Investigating the Relationship between IELTS Scores and Receptive Vocabulary Size
This research investigates the relationship between IELTS scores and vocabulary size, using Nation and Belgar’s (2007) Vocabulary Size Test (VST). Correlations are stated between IELTS scores and mean estimated vocabulary size for a sample of 205 international foundation students; data which may be useful for streaming within such programmes. Mean and standard deviation vocabulary size scores are given for IELTS bands: there is a wide spread of scores within each 0.5 IELTS band, highlighting the weakness of an IELTS score as a predictor of this specific area of linguistic knowledge. A model is given for ‘mean’ students at each 0.5 band of IELTS, which estimates the number of unknown words s/he may encounter in a text written for educated native speakers, given the mean vocabulary size for that band. The pedagogical implications of these results are assessed.