Dr Stuart Webb

Professor

Profile

After completing his undergraduate degree at Western, Stuart Webb did an MA in TESL/TEFL at the University of Birmingham, and a PhD in Applied Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington. Prior to joining the Faculty of Education at Western University in 2015, he taught English as a foreign language in China and Japan for many years, and more recently taught Applied Linguistics and TESOL for graduate programs in Japan, Singapore, and New Zealand.

Stuart conducts research on second language acquisition, particularly incidental vocabulary learning through reading, listening, and watching television, as well as how words can be taught effectively. His research has investigated the teaching and learning of both single-word items and collocations and has looked at questions such as: How many words do English as a foreign language students learn per year? How many words do we need to know to understand television programs and movies? How many times do we need to encounter words during reading in order to learn them? Which words have the greatest value to learners and deserve attention in the classroom? How can we measure vocabulary learning? His research has included corpus-driven studies of the vocabulary in different discourse types and quantitative studies of vocabulary learning. His work has appeared in journals such as Applied Linguistics, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Language Learning, and TESOL Quarterly.  He is co-author (with Paul Nation) of Researching and Analyzing Vocabulary (Heinle, 2011) and serves on the editorial boards of a number of international Applied Linguistics and TESOL journals.

Expertise Areas

Recent Publications

Books

Webb, S. (Ed.). (2020). Approaches to Learning, Testing, and Researching L2 Vocabulary.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Webb, S. (Ed.). (2020). The Routledge Handbook of Vocabulary Studies. London:
Routledge.

Webb, S. (Ed.). (2018). Approaches to learning, testing, and researching L2 vocabulary.
Special issue of ITL: International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 169(1), 1-231. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Webb, S., & Nation, I.S.P. (2017). How Vocabulary is Learned. Oxford: Oxford University
Press.

Webb, S. (Ed.). (2016). Vocabulary: Critical Concepts in Linguistics (Vols. 1-4). New York:
Routledge.

Nation, I.S.P., & Webb, S. (2011). Researching and Analyzing Vocabulary. Boston, MA:
Heinle.

Articles and Chapters

Webb, S. (to appear 2021). Innovation in measures of breadth and depth of vocabulary
knowledge. In P. Szudarski & S. Barclay (Eds.) Vocabulary Theory, Patterning and Teaching. (pp. xx-xx). Multilingual Matters.

Yanagisawa, A., & Webb, S. (in press). To what extent does the involvement load
hypothesis predict incidental L2 vocabulary learning? A meta-analysis. Language Learning.

Webb, S., Yanagisawa, A., & Uchihara, T. (in press). How effective are intentional
vocabulary learning activities? A meta-analysis. Modern Language Journal, 104(4).

Uchihara, T., & Webb, S. (to appear). Materials for teaching vocabulary. In J. Norton & H.
Buchanan (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Materials Development for Language Teaching. (pp. xx-xx). London: Routledge.

Webb, S., & Chang, A. C-S. (in press). How does mode of input affect the incidental learning
of collocations? Studies in Second Language Acquisition.

Jin, Z., & Webb, S. (to appear 2020). Incidental vocabulary learning from listening to teacher
talk. Modern Language Journal, 104(3), currently available in early view at https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12661

Dang, T. N. Y., Webb, S., & Coxhead, A. (2020). Evaluating lists of high-frequency words: Teachers’ and learners’ perspectives. Language Teaching Research, currently available in online first at https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168820911189

Rodgers, M.P.H., & Webb, S. (in press). Incidental vocabulary learning through
watching television. ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics, currently available in online first at https://doi.org/10.1075/itl.18034.rod

Sasao, Y., & Webb, S. (2020). The guessing from context test. In S. Webb (Ed.) Approaches
to Teaching, Learning, Testing, Researching L2 Vocabulary. (pp. 117-142). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Webb, S., & Piasecki, A. (2020). Re-examining the effects of word writing on vocabulary
learning. In S. Webb (Ed.) Approaches to Teaching, Learning, Testing, Researching L2 Vocabulary. (pp. 73-94). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Webb, S., & Peters, E. (2020, June 28). Watching foreign-language TV during the
coronavirus pandemic can help you learn a new language. The Conversation.
https://theconversation.com/watching-foreign-language-tv-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic-can-help-you-learn-a-new-language-141170


Feng, Y., & Webb, S. (2020). Learning vocabulary through reading, listening, and
viewing: Which mode of input is most effective? Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 42(3), 499-523.

