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Posted 1st August, 2017 by Sue Partridge

Could not retrieve telephone-number, Could not retrieve telephone-number,

When Dyslexia Positive met  in June, we decided to have a discussion about vocabulary.  I devised some seminar questions as follows, with some background reading:

Seminar questions about vocabulary

Pick a question and be prepared to lead a brief discussion on the topic. 


  1. What is the difference between receptive vocabulary and expressive vocabulary? Discuss this in relation to both speaking & listening and reading & writing.
  2. What counts as knowing a word; is to enough to be able to read it? To spell it? To know what it means?
  3. A study in 2016 found that the average 20-year-old recognises about 42000 words. After that age people typically learn 1 – 2 words each day. 65 year olds have vocabulary levels bigger than university students.  Explain and evaluate the research:

Brysbaert et al. (2016) How Many Words Do We Know? Practical Estimates of Vocabulary Size Dependent on Word Definition, the Degree of Language Input and the Participant’s Age

Summarised in

  1. What do you think this test measures?  If there were a U.K. version would you use it? CREVT-3 Comprehensive Receptive and Expressive Vocabulary  Third Edition:
  2. What can the WRIT vocabulary subtest tell us about reading ability?

Some general background reading:

Braze et al (2007) Speaking Up for Vocabulary: Reading Skill Differences in Young Adults

[Accessed 3 June 2017]

McShane, S. (2005) [online] Applying research in reading instruction for adults. First steps for teachers, Washington DC, National Institute for Literacy [accessed 3 June 2017], especially Chapter 6.

Wise et al (2007) The Relationship Among Receptive and Expressive Vocabulary, Listening Comprehension, Pre-Reading Skills, Word Identification Skills, and Reading Comprehension by Children With Reading Disabilities

[accessed 3 June 2017]

Over the next few days, I will post the notes of some of our discussions!





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