A True/False Translation Test for English Vocabulary Size Assessment in a Japanese Context

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This article describes the development and initial trial of a translation-based True/False Vocabulary Size Test (TFVST) for Japanese learners of English, created with the aim of improving on established vocabulary size tests in terms of: (i) greater time efficiency, and (ii) utilization of L1 translations, rather than L2 definitions, for more efficient confirmation of form-meaning link knowledge. A group of Japanese university students (n = 58) and Japanese teachers of English (n = 2) took the new test together with a corresponding written translation task, and the results provided some preliminary evidence for TFVST’s reliability, validity, and practicality. Most notably, TFVST results correlated strongly with those of the translation task criterion measure (rs = .791, p < .001), and
the new test also appeared to be more time efficient than existing vocabulary size tests. The findings of this research suggest that TFVST may be a useful alternative for measuring English vocabulary size in a Japanese context, and accordingly that translation-based True/False vocabulary size tests of this type are worthy of further investigation with both Japanese and other L1 groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-45
Number of pages19
JournalPolyglossia: the Asia-Pacific's voice in language and language teaching
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Vocabulary learning
  • Language testing
  • Translation
  • Japanese
  • English language
  • Vocabulary size


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