Dang, T.N.Y., & Webb, S. (2020). Vocabulary instruction and good language teaching. In
C. Griffiths & Z. Tajeddin (Eds.) Lessons from Good Language Teachers (pp. 203-218). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Yanagisawa, A., & Webb, S. (2020). Measuring depth of vocabulary knowledge. In
S. Webb (Ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Vocabulary Studies (pp. 371-386). New York: Routledge.

Webb, S. (2020). Incidental vocabulary learning. In S. Webb (Ed.) The Routledge
Handbook of Vocabulary Studies (pp. 225-239). New York: Routledge.

Webb, S. (2020). Introduction. In S. Webb (Ed.) The Routledge Handbook of
Vocabulary Studies (pp. 1-12). New York: Routledge.

Webb, S., & Nation, P. (2020). Teaching vocabulary. In C.A. Chappelle (Ed.)
The Concise Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. (pp. 1078-1084). Oxford, UK:
Wiley-Blackwell.

Yanagisawa, A., Webb, S., & Uchihara, T. (2020). How do different forms of glossing
contribute to L2 vocabulary learning from reading? A meta-regression analysis. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 42(2), 411-438.

Webb, S., & Macalister, J. (2019). Why might children’s literature be difficult for non-native
speakers of English? Reading in a Foreign Language, 31(2), 305-310.

Pavia, N., Webb, S., & Faez, F. (2019). Incidental vocabulary learning from listening
to L2 songs. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 41(4), 745-768. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263119000020

Uchihara, T., Webb, S., & Yanagisawa, A. (2019). The effects of repetition on
incidental vocabulary learning: A meta-analysis of correlational studies. Language
Learning, 69(3), 559-599. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12343

Nurmukhamedov, U., & Webb, S. (2019). Research timeline: Lexical coverage. Language
Teaching, 52(2), 188-200.

Webb, S. (2019). Helping students become autonomous learners of vocabulary. TESOL
Connections, 1-4.

Macalister, J., & Webb, S. (2019). Can L1 children's literature be used in the English
language classroom? High frequency words in writing for children. Reading in a Foreign Language, 31, 62-80.
Appel, R., Trofimovich, P., Saito, K., Isaacs, T., & Webb, S. (2019). Lexical aspects
of comprehensibility and nativeness from the perspective of native-speaking English raters. ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 170(1), 24-52.

Mizumoto, A., Sasao, Y., and Webb, S. (2019). Developing and evaluating a
computerized adaptive testing version of the Word Part Levels Test. Language Testing, 36(1), 101-123.

Zhang, Z., & Webb, S. (2019). The effects of bilingual reading on vocabulary learning.
Reading in a Foreign Language, 31, 109-139.

Peters, E., & Webb, S. (2018). Incidental vocabulary acquisition through watching a
single episode of L2 television. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 40(3), 551-577.

Webb (2018). Advanced lexical development. In P. Malovhr & A. Benati (Eds.)
Handbook of Advanced Proficiency in Second Language Acquisition (pp. 401-418). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Webb, S. (2018). Guest editorial. ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 169(1),
1-4.

Sasao, Y., & Webb, S. (2018). The guessing from context test. ITL - International
Journal of Applied Linguistics, 169(1), 115-141.

Webb, S., & Piasecki, A. (2018). Re-examining the effects of word writing on
vocabulary learning. ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 169(1), 72-
93.

Boers, F. & Webb, S. (2018). Teaching and learning collocation in adult second and foreign
language learning. Language Teaching, 51(1), 77-89.

Dang, T.N.Y., Coxhead, A., & Webb, S. (2017). The Academic Spoken Word List.
Language Learning, 67(4), 959-997.

Webb, S., Sasao, Y., & Ballance, O. (2017). The updated Vocabulary Levels Test:
Developing and validating two new forms of the VLT. ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 168(1), 34-70.

Nguyen, T. M. H., & Webb, S. (2017). Examining second language receptive knowledge of collocation and factors that affect learning. Language Teaching Research, 21(3), 298-320.

Rodgers, M.P.H., & Webb, S. (2017). Do captions improve EFL learners’ comprehension of
English-language television programs? CALICO Journal, 34(1), 20-38.

