The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Second Advisor

Michael Schwartz

Third Advisor

Semya Hakim

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

ESL, EFL, Vocabulary Size, Yes/no test


This study investigates the Level of receptive vocabulary knowledge of English language learners at different Levels of proficiency at a large mid-western university. The 111 participants in this study were international students from various first language backgrounds, who were enrolled in pre-college intensive English courses. The study used a yes/no vocabulary test known as the Vocabulary Size Test (Meara, 1992) to measure students’ receptive vocabulary knowledge. Items in the yes/no test consist of 40 real words and 20 pseudo words. This assessment provided a rough estimate of each learner’s lexical profile. In addition to the yes/no test, learners were surveyed to determine if there was a correlation between their vocabulary size and the specific vocabulary learning strategies, their daily use and practice of English, self-monitoring learning, goals, and motivation. A paired samples t-test was used to compare pre-and post-test for the first 1,000 (1K), the second 1,000, the third 1,000 (3K), and AWL. The results suggest that pre-test and post-test for 1K and 2K, participants show showed some improvement in increasing their receptive vocabulary size. Also, participants who took 3K and AWL pre-test and post-test show significant improvement in their vocabulary size. In addition, there is no significant relationship between improvement and survey strategy answers. Based on the study’s results, pedagogical recommendations were made to help participants increase their vocabulary size.