BiographyNorbert Schmitt began his career in 1988 as an EFL teacher in Japan and quickly became interested in how language learners acquire their second languages. During his Masters study at Temple University, Japan, he began researching how students learn vocabulary in particular. He extended this interest in vocabulary through his PhD research at the University of Nottingham in 1994. Upon completion of his PhD in 1997, he joined the University of Nottingham staff, and became colleagues with the two prominent vocabulary specialists already there (Professor Ronald Carter and Professor Michael McCarthy). After their retirement, he continued on with the vocabulary specialty.
Prof. Schmitt has researched second language vocabulary issues for nearly 25 years, and his interests have broadened to all aspects of lexical study, including vocabulary testing, formulaic language, corpus-based research, and the interface between vocabulary knowledge and the ability to read and listen in English.
A number of his accomplishments include:
• Nine books on vocabulary and applied linguistics issues
• About 60 international journal articles
• Around 100 total publications
• Introduction of new terminology in the field of vocabulary, including word knowledge, mid-frequency vocabulary, engagement, form recall, and meaning recall
• The introduction of psycholinguistic research techniques like eye-tracking into the study of formulaic language
• Co-development of a widely-used test of vocabulary: the Vocabulary Levels Test
• Graduation of over 10 PhD students who are making their own important contributions to the applied linguistics field
Prof. Schmitt’s background and publications can be found on his personal website at:
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Norbert Schmitt is interested in all aspects of second language vocabulary. He has covered a variety of lexical topics, including the development of vocabulary knowledge, vocabulary assessment, formulaic language, lexical research methodology, vocabulary learning strategies, vocabulary teaching methodology, vocabulary and reading/listening, and many others. His current projects include compiling a list of the best-known vocabulary (the Knowledge-based Vocabulary List (KVL), co-developing the next generation of vocabulary test with Benjamin Kremmel, and researching the nature of vocabulary knowledge with Beatriz González-Fernández..
Playing goalie with local ice hockey team
Flying the Europa kit aircraft he built (G-RMMT)
Moving the field of vocabulary assessment forward: The need for more rigorous test development and validation
Published: Dec 01, 2019 by Language Teaching Research
Authors: Norbert Schmitt, Paul Nation, & Benjamin Kremmel
Subjects: Language Learning
This article argues that future vocabulary tests need to be constructed more carefully and for more specific purposes, and provides advice on how this can be done.
Published: Sep 14, 2019 by Language Teaching Research
Authors: Melodie Garnier & Norbert Schmitt
Subjects: Language Learning, Applied Linguistics
This article supplies a list of the most frequent phrasal verbs, and shows the frequency of their most common polysemous meaning senses.
Published: Dec 01, 2015 by Language Learning
Authors: Norbert Schmitt
Subjects: Language Learning
This article looks different ways of conceptualizing vocabulary size and depth, and shows that they are strongly interrelated.