Saito, K., Trofimovich, P., Isaacs, T., & Webb, S. (2017). Re-examining phonological
and lexical correlates of second language comprehensibility: The role of rater experience. In T. Isaacs & P. Trofimovich (Eds.) Interfaces in second language pronunciation assessment: Interdisciplinary perspectives (pp.131-146). Multilingual Matters.

Sasao, Y., & Webb, S. (2017). The word part levels test. Language Teaching Research,
21(1), 12-30.

Nakata, T., & Webb, S. A. (2017). Vocabulary learning exercises: Evaluating a selection of
exercises commonly featured in language learning materials. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Second Language Acquisition Research and Materials Development for Language Learning (pp. 123-138). Oxon, UK: Taylor and Francis.

Dang, T.N.Y., & Webb, S. (2016). Evaluating lists of high frequency vocabulary.
ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 167(2), 132-158.

Saito, K., Webb, S., Trofimovich, P., & Isaacs, T. (2016). Lexical profiles of comprehensible
second language speech: The role of appropriateness, fluency, variation, sophistication, abstractness and sense relations. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 38(4), 677-701.

Dang, T. N. Y., & Webb, S. (2016). Making an essential word list for beginners. In I. S. P.
Nation, Making and Using Word Lists for Language Learning and Testing (pp. 153-167, 188-195). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Saito, K., Webb, S., Trofimovich, P., & Isaacs, T. (2016). Lexical correlates of
second language speaking proficiency: Comprehensibility versus accentedness.
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19(3), 597-609.

Nakata, T., & Webb, S. (2016). Does studying vocabulary in smaller sets increase learning?
Effects of part and whole learning on second language vocabulary acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 38(3) 523-552.

Webb, S., & Chang, A. C-S. (2016). Second language vocabulary growth. In S. Webb (Ed.) Vocabulary: Critical Concepts in Linguistics (Vol. 1, pp. 161-176). New York: Routledge. (reprinted from RELC Journal, 43(1), 113-126.)

Webb, S. (2016). The effects of repetition on vocabulary knowledge. In S. Webb (Ed.) Vocabulary: Critical Concepts in Linguistics (Vol. 2, pp. 175-193). New York: Routledge. (reprinted from Applied Linguistics, 28(1), 46-65.)

Webb, S., & Rodgers, M.P.H. (2016). The vocabulary demands of television programs. In S.
Webb (Ed.) Vocabulary: Critical Concepts in Linguistics (Vol. 2, pp. 317-344). New York: Routledge. (reprinted from Language Learning, 59(2), 335-366.)



Webb, S. (2016). Learning vocabulary in activities. In S. Webb (Ed.) Vocabulary: Critical
Concepts in Linguistics (Vol. 3, pp. 227-240). New York: Routledge. (reprinted from
Innovation and Creativity in ELT Methodology, pp. 121-133, by H. Puji Widodo & A. Cirocki (Eds.), 2013. New York: Nova.)

Webb, S. (2016). Receptive and productive vocabulary learning: the effects of reading and
writing on word knowledge. In S. Webb (Ed.) Vocabulary: Critical Concepts in Linguistics (Vol. 3, pp. 296-315). New York: Routledge. (reprinted from Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 2005, 27(1), 33-52.)

Boers, F., Demecheleer, M., Coxhead, A., & Webb, S. (2016). Gauging the effectiveness of
exercises on verb-noun collocations. In S. Webb (Ed.) Vocabulary: Critical Concepts in Linguistics (Vol. 4, pp. 287-309). New York: Routledge. (reprinted from Language Teaching Research, 2014, 18(1), 50-70.)

Webb, S., Newton, J., & Chang, A. C-S. (2016). Incidental learning of collocation. In S.
Webb (Ed.) Vocabulary: Critical Concepts in Linguistics (Vol. 4, pp. 353-378). New York: Routledge. (reprinted from Language Learning, 2013, 63(1), 91-120.)

Siyanova-Chanturia, A., & Webb, S. (2016). Teaching vocabulary in the EFL context. In
W.A. Renandya & H. P. Widodo (Eds.) English Language Teaching Today: Building
a Closer Link between Theory and Practice (pp. 227-239). Switzerland: Springer
International Publishing.

