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Volume 8 Number 3, Autumn 2011, Pages 1-270   


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Exploring Chinese EFL Learners' Vocabulary Depth Knowledge: the Role of L1 Influence

    ZHENG, Yongyan


This paper reports findings of a study that investigated the vocabulary depth knowledge of 87 postsecondary Chinese EFL learners from the perspective of L1 influence. By means of a set of self-designed Vocabulary Depth Knowledge Test, L1 influence was respectively examined on the meaning sense and collocation aspect of vocabulary depth. Results showed that as vocabulary breadth increased, the meaning sense knowledge also increased, whereas collocation knowledge tended to stabilize. Learners' L1 was found to exert asymmetrical influence upon meaning senses and collocations, and the participants appeared more vulnerable to L1 congruence effect on the collocation aspect. Their collocation knowledge also tended to stabilize, and their cross-linguistic awareness did not improve as the vocabulary breadth or depth knowledge increased. The paper concludes with several pedagogical implications for EFL vocabulary teaching.

Keywords: second language vocabulary acquisition, vocabulary depth, L1 influence, stabilization, cross-linguistic awareness