulary proficiency, Response time, Automaticity, English, Second Language Acquisition, Paul Nation, Frequency levels, Coefficient of Variation.
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-130831OAI: diva2:934196
Available from: 2016-06-20 Created: 2016-06-07 Last updated: 2016-06-20Bibliographically approved

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