Receptive vocabulary measures for EFL Costa Rican high school students

Damaris Castro-García


The study offers a glimpse of the current situation of foreign language education in the Costa Rican context from the perspective of vocabulary knowledge, particularly passive vocabulary size. Students from two institutions participated: one school implements Content Based Teaching while the other follows traditional, Foreign Language Teaching instruction. This research aims to describe the receptive vocabulary profile of students and to compare the vocabulary levels of students between two gender groups and under two types of English language teaching. These measures are established following the idea originally presented in Paul Nation’s (1983, 1990) Vocabulary Levels Test. In this case, Schmitt, Schmitt and Clapham’s (2001) Version 2 test was used to define passive vocabulary levels. Finally, the results of this analysis are compared to results for similar population samples in other studies.


receptive vocabulary; secondary students; vocabulary size; Vocabulary Levels Test; Costa Rica

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