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Postprint of: Roche, T & Harrington, M 2013, 'Recognition vocabulary skill as a predictor of academic English performance and academic achievement in English', Language Testing in Asia, vol. 3, no. 12, pp. 133-144.

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© 2013 Roche and Harrington This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Educational institutions across Asia spend a considerable amount of resources administeringplacement and proficiency tests to assess whether students have the English language skillsnecessary to undertake higher education instruction in English medium classrooms. Thispaper presents findings of an investigation of recognition vocabulary knowledge as apredictor of Academic English Performance and overall Academic Achievement in Englishmedium university contexts. Vocabulary knowledge was assessed using a computerised YES/NO test measuring participants’ speed and accuracy of word recognition. AcademicEnglish Performance (AEP) was assessed using a mock IELTS academic writing test.Performance on these measures was correlated with Grade Point Average (GPA) as a measureof academic achievement. Students from an Arabic speaking background at two tertiaryeducation institutions in the Sultanate of Oman, Rustaq College of Applied Science and Sohar University took part in the study. Pearson’s correlation tests re veal there is a strong positiverelationship (0.836 at the 0.01 level) between English language performance and GPA, and apositive relationship (0.679 at the 0.01 level) between recognition vocabulary knowledge andAEP. Recommendations for using computer generated word recognition scores as a valid andreliable, cost and time effective general measure of AEP and as predictor of academicachievement and underachievement are explored.

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