Rodgers, M.P.H., & Webb, S. (2016). Listening to lectures. In K. Hyland & P. Shaw
(Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of English for Academic Purposes (pp. 165-176). London: Routledge.

Webb, S. (2016). Learning vocabulary through meaning-focused input: Replication of Elley (1989) and Liu & Nation (1985). Language Teaching, 49(1), 129-140.

Paribakht, T.S., & Webb, S. (2016). The relationship between academic vocabulary
coverage and scores on a standardized English proficiency test. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 21, 121-132.

Webb, S. (2015). Researching vocabulary in the EFL context: A commentary on
four studies for JALT Vocabulary SIG. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 4(2), 83-94, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v04.1.webb

Webb, S. (2015). Repeated reading. Contact, 41(3), 11-15.

Webb, S. & Chang, A, C-S. (2015). How does prior word knowledge affect
vocabulary learning progress in an extensive reading program? Studies in Second
Language Acquisition, 37(4), 651-675.


Boers, F., & Webb, S. (2015). Gauging the semantic transparency of idioms: Do natives
and learners see eye to eye? In R. R. Heredia & A. B. Cieślicka (Eds.) Bilingual
Figurative Language Processing (pp. 368-392). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Webb, S.A. & Chang, A, C-S. (2015). Second language vocabulary learning
through extensive reading: How does frequency and distribution of occurrence affect learning? Language Teaching Research, 19(6), 667-686.

Rogers, J., Webb, S. & Nakata, T. (2015). Do the cognacy characteristics of
loanwords make them more easily learned than noncognates? Language Teaching Research, 19(1), 9-27. doi:10.1177/1362168814541752.

Webb, S., & Paribakht, T.S. (2015). What is the relationship between the lexical
profile of test items and performance on a standardized English proficiency test? English for Specific Purposes, 38, 34-43.

Webb, S. (2015). Extensive viewing: language learning through watching television. In D.
Nunan & J.C. Richards (Eds.) Language Learning Beyond the Classroom (pp. 159-168). New York: Routledge.

Webb, S. (2014). Repetition in incidental vocabulary learning. In C. Chappelle (Ed.)
Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (pp. 1-6). Oxford, UK.: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI:
10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal1425

Boers, F., Lindstromberg, S., & Webb, S. (2014). Further evidence of the
comparative memorability of alliterative expressions in second language learning. RELC Journal, 45(1), 85-100.

Dang, T.N.Y., & Webb, S. (2014). The lexical profile of academic spoken English.
English for Specific Purposes, 33(1), 66-76.

Boers, F., Demecheleer, M., Coxhead, A., & Webb, S. (2014). Gauging the
effectiveness of exercises on verb-noun collocations. Language Teaching Research,
18(1), 50-70.

Webb, S. (2013). Learning vocabulary in activities. In H. Puji Widodo & A.
Cirocki (Eds.) Innovation and Creativity in ELT Methodology (pp. 121-133).
New York: Nova.

Webb, S., & Sasao, Y. (2013). New directions in vocabulary testing. RELC Journal, 44(3),
263 - 278.

Macalister, J., & Webb, S. (2013). A response. TESOL Quarterly, 47(4), 852-855.

Webb, S., & Macalister, J. (2013). Is text written for children appropriate for L2
extensive reading? TESOL Quarterly, 47(2), 300-322.
Webb, S., Newton, J., & Chang, A. C-S. (2013). Incidental learning of collocation.
Language Learning, 63(1), 91-120.

Webb, S. (2013). Depth of vocabulary knowledge. In C. Chappelle (Ed.) Encyclopedia of
Applied Linguistics (pp. 1656-1663). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI:
10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal1325

Webb, S. & Nation, I.S.P. (2013). Teaching vocabulary. In C. Chappelle (Ed.) Encyclopedia
of Applied Linguistics (pp. 5670-5677). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. DOI:
10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal1177

Webb, S. & Nation, I.S.P. (2013). Computer-assisted vocabulary load analysis. In C.
Chappelle (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (pp. 844-853). Oxford, UK:
Wiley-Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0179

Webb, S. (2012). Book review: Wray, Alison (2008). Formulaic Language:
Pushing the Boundaries. 2008, pp. xv+ 305. Oxford: Oxford University Press. New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics, 18(2), 85-86.

