Paper Published by TEFL Faculty Suggests Link Between Vocabulary Command and Plagiarism

MD-Pic-for-the-card-2-2YEREVAN, Armenia – Professor Marina Dodigovic, together with a former student and colleague, recently published a chapter in the book Current Issues in Language Evaluation, Assessment and Testing: Research and Practice, edited by C. Gitsaki and C. Coombe. The study described in this chapter investigates the relationship between plagiarism and vocabulary knowledge in the writing of over 200 students of English as a second language. It uses both lexical error and vocabulary size assessment as measures of vocabulary command. The study relies on an instructional software tool called Grammarly, which identifies both textual borrowing and language errors, as well as on the Vocabulary Size Test (VST) to measure students’ vocabulary knowledge. The results indicate that there is some correlation between the error count and plagiarism, and a strong negative correlation between vocabulary size and plagiarism rate. Therefore, the findings seem to suggest that poor vocabulary command could be a major cause of plagiarism in second language writers. Based on these findings, the importance of systematic vocabulary teaching and learning as a strategy to avoid plagiarism emerges. The full reference for the chapter is:

Dodigovic, M., Mlynarski, J., & Wei, R. (2016). Vocabulary size assessment as a predictor of plagiarism. In Gitsaki, C., & Coombe, C. (eds.) Current Issues in Language Evaluation, Assessment and Testing: Research and Practice, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars.