Vocabulary Learning and Instruction


Published in association
with the JALT VOCAB SIG




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Open Access

“I Don’t Know” Use and Guessing on the Bilingual Japanese Vocabulary Size Test: A Preliminary Report

Kurtis McDonald, Mayumi Asaba

– This preliminary report outlines an investigation into ”I don’t know” use and guessing on the 14,000-word family, 140-item bilingual Japanese Vocabulary Size Test (VST) translated by Sasao and Nakata from the original monolingual English version.


Author(s)

,

Paper type

Regular Article

Pages

16-25

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v04.1.mcdonald.asaba

Year



Abstract
This preliminary report outlines an investigation into ”I don’t know” use and guessing on the 14,000-word family, 140-item bilingual Japanese Vocabulary Size Test (VST) translated by Sasao and Nakata from the original monolingual English version. Four first-year Japanese university students completed the modified Japanese VST in two passes: without guesses on unknown items and with guesses on these items. Individual semi-structured retrospective interviews were then conducted to identify how the guesses were determined. Findings suggest that ”I don’t know” use was largely consistent with learner proficiency and word family frequency levels and that guesses were more likely to be informed than uniformed. Using the classification of reasoning behind the guesses made, various vocabulary size estimates can be determined for each learner, with much greater differences between the more strict and more sensitive estimates found among the lower proficiency learners.

Suggested citation

McDonald, K., & Asaba, M. (2015). "I Don't Know" Use and Guessing on the Bilingual Japanese Vocabulary Size Test: A Preliminary Report. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 4(1), 16–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v04.1.mcdonald.asaba

 

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