Exploring the measurement of vocabulary size to differentiate Brazilian Portuguese-English bilinguals' access to grammatical knowledge in the l2

Ricardo Augusto de Souza, Jesiel Soares Silva


This study explored the validity of a measure of vocabulary size -- the Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) -- as a predictor of Brazilian Portuguese-English college level bilinguals capacity to access grammatical representations when using their L2 under temporal pressures. We compared performances in the VLT and in a global test of ability in English L2: the Oxford Placement Test (OPT). Afterwards, participants performed a speeded acceptability judgment task in English, in which a ceiling of 8 seconds was set for each judgment call. Results show that only those participants who classified as high proficiency in both the VLT and the OPT were capable of detecting grammatical violations. We interpret the results as indicating that a measure of vocabulary size is a predictor of both fluency in lexical access and fluency in grammatical knowledge access of L2 speakers. 

DOI: 10.17074/2238-975X.2015v11n1p187


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.31513/linguistica.2015.v11n1a4629


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