Main Article Content

Denitza A. Charkova
Krassimira Charkova


The present study sought to explore and identify vocabulary learning strategies that lead to the attainment of depth of vocabulary knowledge in a second language.  For the purpose, 110 Bulgarian language learners of English took Qian and Schedl’s (2004) depth of vocabulary knowledge test and completed a related survey. After dividing the sample into a limited knowledge group and a superior knowledge group, the data were analyzed through discriminant function analysis which showed eight vocabulary learning strategies as significantly associated with the superior knowledge group. These strategies were named  linguistically-driven strategies since they involve regular attention to linguistic features, including: paradigmatic associations (synonyms, antonyms), morphological structure (prefixes, roots, and suffixes), syntagmatic associations (collocations) and pronunciation. The results suggest that regular use of linguistically-driven vocabulary learning strategies helps build deep knowledge of second language vocabulary.Keywords: vocabulary learning strategies, depth of vocabulary knowledge, second language  teaching, second language learning 

Article Details

Author Biographies

Denitza A. Charkova, Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”, Bulgaria

Denitza Charkova is a PhD candidate, currently teaching English language and technology classes in the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at Plovdiv University. Her research interests lie in the area of second language teaching with a focus on technology-enhanced learning.  

Krassimira Charkova, Department of English Philology, Plovdiv University "Paisii Hilendarski"

Dr. Krassimira Charkova is currently an adjunct lecturer in the Department of English Philology at Plovdiv University. Her interest is in second language teaching, teacher training, and materials development. 


Bialystok, E. (1981). The role of conscious strategies in second language
proficiency. Modern Language Journal, 65, 24-35.

Chamot, A.U. (1987). The learning strategies of ESL students. In
Wenden, A. and Rubin, J. (eds), Learner Strategies in Language
Learning. New York: Prentice Hall.

Chapelle, C. (1998). Construct definition and validity inquiry in SLA
research. In L.F.Bachman & A.D. Cohen (Eds.). Interfaces between
second language acquisition and language testing research (pp. 32-70).
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences
(2nd edition). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Fan, M. Y. (2003). Frequency of use, perceived usefulness, and actual
usefulness of second language vocabulary strategies: A study of Hong
Kong Learners. The Modern Language Journal, 87, 222-241.

George, D., & Mallery, P. (2006). SPSS for windows step by step: A
simple guide and reference. New Jersey: Allyn & Bacon.

Greidanus, T., Bogaards, P., van der Linden, E., Nienhuis, L., & de Wolf,
T. (2004). The construction and validation of a deep word knowledge
test for advanced learners of French. In P. Bogaards & B. Laufer (Eds.).
Vocabulary in a second language (pp.191-208). Amsterdam: John

Goulden, R., Nation, I. S. P., & Read, J. A. S. (1990). How large can a
receptive vocabulary be? Applied Linguistics, 11, 341-363.

Gu, Y. (1994). Vocabulary learning strategies of good and poor Chinese
EFL learners. Paper presented at TESOL 94, Baltimore. (ERIC Document
Reproduction Service No. ED370 11).

Gu, Y., & Johnson, R. K. (1996). Vocabulary learning strategies and
language learning outcomes. Language Learning, 46, 643-697.

Hudson , T. (2007). Teaching second language reading. New York: Oxford
University Press.

Hunston, S. (2002). Corpora in applied linguistics. Cambridge, UK:
Cambridge University Press.

Lewis, M. (2002). Implementing the lexical approach: Putting theory into
practice. Boston, MA: Heinle Thomson Corporation.

Nation, I.S.P. (1983). Testing and teaching vocabulary. Guidelines, 5, 12-

Nation, I. S. P. (1990). Teaching and learning vocabulary. Boston: Heinle
and Heinle.

Nation, I.S. P. (2001). Learning vocabulary in another language.
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Nation, I. S. P. (2008). Teaching vocabulary: Strategies and techniques.
Boston: Heinle and Heinle.

O’Malley, J.M., & Chamot, A.U. (1990). Learning strategies in second
language acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Qian, D.D. (1999). Assessing the roles of depth and breadth of
vocabulary knowledge in reading comprehension. The Canadian
Modern Language Review, 56, 282-307.

Qian, D.D., & Shedl, M. (2004). Evaluation of an in-depth vocabulary
knowledge measure for assessing reading performance. Language
Testing, 21, 28-52.

Read, J. (1993). The development of a new measure of L2 vocabulary
knowledge. Language Testing, 10, 355-371.

Read, J. (1998). Validating a test to measure depth of vocabulary
knowledge. In A. Kunnan (Ed.). Validation in language assessment
(pp.41-60). Mahmah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Read, J. (2000). Assessing vocabulary. Cambridge: Cambridge University

Richards, J. C. (1976). The role of vocabulary teaching. TESOL Quarterly,
10, 77-89.

Schmitt, N. (1997). Vocabulary learning strategies. In N. Schmitt & M.
McCarthy (Eds.),Vocabulary: description, acquisition, and pedagogy
(pp.199-227). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schmitt, N. (2000). Vocabulary in language teaching. New York:
Cambridge University Press.

Schmitt, N. (2010). Researching vocabulary. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

IBM Corp. Released 2016. IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 24.0.
Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.

Wesche, M., & Paribakht, T.S. (1996). Assessing L2 vocabulary
knowledge: Depth versus breadth. Canadian Modern Language
Review, 53, 13-40.

Wilkins, D. A. (1972). Linguistics in language teaching. London: Edward