Relationships of International Students’ L2 Vocabulary, Receptive Skills, and Strategy Use: A Pathway College Context

  •  Tasnima Aktar    
  •  Dina Strong    


A considerable amount of studies has been done on the relationship of L2 vocabulary and reading/listening, strategy use and reading/listening, and vocabulary and strategy use in different contexts among different levels of learners; however, little has been known about the relationships among all these variables with the same cohort of learners and particularly with international students including Asian students in a UK pathway college context. Furthermore, existing research on these relationships is inconclusive. This paucity and inconclusiveness invoke this attempt to understand the relationships of all these variables among pre-sessional international students. Quantitative data were collected from 31 Pre-Undergraduate (PU) and Pre-Masters (PM) international students via Strategy Inventory of Language Learning (SILL; Oxford, 1990), IELTS-style reading and listening tests, and an academic vocabulary test designed from Quizlet for class test. Results showed that there was no significant relation of vocabulary with reading and listening among the whole cohort of students and the PU group; however, there was a significant relationship between reading and listening among the whole cohort and the PU group. Among the PM group only, significant relationship was seen between vocabulary and reading. Social strategy category and some individual strategies were significantly correlated with reading among the whole cohort, and the significant correlation of social strategy category and reading was also true for the PM group. While memory strategies were significantly, positively correlated with vocabulary among the PM group, affective strategies were negatively correlated vocabulary among the PU group. Independent sample t-test revealed significant difference between the PM and PU groups on their vocabulary knowledge. Although the pattern of the relationships revealed was not always clear among these diverse international students, the findings could inform teaching L2 receptive skills with regards to vocabulary and strategies, with a view to facilitate learning of English as an L2 in a target language context.

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