Abstract. While there are a number of studies of productive vocabulary knowledge focussing on writing, there are considerably fewer on speech. This study seeks to remedy this imbalance by analyzing the vocabulary in spoken production, examining two groups of advanced Swedish speakers of L2 English—one studying English at a Swedish university and the other resident in London—and one group of English native speakers. The three groups performed two tasks, a role play and a simultaneous retelling of the first 14½ minutes of the film Modern Times. To obtain lexical frequency profiles for these groups, Cobb’s software program LexTutor was used. The program distributed the lexical items in the transcriptions of the speech of the three groups over the first thousand (K1) and second thousand (K2) frequency bands, the Academic Wordlist (AWL) and an ‘Off-list’ containing items outside of these three lists. The results showed that in the Role play the lexical profile of the London Swedes was closer to the native speakers compared to the university students. In the Retelling task the two Swedish groups performed similarly, differing significantly from the native group. An additional analysis of the length of repeated words and sequences showed that the London Swedes were closer to the native speakers in both tasks, suggesting a higher degree of automaticity in this group.
Keywords: productive vocabulary, spoken production, advanced L2 English, lexical profile
Täby: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis , 2013. 93-108 p.