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Educational Background as Predictor of Lexical Richness Among Libyan and Saudi Arabian ESL Students

Andrews, Sally J (2009) Educational Background as Predictor of Lexical Richness Among Libyan and Saudi Arabian ESL Students. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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It has been acknowledged that using a varied vocabulary is tied to academic success. While most studies concerning vocabulary use and acquisition consider only a student's first language (L1), this study includes the educational and linguistic backgrounds from two groups that share an L1, Arabic. By examining the written texts of Libyan and Saudi Arabian students who come from very different educational and linguistic backgrounds, we can begin to better understand what influences vocabulary acquisition and use.In the present study, it was hypothesized that, due to their exposure to English and Romance languages, the Libyan ESL students should use a richer vocabulary than the Saudi Arabian students. To gauge the students' lexical richness, various measures were employed; the Type/Token ratio (TTR), the Guiraud Index, the Lexical Frequency Profiler (LFP). The students' scores from the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MTELP) test were also considered. Libyan students scored significantly higher on the MTELP test but had lower mean scores of lexical richness. Counter to the hypothesis, data suggested that Saudi Arabian students used more low-frequency words than their Libyan counterparts. It was suggested that motivation may be an important factor in learning and using vocabulary and the Saudi Arabian students, cognizant of not knowing vocabulary, work harder at learning it.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Andrews, Sally Jsja13@pitt.eduSJA13
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairJuffs, Alanjuffs@pitt.eduJUFFS
Committee MemberMcCormick, Dawn Emccormic@pitt.eduMCCORMIC
Committee MemberMizera, Gregorygmizera@pitt.eduGMIZERA
Date: 4 June 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 17 April 2009
Approval Date: 4 June 2009
Submission Date: 22 April 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Guiraud Index; Lexical Richness; Libya; Saudi Arabia; TTR
Other ID:, etd-04222009-141135
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:41
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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