Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

Diana Weber

Abstract

Vocabulary acquisition is a crucial part of language learning. This study seeks to determine what textual and student factors affect vocabulary acquisition rates from reading English texts for high school students for whom English is a second language, as well as how assessment factors affect the measurement of vocabulary acquisition. In this study, vocabulary acquisition was measured by comparing the differences between pre-test and post-test scores from before and after reading different texts. Text type did not affect student outcomes, but the improvement rates were affected by students' pre-test scores, students' English reading ability, and the types of assessment questions. This study indicates that targeted reading can be a great tool to help students acquire specific vocabulary, and that targeted reading is beneficial for students with different English reading abilities. The results also indicate that teachers who serve English language learners should pay close attention to the assessment methods they use and be aware that different assessment methods measure learning differently.

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