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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton September 27, 2019

Vocabulary complexity and reading and listening comprehension of various physics genres

Milica Vuković Stamatović ORCID logo

Abstract

This study sheds light on the vocabulary complexity of various physics genres and how it affects reading and listening comprehension of the science of physics. We analysed the vocabulary frequency profile of seven physics genres: research articles, textbooks, lectures, magazines, popular books, TV documentaries and TED talks, to determine the presence of general-purpose, academic and technical vocabulary in them, as well as their vocabulary level and variation. The main research question was whether the vocabulary level of these genres could pose an impediment to typical native and non-native speakers of English in terms of their reading/listening comprehension, and, in general, how accessible these genres are vocabulary-wise. The results suggest that typical native speakers will struggle reading physics research and magazine articles, whereas typical non-native speakers will not read/listen to any of the genres at an optimal level, but will be able to read/listen to four of them at an acceptable level.

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Published Online: 2019-09-27

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