[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 66] 2001
► pp. 69–77
Diepe Woordkennis als Maat Voor Algemene Taalvaardigheid?
This paper describes an investigation into the relation between the results of a newly developed test of deep word knowledge (DWK) and a series of other word knowledge tests as well as a writing task. The DWK consists of 63 items constructed along the following model: one stimulus plus 6 responses. Each stimulus belongs to one of five frequency classes. The responses are not less frequent than the stimulus word. Students are to pick out the responses which bear a relationship to the stimulus word. Dutch students studying French in their first, second and third year and 26 French 17-year-old high school pupils took the test. The result showed that it has a strong discriminatory power between the groups. The results of the DWK were compared to a broad word knowledge test administered to the first-year students and yielded a high and significant correlation. Comparison with another deep word knowledge test, based on the EURALEX French tests and administered to the third-year students, showed a smaller and non significant correlation. This lower correlation may be due to the greater homogeneity of the group of third-year students. The first- and third-year students did a written assignment, which was scored along a rough scoring model. A t-test showed that the third-year students performed significantly better than the first-year ones. Correlations between the scores of the deep word knowledge test and the writing task were found to be high and significant. This is mainly due to the correlation for the first-year students. The smaller correlation for the third-year group is possibly due to the greater homogeneity. Another explanation could be that the scores for writing for third-year students are more strongly influenced by factors other than word knowledge such as style, text structure and text markers, as well as more complex sentences. It could also be the case that the third-year students' texts show a lexical richness, including rare words, which is not covered by the DWK
Article language: Dutch