Webb, S.A. & Chang, A, C-S. (2012). Vocabulary learning through assisted
and unassisted repeated reading. Canadian Modern Language Review, 68(3), 267-290.

Webb, S.A. (2012). Receptive learning. In N.M. Seel (Ed.) Encyclopedia of the
Sciences of Learning (pp. 2783-2785). New York: Springer.

Webb, S.A. & Chang, A, C-S, (2012). Second language vocabulary growth. RELC
Journal, 43(1), 113-126.

Nation, I.S.P., & Webb, S. (2011). Content-based instruction and vocabulary
learning. In E. Hinkel (Ed.) Volume 2, Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning (631-644). New York: Routledge.

Rodgers, M.P.H. & Webb, S. (2011). Narrow viewing: The vocabulary in related
television programs. TESOL Quarterly, 45(4), 689-717.

Webb, S. (2011). Selecting television programs for language learning: Investigating
television programs from the same genre. International Journal of English Studies, 11(1), 117-136.

Webb, S. & Kagimoto, E. (2011). Learning collocations: Do the number of collocates,
position of the node word, and synonymy affect learning? Applied Linguistics, 32(3), 259-276.

Webb, S. (2010). A corpus driven study of the potential for vocabulary learning through
watching movies. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 15(4), 497-519.

Webb, S. (2010). Pre-learning low frequency vocabulary in second language television
programs. Language Teaching Research, 14(4), 501-515.

Webb, S. (2010). Using glossaries to increase the lexical coverage of television programs.
Reading in a Foreign Language, 22(1), 201-221.

Webb, S. (2009). The effects of receptive and productive learning of word pairs on
vocabulary knowledge. RELC Journal, 40(3), 360-376.

Webb, S. & Rodgers, M.P.H. (2009). The lexical coverage of movies. Applied Linguistics,
30(3), 407-427.

Webb, S. (2009). L2 vocabulary: Perspectives on teaching, learning, testing, and formulaic
sequences. Language Teaching, 42(3), 405-414.

Webb, S. & Kagimoto, E. (2009). The effects of vocabulary learning on collocation and
meaning. TESOL Quarterly, 43(1), 55-77.

Webb, S. & Rodgers, M.P.H. (2009). The vocabulary demands of television programs.
Language Learning, 59(2), 335-366.

Webb, S. (2009). The effects of pre-learning vocabulary on reading comprehension and
writing. Canadian Modern Language Review, 65(3), 441-470.

Webb, S. & Nation, I.S.P. (2008). Evaluating the vocabulary load of written text.
TESOLANZ Journal, 16, 1-10.

Webb, S. (2008). The effects of context on incidental vocabulary learning. Reading in a
Foreign Language, 20, 232-245.

Webb, S. (2008). Receptive and productive vocabulary size. Studies in Second
Language Acquisition, 30(1), 79-95.

Webb, S. (2007). The effects of synonymy on vocabulary learning. Reading in a Foreign
Language, 19(2), 120-136.

Webb, S. (2007). Learning word pairs and glossed sentences: The effects of a single sentence
on vocabulary knowledge. Language Teaching Research. 11(1), 63-81.

Webb, S. (2007). The effects of repetition on vocabulary knowledge. Applied Linguistics,
28(1), 46-65.

Webb, S. (2005). Receptive and productive vocabulary learning: The effects of reading
and writing on word knowledge. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27(1),
33-52.

Webb, S. A. (2002). Investigating the effects of learning tasks on vocabulary knowledge.
Unpublished PhD Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.

Teaching and Supervision

Dr Webb supervises students in the MA and PhD programs in Applied Linguistics with topics related to studies of vocabulary. Recent topics have included:

  • Rodgers, M.P.H. (2013). English language learning through viewing television: An investigation of comprehension, incidental vocabulary acquisition, lexical coverage, attitudes, and captions. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. (winner of the Applied Linguistics Association of New Zealand best PhD thesis award in 2013)
  • Sasao, Y. (2013). Diagnostic Tests of English Vocabulary Learning Proficiency: Guessing from Context and Knowledge of Word Parts. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand. (Finalist for the 2013 Oxford University Press Christopher Brumfit Best PhD Thesis Award)
  • Nakata, T. (2013). Optimizing Second Language Vocabulary Learning from Flash Cards. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.