Dr. Marieta Simeonova Pissarro
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Dr. Marieta Simeonova-Pissarro is the ESL Director at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She holds an MA in English Language Philology from the University of Veliko Turnovo St. Cyril and St. Methodius, Bulgaria and a doctorate in Literacy/TESOL from the University of Cincinnati, United States. Dr. Simeonova-Pissarro has over 20 years of combined EFL/ESL experience in various teaching and administrative capacities. She is multilingual and speaks Bulgarian, Russian, Serbo-Croat, and English. Her research interests are in the are of TESOL, Applied Linguistics, ESP, and CALL. She is a proponent of life-long learning and inter-disciplinary collaborations.
Academic Vocabulary Acquisition (AVA) represents a major concern in ESL and EFL contexts (Cox, 2013; Nation, 2012). However, a gap in AVA research between and within English as Second Language (ESL) and English as Foreign Language (EFL) university cohorts still exists. Thus, this pilot study examines variances in academic vocabulary acquisition utilizing Stoeckel and Bennett’s (2015) New Academic Word List (NAWL). During the Spring 2019 semester, the researchers administered Stoeckel and Bennett’s (2015) New Academic Word List Test (NAWLT) as pre and posttest to evaluate AVA variations amongst ELLs at a national university in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan (n= 261) and an intensive English language program at a state university in Nevada, USA (n= 53). Results highlighted statistically significant differences (p < .05) from pre to posttest between and within ESL and EFL cohorts in motivation, length of self-study, between different modality (e.g. reading versus speaking/listening), English usage outside of the classroom, and future career goals. This study suggests concrete pedagogical implications for EFL/ESL practitioners and researchers focusing on academic vocabulary acquisition.