Research in literature reports the importance of L2 vocabulary and syntactic knowledge on the learners’ reading comprehension. In this regard, the current study investigated the role of vocabulary knowledge that is disunited into depth and breadth dimensions and syntactic knowledge in the reading comprehension scores of an advanced cohort of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners. In particular, this study examined the relationship of vocabulary knowledge (with its two dimensions) and syntactic knowledge with reading comprehension scores of 30 Turkish EFL learners and the extent to which these knowledge types explain the variance in reading comprehension scores. Measures of vocabulary breadth, vocabulary depth, syntactic knowledge and reading comprehension were used. The data analysis procedure included the descriptive statistics, Pearson product-moment correlations and multiple regression analysis. The results showed that the depth of vocabulary knowledge predicts the L2 reading comprehension the best when the effect of vocabulary size and syntactic knowledge is controlled. These findings are discussed at the end of the study with future research suggestions and limitations. © 2019 EJAL & the Authors. Published by Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics (EJAL). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY-NC-ND) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Barnett, M. A. (1986). Syntactic and lexical/semantic skill in foreign language reading: Importance and interaction. The Modern Language Journal, 70(4), 343-349.
Brantmeier, C. (2003). Does gender make a difference? Passage content and comprehension in second language reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 15(1), 1-27.
Bossers, B. H. (1992). Reading in two languages: A study of reading comprehension in Dutch as a second language and in Turkish as a first language (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Free University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Boulware-Gooden, R., Carreker, S., Thornhill, A., & Joshi, R. M. (2007). Instruction of metacognitive strategies enhances reading comprehension and vocabulary achievement of third-grade students. The Reading Teacher, 61(1), 70-77. https://doi.org/10.1598/RT.61.1.7
Chen, K. Y. (2009). An Explanatory Mixed Methods Study of EFL College Students' Vocabulary Knowledge, Syntactic Knowledge and Reading Comprehension. Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. (Dissertation number: 3363973; ProQuest document ID: 305149263)
Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative. Boston, MA, USA: Pearson.
Cutting, L. E., & Scarborough, H. S. (2006). Prediction of reading comprehension: Relative contributions of word recognition, language proficiency, and other cognitive skills can depend on how comprehension is measured. Scientific Studies of Reading, 10(3), 277-299. https://doi.org/10.1207/s1532799xssr1003_5
Demir, E., Saatçioğlu, Ö., & İmrol, F. (2016). Uluslararası dergilerde yayımlanan eğitim araştırmalarının normallik varsayımları açısından incelenmesi. Current Research in Education, 2(3), 130-148.
Grabe, W. (2009). Reading in a second language: Moving from theory to practice. New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Goulder, R., Nation, P., & Read, J. (1990). How large can a receptive vocabulary be? Applied Linguistics, 11(4), 341–363. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/11.4.341
Kaivanpanah, S., & Zandi, H. (2009). The role of depth of vocabulary knowledge in reading comprehension in EFL context. Journal of Applied Sciences, 9(4), 698-706.
Laufer, B. (1997). The lexical plight in second language reading: words you don’t know, words you think you know and words you can’t guess. In J. Coady & T. Huckin (Eds.), Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition: A Rationale for Pedagogy, (20-52), Cambridge University Press.
Laufer, B., Elder, C., Hill, K., & Congdon, P. (2004). Size and strength: do we need both to measure vocabulary knowledge? Language Testing, 21(2), 202-226. https://doi.org/10.1191/0265532204lt277oa
Lee, S. K. (2007). Effects of textual enhancement and topic familiarity on Korean EFL students' reading comprehension and learning of passive form. Language learning, 57(1), 87-118. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2007.00400.x
McGraw, H., (2009). The official guide to the TOEFL test (3rd ed.). New York, USA: Educational Testing Service.
Nation, I. (2006). How large a vocabulary is needed for reading and listening?. Canadian Modern Language Review, 63(1), 59-82. https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.63.1.59
Peretz, A. S., & Shoham, M. (1990). Testing reading comprehension in LSP: Does topic familiarity affect assessed difficulty and actual performance. Reading in a Foreign Language, 7(1), 447-455.
Qian, D. D. (1999). Assessing the roles of depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge in reading comprehension. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 56(2), 282-308. https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.56.2.282
Qian, D. D. (2002). Investigating the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and academic reading performance: An assessment perspective. Language Learning, 52, 513– 536. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9922.00193
Read, J. (1993). The development of a new measure of L2 vocabulary knowledge. Language Testing, 10(3), 355-371. https://doi.org/10.1177/026553229301000308
Read, J. (2000). Assessing Vocabulary. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Schmitt, N., Schmitt, D. & Clapham, C. (2001). Developing and exploring the behavior of two new version of the Vocabulary Levels Test. Language Testing, 18(1), 55-88. https://doi.org/10.1177/026553220101800103
Schoonen, R., Hulstijn, J. H., & Bossers, B. (1998). Metacognitive and language-specific knowledge in native and foreign language reading comprehension: An empirical study among Dutch students in grades 6, 8 and 10. Language Learning, 48(1), 71-106. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9922.00033
Sellers, V. D. (2000). Anxiety and reading comprehension in Spanish as a foreign language. Foreign Language Annals, 33(5), 512-520. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1944- 9720.2000.tb01995.x
Shapiro, S. S., & Wilk, M. B. (1965). An analysis of variance test for normality (Complete samples). Biometrika, 52(3/4), 591-611.
Shiotsu, T., & Weir, C. J. (2007). The relative significance of syntactic knowledge and vocabulary breadth in the prediction of reading comprehension test performance. Language Testing, 24(1), 99-128. https://doi.org/10.1515/cjal.2011.028
Urguhart, A. H., & Weir, C. J. (2014). Reading in a second language: Process, product and practice. New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
Van Gelderen, A., Schoonen, R., De Glopper, K., Hulstijn, J., Simis, A., Snellings, P., & Stevenson, M. (2004). Linguistic knowledge, processing speed, and metacognitive knowledge in first-and second-language reading comprehension: A componential analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96(1), 19. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022- 06220.127.116.11
Verhoeven, L. (2000). Components in early second language reading and spelling. Scientific Studies of Reading, 4(4), 313-330. https://doi.org/10.1207/s1532799xssr0404_4
Wigfield, A., & Guthrie, J. T. (1997). Relations of children's motivation for reading to the amount and breadth or their reading. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(3), 420-432. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-0618.104.22.1680
Zhang, D. (2012). Vocabulary and grammar knowledge in second language reading comprehension: A structural equation modeling study. The Modern Language Journal, 96(4), 558-575. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2012.01398.x
Zimmerman, C. (1996). Historical trends in second language vocabulary instruction. In J. Coady & T. Huckin (Eds.), Second Language Vocabulary Acquisition: A Rationale for Pedagogy (5-19). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139524643.003