Relationship between Iranian Intermediate EFL Learners’ Depth and Breadth of Lexical Knowledge and their Use of Cognitive and Metacognitive Vocabulary Learning Strategies

Soheila Amiri-Ebrahim-Mohammadi, Mehdi Vaez-Dalili


The present study set out to investigate the possible relationship between EFL learners’ breadth and depth of L2 vocabulary knowledge and their use of cognitive and metacognitive vocabulary learning strategies. The participants of the study were 36 Iranian intermediate EFL learners who participated in the study from two language institutes based on random sampling. The data were collected using the Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT, Schmitt, Schmitt, & Clapham, 2001) and the Word Associates Test (WAT, Read, 1993, 2000, 2004) in order to respectively measure the participants’ breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge. The vocabulary learning strategies questionnaire (VLSQ, Schmitt, 1997) was also administered to the participants. The results of the study revealed that a) cognitive vocabulary learning strategies were used more frequently, b) both depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge were strongly correlated with cognitive and metacognitive strategies use, c) metacognitive strategies were found to have a stronger correlation with the two dimensions of vocabulary knowledge (i.e. depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge), d) the aggregate level of depth and breadth of vocabulary knowledge correlated positively and significantly with the aggregate level of cognitive and metacognitive strategies use. The present study highlighted the importance of metacognitive vocabulary learning strategies, which necessitates incorporating these strategies into EFL activities and programs.


breadth of vocabulary knowledge, depth of vocabulary knowledge, cognitive strategy, metacognitive strategy

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