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Factors predicting low-intermediate French learners' vocabulary use in speaking tasks

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The present study aims to explore both native and non-native French speakers’ spoken output in two dialogic speaking tasks. More specifically, the aim of this study was threefold. First, the researchers focused on the relationship between L2 learners’ receptive and productive vocabulary knowledge and their vocabulary use in two dialogic speaking tasks. Second, the study set out to compare L2 speakers’ vocabulary use (i.e., number of words produced, lexical frequency profile, and lexical diversity as measured by D and HD-D) with L1 speakers’ vocabulary use in the same speaking tasks. Third, the researchers wanted to determine which of the aforementioned vocabulary measures could predict experts’ holistic ratings of lexical proficiency. Fifty 17-year-old L2 learners took a receptive and a productive vocabulary test and performed two dialogic speaking tasks, and 27 French L1 speakers performed the same two dialogic speaking tasks. The results indicate that there is a positive, moderate correlation between receptive vocabulary knowledge and holistic ratings but not between productive vocabulary knowledge and the holistic rating scores. Moreover, L1 speakers produce more tokens, types, and lemmas and fewer high-frequency words when they speak. The lexical diversity of their output is also higher than that of L2 speakers. Finally, it seems that lexical diversity (i.e., HD-D), combined with the number of types that speakers use and the frequency of those words, explains a large part of the variance in holistic rating scores. The findings of the present study shed more light on the role of L1 and L2 speakers’ vocabulary use in spoken output for another language than English (i.e., French) and for another population than university students (i.e., low-intermediate learners).
Tijdschrift: Canadian Modern Language Review / Revue canadian des langues vivantes
ISSN: 0008-4506
Issue: 3
Volume: 76
Pagina's: 194 - 217
Jaar van publicatie:2020