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The impact of study abroad on vocabulary development among different proficiency groups
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 13:05 authored by Anne Ife, Gemma Vives Boix, Paul Meara
Previous research into the linguistic benefits of study abroad suggests that vocabulary growth among less proficient learners is substantially enhanced by study abroad, whereas more proficient learners make less progress in terms of items gained. This study aims to assess whether the advances made by more proficient learners are obscured by tests measuring numerical growth alone. The study uses a new test that measures organizational aspects of vocabulary knowledge by showing the level of native-like associations present in a learner's vocabulary. Here we report the experience of using the test alongside a more standard type of vocabulary test to measure lexical gain among learners of Spanish of different proficiency levels. We found that the test captures information about the lexicon that is not available from other tests, and that on this measure, contrary to the indications of previous research findings, substantial progress is also made by more proficient learners during study periods abroad.
Publication titleSpanish Applied Linguistics
PublisherSpanish Applied Linguistics