Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol 4, No 2 (2013), 209-219, Mar 2013

The Relationships between Vocabulary Learning Strategies and Vocabulary Size among Adult Spanish Foreign Language Learners

Dieter A. Waldvogel


The aim of this study is to investigate the relationships between the type of vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) adult Spanish foreign language (FL) students use at different levels of proficiency and their vocabulary size. A total of 475 college students enrolled in Spanish courses at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced proficiency levels participated in this study. The data were analyzed through quantitative methods using two measuring instruments: a vocabulary learning questionnaire used to discover students’ VLS preferences, and a vocabulary test used to estimate participants’ Spanish vocabulary size. Analyses of the data suggest that a significant relationship exits between the use of certain types of learning strategies and vocabulary size among advanced, more experienced learners, but not among beginning- or intermediate-level students. Findings suggest that less experienced Spanish FL learners may be less effective at managing their own vocabulary learning. Possible reasons are addressed.


vocabulary learning strategies; Spanish vocabulary; vocabulary size; vocabulary learning



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