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Notes: Meara - 2000 - Lex30: an improved method of assessing productive vocabulary in an L2



Citekey: @meara2000lex30

Meara P and Fitzpatrick T (2000). “Lex30: an improved method of assessing productive vocabulary in an L2.” System, 28(1), pp. 19-30.



Unfortunately, it is much more dicult to assess productive vocabulary knowledge than it is to assess receptive vocabulary knowledge. The main reason for this is that the vocabulary produced by a learner, whether in written or spoken form, tends to be so context-speci®c that it is dicult to calculate from any small sample the true size or range of the learner’s productive vocabulary. It is also dicult to devise simple tasks which produce the large quantities of vocabulary that are necessary to make reasonable estimates. (p. 2)

There are problems inherent in these two types of test. The controlled productive vocabulary tests are eective mainly at low levels; when, for example, testees are expected to have a limited vocabulary size, then a high proportion of these words can be tested. (p. 3)

One super®cially attractive alternative to continuous text as a source of productive vocabulary is the spew test (Palmberg, 1987; Waring, 1999). In spew tests, subjects are simply asked to produce words which share a common feature, e.g. words beginning with B. (p. 4)

The Lex30 task is basically a word association task, in which testees are presented with a list of stimulus words, and required to produce responses to these stimuli. There is no predetermined set of response target words for the subject to produce, and in this way, Lex30 resembles a free productive task. However, the stimulus words tend to impose some constraints on the responses, and Lex30 thus shares some of the advantages of context-limited productive tests. (p. 4)

The results reported above suggest that Lex30 might be modestly successful in this regard. (p. 8)

The fact that the Lex30 scores relate closely to scores on a test of passive recognition vocabulary suggests that Lex30 is sensitive to gross dierences in vocabulary knowledge. (p. 8)

The main practical advantage of Lex30 is that it is extremely easy to administer, and requires very little time to complete. (p. 8)

Appendix A. Sample data: completed Lex30 test 1 attack 2 board 3 close 4 cloth 5 dig 6 dirty 7 disease 8 experience 9 fruit 10 furniture 11 habit 12 hold 13 hope 14 kick 15 map 16 obey 17 pot 18 potato 19 real 20 rest 21 rice 22 science 23 seat 24 spell war, castle, guns, armour plane, wood, airport, boarding pass lock, avenue, ®nish, end material, table, design bury, spade, garden, soil, earth, digger disgusting, clean, grubby, soiled infection, hospital, doctor, health adventure, travel, terrible apple, vegetable, pie table, chair, bed smoking, singing, nagging grip, hang on, cling expect, optimistic, pessimistic football, ground, goal, footballer country, roads, way, location disobey, children, mum and dad, school rules kitchen, vegetables, cook, roast salad, roast, boiled, baked, chips true, sincere, really pause, sleep, music pudding, fried, pasta technical, physics, chemistry bench, sit, sofa grammar, test, bell 25 substance 26 stupid 27 television 28 tooth 29 trade 30 window Appendix B. Lemmatisation criteria material, chemical, poisonous dumb, silly, brains tv, cupboard, video, armchair, relax ache, dentist, drill, ®lling, injection commerce, bank, exchange, money house, glass, broken, pane (p. 10)