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The Role of Iranian EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Size in Vocabulary Use, Content, and Organization of Their Writing

Mohadeseh Ramezani, Mitra Zeraatpishe*, and Farnaz Farrokh AlaeeDepartment of English, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran



Introduction:Previous inquiries in FL vocabulary knowledge targeted profoundly on the vocabulary pedagogical outcomes and writing improvement, however,scant research has been done on the learners’ lexical competence in the writing process. In this spirit, the study endeavored to investigate the relationship between vocabulary size (VS) and vocabulary use, content, and organization in writing besides VS’s predictability in writing performance. Methodology:To this end, 30 intermediate EFL learners’ (15 males, 15 females) were administered on vocabulary size test (Nation, 2012) and a Preliminary English Test of writing. The scores were analyzed and the results indicated significant positive relationships between VS and writing scores, and VS and vocabulary use scores. To investigate the predictability of VS in writing elements scores, regression analysis was applied.Results:The Linear regression revealed that VS variable accounts for 88.9% of vocabulary use in writing scores. The results proved the significantrelationship between VS and writing on the one hand and VS and vocabulary used on the other hand.Conclusion:Based on the results, The study offers evidence that VS is a significant predictor in vocabulary use knowledge, which is vital for the mastery of the required knowledge to be an effective write.

1. Introduction:

Language is a tool for oral communication and expressing thoughts in written format. The potentiality to perceive spoken words is no less remarkable than the capability to produce them. Writing as an important productive skill pertains to a complex language issue, especially in a second/foreign context,sinceits mastery reckons on proficiency in vocabulary, grammar, and discourse knowledge (Richards, 2008). There is mounting evidence that among the important subcomponents of writing vocabulary knowledge can be considered relatively more vital in production skills (Kiliç, 2019; Lee, 2003; Miralpeix & Muñoz,2018). There are two dimensions of vocabulary knowledge/competence, namely vocabulary size (VS) and depth of vocabulary knowledge. To be well-qualified in language as a real user, one must know the most frequent words, that is,extending VS.Vocabulary size is the number of words a learner has in the mental lexicon (Coxheadet al., 2015). It can be measured by VS tests that measure a learner’s knowledge of the word’s form and the ability to link that form to a meaning (Coxhead et al., 2015). For several years, researchers have attempted to accumulate well-documented indications of VSas a strong predictor of text comprehension for students (Harmon & Wood, 2018).

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