Vocabulary Size and Learners’ Performance across Levels of Text Comprehension: A Case of First-Year Students at the University of Dodoma

Authors

  • Frida Alfred Mbwafu
  • John Misana Biseko

Keywords:

vocabulary size, academic texts, reading comprehension, text comprehension levels, Vocabulary Size Test

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between vocabulary size and learners’ performance across the three levels of text comprehension among 230 first-year students from three programmes in the University of Dodoma (UDOM). The Vocabulary Size Test (VST) by Nation and Beglar (2007) and a Reading Test were used to answer three questions: (1) What is the vocabulary size of the sampled first-year university students at UDOM? (2) What is the performance of the sampled first-year university students across the three levels of text comprehension? (3) What is the relationship between the students’ vocabulary size and their performance across the levels of text comprehension? The results showed that, on average, the students did not have adequate vocabulary size required to understand authentic texts; they had a moderate reading comprehension at the literal level while their comprehension of texts at inferential and critical levels was relatively low. The results depicted a strong positive relationship between vocabulary size and each level of text comprehension. Regression analysis indicated that vocabulary size was powerful enough to predict performance at each level of text comprehension. Therefore, it is suggested that university students should be assisted to promote their vocabulary size as the latter has an impact on text comprehension and university academic success.

Published

2022-12-04