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Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 147-149

Keywords : vocabulary; lexical; concept; definition; textbook; language acquisition.;

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The article analyzed the Swedish experience of developing linguistic competency in English at higher educational establishments. In Sweden English has been used as the obligatory foreign language in all social domains since 1962. It is also recognized as the academic lingua franca of the world. Swedish universities showed the excessive use of original English textbooks in their teaching. The enrollment to the universities also requires a certain degree of proficiency in English. Thus, it is necessary to have an academic English vocabulary. This study summarizes the assessment of the academic word knowledge of students in different disciplines at a Swedish university. The assessment test was based on the Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) and the words were chosen from the Academic Word List (AWL) due to their frequency in academic written texts. Most of the words were of Latin and Greek origin and were more or less international. They were taken from such main language sub-corpus as arts, science, commerce and law. The designed vocabulary test enabled to define the words which are easy to recognize and difficulties the students had while guessing or translating the meaning of the texts. The analysis showed inefficient students' performance in guessing the meanings of derivatives of the basic words due to insufficient knowledge of grammar. The students showed a decline in knowledge of the words which were less common use according to the AWL. On the whole, the research demonstrated unsatisfactory word knowledge in English by Swedish students which presumably caused some troubles in understanding academic texts in English. Suffice it to mention the fact that English and Swedish belong to one group of Germanic languages unlike Ukrainian. At the same time the use of English original textbooks while teaching specific disciplines is rather preferable and extensive, which is explained by the necessity to know international equivalents of major concepts and phenomena. However, students encounter some difficulties in perceiving English specific texts and admit putting more effort to comprehend the material. Nevertheless, the preference is given to English textbooks because of their international use and the students' aspirations to broaden their employment chances, which is predetermined by global labour market and labour force mobility. Taking into account the fact that Swedish students are more exposed to English in their everyday life than the Ukrainian ones, it was proposed to broaden the range of authentic English teaching materials at non-linguistic faculties of our country in order to motivate students to language learning and optimize the process of language acquisition. This on the whole will increase their chance of employment at the international labour market.

Last modified: 2018-01-09 22:58:35