Capstone/Dissertation Title

Daily Narrow Reading and Changes in Unknown Vocabulary Over Time: A Korean Language Self-Study

Term

Summer 8-13-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Kathryn Heinze

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Anne DeMuth

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Chan-Joo Park

Abstract

This self-study investigated the relationship between narrow reading and incidental vocabulary acquisition. The study was conducted by reading three Korean newspaper articles daily from three different topic areas for thirty days. With each article, the percentage of unknown words encountered was recorded along with a journal entry stating the perceived difficulty of comprehension. These data were used to investigate the percentages of unknown words that emerged over time when narrow reading daily, and how the percentages differed depending on the specific topic area of the articles. Along with these data, the qualitative data from the journal entries were used to pinpoint a percentage of unknown words at which reading comprehension began to feel difficult. This study revealed the benefit of narrowing the topic of reading for incidental vocabulary acquisition. The researcher learned how changes in writing style, vocabulary, and topic area can affect students' comprehension.

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