Vocabulary for academic reading in the EMI environment
Paper in proceedings, 2017
The rapidly growing phenomenon of English-medium instruction (EMI) has important implications for language use and language learning. EMI places a high demand on language proficiency, and there is often a belief that EMI will lead to increased proficiency in English. Reading is a core academic activity, and the ability to read academic texts in English is a precondition for success in an EMI environment. A major component of reading comprehension and speed is vocabulary knowledge. This paper reports the development and validation of a test of academic vocabulary designed for use in EMI environments. Two equivalent versions of the Academic Vocabulary Test were developed (to permit pre- and post-intervention administrations), and were administered to students in a tertiary EMI environment. A comparison of students' productive and receptive academic vocabulary needs, relative to their demonstrated knowledge of academic vocabulary (as measured by the AVT) will also be presented.