Date of Graduation

Spring 2016


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Andrea Hellman


vocabulary size, word knowledge, vocabulary acquisition, lexical growth, L2 lexicon, foreign language teaching, EFL, TESOL

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


This study examined the growth of vocabulary size and depth of word knowledge in Iraqi foreign language learners of English (EFLs) over four years of university instruction. The secondary objective was to investigate the influence of language learning and practice variables on the lexical growth of Iraqi EFLs. Tools included the Self-Rated Vocabulary Test (measure of vocabulary size, D'Anna, Zechmeister, & Hall, 1991) and the Word Associates Test (measure of depth of word knowledge, Read, 1998). A self-report questionnaire was used to collect demographic information and language learning variables from participants. Following a cross-sectional method, 120 students (N = 120), 30 students from each of the four years of study, were randomly selected to participate. A test administrator from an Iraqi university conducted the recruitment and the testing process. Self-report measures were analyzed for validity and reliability; based on these results the data from 25 participants were excluded from further analysis. Multivariate analyses (N = 95) indicated significant vocabulary growth by a large effect across every year of study with students averaging a gain of 800-1,000 word annually and vocabulary growth accelerating moderately over the course of study. The findings have implications for curriculum development and materials selection for this population.


© Akram Basim Mohsin Alfatle

Open Access