Volume 3, Issue 1  April 2020, pp. 1–12          Download PDF

Regular Articles
Assessing threshold level of L2 vocabulary depth in reading comprehension and incidental vocabulary learning

S.J. Ehsanzadeh https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2620-78141

1 Florida International University, USA sehsa002@fiu.edu

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/lea.v3n1.171


This study measures the threshold level of depth of word knowledge in L2 incidental learning and reading comprehension. I administered the Word Associates Test (WAT) (Read, 2004) to measure depth of word knowledge. Based on participants' scores on the WAT, they were divided into three proficiency groups: high proficiency (HP), intermediate proficiency (IP), and low proficiency (LP). As part of data collection, participants were also asked to read a short story and then complete items of the Vocabulary Knowledge Scale (VKS) (Paribakht & Wesche, 1997) for the 30 chosen target words. To rate incidental vocabulary acquisition, I administered the VKS test with a repeated measure design in a period of one month. Results indicate that (a) the HPs gained more vocabulary by comparison than the IPs and the LPs, (b) the probabilistic threshold level for L2 incidental learning is from 85 to 135 out of 160 on WAT, and (c) no significant role of depth in reading comprehension has been confirmed.


© S.J. Ehsanzadeh

CC  4.0
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Ehsanzadeh, S.J. (2020). Assessing threshold level of L2 vocabulary depth in reading comprehension and incidental vocabulary learning. Language Education & Assessment, 3(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.29140/lea.v3n1.171

Related Articles:

Negotiating intercultural spaces and teacher identity in an internationalised school in Shanghai
Adam Poole
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 23 August, 2019, Volume 2(2), 59–70. Download PDF

Designing a course in intercultural education
Adrian Holliday
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 11 August, 2018, Volume 1(1), 4–11. Download PDF

(Re)imagining a course in language and intercultural communication for the 21st century
Adriana Raquel Diaz, Paul J. Moore
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 29 December, 2018, Volume 1(3), 83–99. Download PDF

Reframing and hospicing mobility in higher education: Challenges and possibilities
Adriana Raquel Diaz, Marisa Cordella, Samantha Dispray, Barbara E. Hanna, Anna Mikhaylova
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 19 April, 2021, Volume 4(1), 106–121. Download PDF

Strategy use, self-efficacy beliefs, and self-regulatedness in adult foreign language learning
Akihiro Saito
Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics Published: 26 August, 2020, Volume 3(2), 152–167. Download PDF

Engagement with technology: Gaming, immersion and sub-optimal experiences
Alastair Henry, Cecilia Thorsen
Technology in Language Teaching & Learning Published: 21 December, 2019, Volume 1(2), 52–67. Download PDF

In pursuit of intercultural competence: Exploring self-awareness of EFL pupils in a lower-secondary school in Norway
Anastasia Khanukaeva
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 23 December, 2020, Volume 3(3), 118–140. Download PDF

Language, diversity and culturally responsive education
Ann E. Lopez
Migration and Language Education Published: 30 April, 2020, Volume 1(1), 3–13. Download PDF

L2 motivation in ESP and EGP courses: An investigation of L2 motivational selves among learners of English in Saudi Arabia
Aser Nazzal K. Altalib
Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics Published: 30 April, 2019, Volume 2(1), 1–16. Download PDF

The Council of Europe Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture: Ideological refractions, othering and obedient politics
Ashley Simpson, Fred Dervin
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 20 December, 2019, Volume 2(3), 102–119. Download PDF