The Language Ecology of Graduate Students: An Exploration through Vocabulary Contribution

  • Daron Benjamin Loo Centre for English Language Communication, National University of Singapore
Keywords: Learning ecology;, Vocabulary;, Academic socialization


This study explores the language ecology of graduate students through vocabulary contribution. Understanding students’ learning ecology may be done through the identification of pertinent sociomaterial networks with which students engage to initiate or complement learning. This study was set in an academic writing module taught by the researcher. An open invitation was extended to his students to contribute any vocabulary they encountered outside of his classroom. Along with the vocabulary contribution, students also had to provide the excerpt where the word occurred and the source-type. Contributions were made on an online Excel file. There was a total of 277 contributions made, of which 259 were unique (229 words and 30 unique strings of words). Students’ contributions of strings of words were not anticipated. A majority of these contributions came from academic sources, such as research articles or book chapters, which may be a pertinent aspect of the graduate students’ language ecology. Through the findings, it is recommended that English for academic purposes (EAP) or English for specific purposes (ESP) instructors identify language ecologies found in the broader university setting to glean relevant pedagogical materials that can support students’ language development.


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How to Cite
Loo, D. B. (2021). The Language Ecology of Graduate Students: An Exploration through Vocabulary Contribution. Issues in Language Studies, 10(2), 65-82.