Investigating Iraqi EFL University Students’ Lexical Knowledge: A Cross-Sectional Study
This study aimed to investigate the development of Iraqi University EFL students’ lexical knowledge at the recognition and production level and to compare their performance concerning the two previous levels. It also aimed to measure their performance concerning the Academic Word List (AWL) proposed by Coxhead (2000). It appears that Iraqi Universities lack empirical evidence to determine students’ lexical knowledge growth regarding the English language, thus, this important aspect of language teaching is in the grey area. Therefore, this study tries to answer the following questions, firstly is to what extent the development of lexical knowledge which Iraqi EFL learners have approximately reached?, and secondly, does the level of lexical knowledge which Iraqi EFLs have gained enable them to use the language properly? The study was conducted by examining 120 undergraduate students from all stages at the Department of English language and Literature/ College of Arts/ Mustansiriyah University. The findings have proved that there is a significant development in lexical knowledge among the four stages of the department and it reached its peak at the fourth stage whose participants have scored higher than other stages in the test. Further, the findings demonstrated that the fourth stage undergraduate participants scored higher in the AWL. The other significant issue that this study has proved is that the incidental vocabulary learning is more efficient than the intentional vocabulary learning.
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