Author: Arifur Rahman

Research Article

Year: 2020, Volume 20 Number 3

Page: 56-75


Vocabulary size (VS) and English language proficiency (ELP) are acknowledged as important factors in students’ overall cumulative grade point average (CGPA) in tertiary education. This study attempts to investigate the associations among vocabulary size, ELP, and CGPA. It also determines whether vocabulary size or ELP can better predict tertiary students’ CGPA. The study sample is comprised of 96 undergraduates on four programs at a Malaysian public university. The students’ vocabulary size was measured using a 20,000-word vocabulary size test, their ELP that was derived from their Malaysian University English Test scores, and their CGPA that was obtained from their academic transcripts. The correlational, comparative, and predictive analyses revealed a moderate and significant positive association among all the variables. In addition, vocabulary size emerged as a better predictor of CGPA than ELP, with a contribution of 25% to overall CGPA. The findings provide strong empirical confirmation demonstrating the significant function of vocabulary size in tertiary students’ CGPA. As a result of these investigations, suggestions were identified for future research.

Keywords: vocabulary size, cumulative grade point average (CGPA), English language proficiency, second language acquisition, tertiary education, English-medium instruction (EMI), language testing