Article published in:ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Vol. 170:1 (2019) ► pp. 53–78
The VocabLab tests
The development of an English and French vocabulary test
This study describes the development of an English and French multiple choice vocabulary test – the VocabLab tests – that measure learners’ knowledge at four frequency levels up to the most frequent 5,000 words: the 2,000-level, 3,000-level, 4,000-level, and the 5,000-level. The two tests aimed to address some of the limitations of tests currently in use. First, they are sampled from recent frequency lists. Second, they are geared towards Dutch-speaking learners of English and French in Flanders. Third, they attempt to minimize guessing by including an “I don’t know”-option. The findings showed that the tests are internally consistent. Mean scores decreased when the words were less frequent, lending evidence to the tests’ construct validity. Additionally, the tests seem to be able to discriminate between different proficiency levels. As both tests were developed according to the same principles, they can be used to compare learners’ English and French vocabulary knowledge.
Keywords: vocabulary test, English, French, frequency, vocabulary knowledge, vocabulary levels
Published online: 05 April 2019
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