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Preparations for a Vocabulary Survey on Japanese Beginning Learners of German: Adjektiv
Over 500 students studying German at Hiroshima University took a vocabulary test involving 100 basic verbs, and the present author analyzed the results and the factors that influenced their usages (岩崎, 2017; Iwasaki, 2020). As a continuation of the project, a vocabulary test encompassing 100 basic adjectives in the same format is being planned. This paper reports on the process of test creation for this purpose, namely the selection process of the 100 basic adjectives.
The starting point for the selection procedure is a collection of 185 adjectives mostly taken from the so-called Hirodai German Basic Vocabulary List (岩崎, 2012) which the author, together with colleagues Takako Yoshimitsu and Axel Harting, originally created between 2005 and 2007 for students learning German for one year in liberal arts education. In the selection process, the lexical level descriptions of CEFR-compliant Glaboniat u.a. (2005) and the frequency ranking list in Tschirner (2008) based on Herder/ BYU-Korpus, which focuses on modern written German, were used as criteria. During the next stage of the adjective narrowing-down process, the number of occurrences in the modern German spoken corpus DGD (Datenbank für Deutsche Sprache) published by the IDS (Institut für Deutsche Sprache: Institute for German Language) in Mannheim was considered, by using the basic and conjugated forms of each candidate word as a keyword.
Note that all of these indices were created in the German-speaking countries, and are mechanically applicable quantitative indices, except for the lexical level descriptions in the Vocabulary List of Glaboniat u.a. (2005). Therefore, the vocabulary was also adjusted in order to take into account the specific circumstances of German language education in Japan, where the majority of Japanese university students studying German in the liberal arts are university students. This adjustment resulted in 7% of the total words being replaced. At the end of the selection process, a comparison with adjectives from two other German basic vocabulary lists of similar size, which were made at another university in Japan, was attempted.
Based on the 100 words selected by the processes described above, a multiple-choice format vocabulary test was created. We are currently in the process of conducting a small preliminary survey before conducting a full-scale study utilizing the list.
Hiroshima Studies in Language and Language Education
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Departmental Bulletin Paper
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