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Title: How big is the gap and how to narrow it? An investigation into the active and passive vocabulary knowledge of L2 learners
Authors: Fan, M
Issue Date: 2000
Source: RELC journal, 2000, v. 31, no. 2, p. 105-119 How to cite?
Journal: RELC Journal 
Abstract: It is generally believed that L2 learners know more words of the target language than they can actually use them. The aim of this study is to find out more about this gap and the ways to narrow it. The subjects under study were several groups of sub-degree students and the instruments for data collection included an active and a passive vocabulary test as well as a questionnaire. There was no evidence to indicate a consistent ratio between active and passive vocabulary knowledge and the relationship between them has been found to be more complicated than it appears to be. On the other hand, learning strategies which help to enhance active vocabulary knowledge have been identified. These and other findings of the study will be of interest to researchers in similar areas as well EAP teachers who are concerned about improving the vocabulary knowledge of their students. The author is indebted to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for funding the project and Professor Paul Nation for providing the long version of the Word Levels Test used in the study.
ISSN: 0033-6882
DOI: 10.1177/003368820003100205
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