Designing and piloting a Vocabulary Size Test of Arabic


  • Ahmed Ech-Charfi Mohamed V University in Rabat



This paper introduces an Arabic vocabulary size test, modelled on Nation and Beglar’s (2007) Vocabulary Size Test. The Arabic version is based on a word list extracted initially from the Arabic Internet Corpus by Majdi Sawalha and made available at the Leeds University website. This list was further developed by Ech-Charfi (2024) by adopting an explicit definition of the Arabic word lemma and removing undesirable items. The test is composed of 140 items selected from 14 frequency bands and used in contexts that are not conducive to guessing. For each item, four options are provided, all of which are definitions of words selected from the same band as the stem. The piloting indicates that the test can differentiate between learners’ proficiency levels. The effect of frequency, however, though noticeable, is not decisive since the group means do not decrease consistently from high frequency to low frequency bands.