Developing a Valid Bahasa Malaysia Lexical Proficiency Task

Guest Speaker:
Dr Jess Price (University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus)
Dr Treshi-Marie Perera (School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading Malaysia)
Subject Area:
Date & Time:
Fri, 24. November 2017, 13:00 h - 14:00 h
N3.24, University of Reading Malaysia - EduCity@Iskandar​


In order to investigate cross-language comparisons here in Malaysia, there is currently no easily available measure of Bahasa Malaysia (BM) vocabulary knowledge and proficiency. In this preliminary pilot study, we tested whether a Malaysian version (LexTALM) of the Lexical Test for Advanced Learners of English (LexTALE), could be used as a valid measure of general BM proficiency. Participants (highly proficient Malay-English speakers) performed both the English and Malaysian LexTale lexical test as well as completing a language history questionnaire and two BM school achievement tests (UJIAN PENCAPAIAN SEKOLAH RENDAH & PENTAKSIRAN TINGKATAN 3, (UPSR & PT3)). All participants acquired both English and BM before the age of seven and BM was their first language. The results showed that participants scored slightly but not significantly higher in the LexTALM, and there was also a marginally significant positive relationship between the LexTALM and UPSR scores. There was no strong relationship between the self-rated proficiency scores or the PT3 scores with the LexTALM. This preliminary data is promising, and that LexTALM could potentially be a good predictor of BM vocabulary knowledge and could be used as a general measure of proficiency. Future studies will be expanded to include a larger sample size, a translation task and Second language (L2) BM speakers to fully test the validity of the test.


Dr WorawamJess Price

Dr Jess Price graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MA (Hons) in Psychology, an MSc in Psycholinguistic Research Methods and a PhD in Written Language Comprehension in Healthy Ageing. She gained post-doctoral experience at both University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow, investigating the neural and cognitive mechanisms that are affected in early stages of Alzheimer's disease, using dense array EEG/ERP techniques, before working at the University of Birmingham. Her current research interests include: psycholinguistics, bilingualism/multilingualism, and executive function.

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