Date of Award

Fall 10-17-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

First Advisor/Committee Member

William Nagy

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Scott Beers

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Nyaradzo Mvududu

Keywords

morphological awareness, EFL learners, listening vocabulary, reading vocabulary, listening comprehension, reading comprehension

Abstract

This study explored the relationship between morphological awareness and advanced EFL learners’ listening comprehension by deconstructing three multi-dimension constructs, morphological awareness, vocabulary knowledge and listening comprehension. The variables under morphological awareness were compounding and derivational morphology; vocabulary knowledge included both reading and listening vocabulary; listening comprehension was assessed by two different listening tasks whose aural texts and response formats were interviews and multiple choices, and one mini lecture and the gap-filling. Participants were 152 third-year English-majors in two universities in China. The main findings were (1) morphological awareness was a significant predictor of listening comprehension when the latter was measured by the gap-filling task, but not by the other task, when reading and listening vocabulary were controlled for. (2) Finding One was true for the overall measure of morphological awareness, and also for derivational awareness; but not for compound awareness. (3) In a parallel analysis predicting reading comprehension, compound awareness, but not derivational awareness, was a significant predictor. (4) Morphological awareness was more strongly correlated with reading vocabulary than listening vocabulary. Significance of these findings to research and the need for additional morphological instruction within educational settings are discussed.

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