The IUP Journal of English Studies
Online Reading Habits and L2 Vocabulary Size: A Correlation

Article Details
Pub. Date : March, 2022
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES050322
Author Name :Alice Su Chu Wong and Jocelyn Yee Vun Lee
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 24



A sizable number of studies have been done on English Language Learners' (ELL) reading habits. While many of these studies were done in English-speaking countries, very few empirical investigations have been done in the Asian context. The present study aims to investigate the online reading habits of ELL first year diploma students in Malaysia, their vocabulary size and the correlation between the two. Using a mixed method of an online reading survey, a qualitative online interview and a series of vocabulary tests (receptive and productive), the study discovered that 91% of students have read English online materials and 79% preferred getting online resources to do their assignments. Yet, almost half of the participants reported that they did not like to read long articles online. The results also revealed that students had difficulties doing the University Word List for receptive vocabulary test, and overall, students had difficulties in the productive vocabulary level test beyond the 2000 level. These findings suggest that online reading habits may hinder or promote the acquisition of receptive and productive vocabulary.


Technology has become an indispensable tool in education. Over the past decade, we have seen a rapid change in the way educational materials are accessed by educators and learners. Due to technological advances, electronic reading materials have proliferated to create a digital reading environment free for all. In this new environment, "twenty-first century students are surrounded by technology that brings the world to their fingertips" (Long and Szabo 2016, 2) and they have the liberty and ease to read content in electronic mode whenever and wherever they want. When it comes to academic assignment, it is found that college students tend to rely more on computerbased resources (such as online video, online news and social media platforms) than paper-based resources. Undoubtedly, college students are required to engage in electronic reading to fulfill many academic demands of university courses. However, when their social lives are mediated by the Internet, it is not known whether they might also read for pleasure. Some may argue that the hours students spend on the Internet may affect their attention spans and impede meaningful reading. Others may concede that the Internet in