Vocabulary Constraint on Texts

TEFLIN Journal. 2008;19(2)

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: TEFLIN Journal

ISSN: 0215-773X (Print)

Publisher: Association for the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language in Indonesia (TEFLIN)

LCC Subject Category: Language and Literature: Philology. Linguistics

Country of publisher: Indonesia

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF

 

AUTHORS

C. Sutarsyah

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 20 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

This case study was carried out in the English Education Department of State University of Malang. The aim of the study was to identify and describe the vocabulary in the reading text and to seek if the text is useful for reading skill development. A descriptive qualitative design was applied to obtain the data. For this purpose, some available computer programs were used to find the description of vocabulary in the texts. It was found that the 20 texts containing 7,945 words are dominated by low frequency words which account for 16.97% of the words in the texts. The high frequency words occurring in the texts were dominated by function words. In the case of word levels, it was found that the texts have very limited number of words from GSL (General Service List of English Words) (West, 1953). The proportion of the first 1,000 words of GSL only accounts for 44.6%. The data also show that the texts contain too large proportion of words which are not in the three levels (the first 2,000 and UWL). These words account for 26.44% of the running words in the texts.  It is believed that the constraints are due to the selection of the texts which are made of a series of short-unrelated texts. This kind of text is subject to the accumulation of low frequency words especially those of content words and limited of words from GSL. It could also defeat the development of students' reading skills and vocabulary enrichment.