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  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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In this article, we report on the construction of a test of deep word knowledge in French as a second language that can be used at advanced levels of proficiency.By 'deep word knowledge' we mean the knowledge of the semantic network of L2-words; our test focuses on the knowledge of the relations between L2-words and the words semantically related to each of these words; part of this is the knowledge of different meanings of polysemous words.In our test, each item consists of an L2-word, i.e. the item word, accompanied by six other L2-words that have or do not have a semantic relation with the item word. The testee has to mark the semantically related words. These relations may be paradigmatic (i.e. cases of synonymy, antonymy, or hyponymy) or syntagmatic (i.e. collocations, ?art-whole relations, or defining terms).The test was pretested on students of different university levels, i.e. advanced and near native students, and also on several reference groups of real native students. The results of the pretest showed the fairly good discriminatingpower of the test: differences between the mean scores of the groups of advanced, near native and native students proved to be significant. The test even discriminates between different levels of native proficiency (the french equivalents of ??, ?A and highschool students). The reliability (Cronbachs a) was estimated separately for the groups of advanced and near native students and proved satisfactory: .84 and .88 respectively.The data of the pretest administration was used in an item analysis procedure to modify and improve the test and to give it its final form.In the near future we will investigate the relationship between the deep word knowledge our test measures and scores on tests of broad, quantitative word knowledge; furthermore we will investigate the power of these two kinds of vocabulary scores to predict integrated language skills, in particular writing ability.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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