Academic Vocabulary Acquisition: EFL-ESL Variations
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.