The creation of a New Vocabulary Levels Test

Article appearing in Shiken 19.2 (November 2015) pp. 1-11.

Authors: Stuart McLean1 and Brandon Kramer2
1. Kansai University Graduate School
2. Momoyama Gakuin University

Abstract:
This paper describes a new vocabulary levels test (NVLT) and the process by which it was written, piloted, and edited. The most commonly used Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) (Nation, 1983, 1990; Schmitt, Schmitt, & Clapham, 2001), is limited by a few important factors: a) it does not contain a section which tests the first 1,000-word frequency level; b) the VLT was created from dated frequency lists which are not as representative as newer and larger corpora; and c) the VLT item format is problematic in that it does not support item independence (Culligan, 2015; Kamimoto, 2014) and requires time for some students to understand the directions. To address these issues, the NVLT was created, which can be used by teachers and researchers alike for both pedagogical and research-related purposes.

Keywords: vocabulary, assessment, levels, vocabulary levels test, vocabulary size

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