One of the 15 subtests proposed by the Wechsler Intelligence Scale is vocabulary. According to this subset, a certain word can be given to the examinee to define its meaning. In most instances, an individual is endowed with a given set of words that he or she can adequately define or explain the meanings.
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The familiar set of words is referred to as vocabulary. As a matter of fact, the acquisition of knowledge and effective communication skills are developed gradually. In other words, knowledge acquisition and the ability to communicate well are largely dependent on the vocabulary well being of a person. In order to learn the second language, an individual should possess the ability to master extensive volume of vocabulary (Trull, 2013). This is usually one of the toughest challenges when learning the details of a new language.
In terms of definition, it is imperative to mention that each person has a unique knowledge in vocabulary and that is why the set of words that a person is familiar with are generally known as vocabulary. This implies that it is necessary to understand the meanings of specific words before an individual can claim to be conversant with certain vocabularies. Word knowledge can be evaluated or measured using quite a number of aspects as described in the following setcions .
To begin with, productivity and receptiveness are the first two aspects that can be used to appraise knowledge in the use of vocabularies. The receptive vocabulary of a person comprises of a set of words that can be easily comprehended through seeing, hearing or reading. Such words may either be well known or completely unknown by the user.
For instance, children can still respond to certain categories of simple vocabularies even though they are not in a position to read or write. Needless to say, the receptive capacity of a child may contain hundreds of words.
If a person produces specific and suitable words that are compatible with the situation at hand, the scenario is referred to as productive vocabulary. This type of vocabulary requires some degree of knowledge or thinking in order to come up with an appropriate wording (Wechsler, 2004).
An active vocabulary may not fit all forms of productive vocabularies used by a person who is communicating. The intended message may not be relayed merely because an individual can write, sign or pronounce a specific word. The latter is just an indication that the person has a small quantity of productive knowledge.
Second, the degree of knowledge is an important parameter in the development of vocabulary. There is vast ability that an individual can be endowed with when it comes to vocabulary acquisition. A person takes quite a long time before he or she can build a large volume of vocabulary.
There are some cases when certain words are never encountered. This limits the vocabulary base of an individual. In some instances, a person might have heard the word although he or she cannot describe it. These are some of the limitations of vocabulary acquisition.
There are several types of vocabulary. For example, reading vocabulary refers to the ability of an individual to identify and comprehend meanings of certain words while reading a text (Kaplan & Saccuzzo, 2005). The listening vocabulary of an individual consists of a set of words that a person understands in the process of listening when another person is speaking. Additionally, the writing and speaking vocabularies are also crucial in this classification.
Kaplan, R.M. & Saccuzzo, D.P. (2005). Psychological Testing: Principles, applications, and issues. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Trull, T. (2013). Clinical Psychology (8th ed). Columbia, CA: University of Missouri Press.
Wechsler, D. (2004). The Wechsler intelligence scale for children. London: Pearson.