A Longitudinal Study on the L2 Word Depth Knowledge (Meaning and Collocation) Development in China from Dynamic Systems Theory Perspective

  •  Ning Dali    


This study, adopting a longitudinal approach, traces the dynamic word knowledge development of two essential dimensions (meaning and collocation) both receptively and productively in Chinese context. Seven freshmen students (from the same class in a university in Guangzhou) of different language levels were selected to be observed of their English word knowledge development over one year’s time. The results suggest that word knowledge develops with slowdowns and recessions and the dimensions of knowledge develop in an unbalanced way, an indication of the dynamic and complex nature of language learning. Receptive knowledge shows a much more active development than productive knowledge as it grows faster but with more losses as well. Collocation though always shows poorer acquisition results in the two tests, demonstrates a faster growth than meaning knowledge. As to the individual differences, participants who were tested as the higher level of learners did not always show better development in word depth knowledge during the year. The results also reveal the participants’ learning preferences (e.g. passive learning style and active learning style). This study sheds light on the L2 vocabulary learning and teaching in Chinese context.

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