Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 3 September 2023                             Pp.351-367

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Development, Validity, and Reliability of a Theme-based CBI Vocabulary Module for ESL
Post-secondary Tourism Management Students at an English-medium University

Nurhamizah Ishak1*
1Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA Melaka,
Melaka, Malaysia
*Corresponding author:

Nooreen Noordin2
Liliati Ismail3
Siti Salina Mustakim4
2,3,4 Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia,
Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Received:05/15/2023         Accepted:09/6/2023                   Published:09/24/2023


Inadequate English vocabulary knowledge hampers English-medium university students’ comprehension of lecture and reference materials. Thus, the researchers aimed to specifically develop an intervention for vocabulary knowledge enhancement, which is a theme-based content-based instruction vocabulary module for first-semester Diploma in Tourism Management students using the ASSURE model. The rationale behind the vocabulary module development is that students tend to acquire vocabulary faster when they learn it through a familiar and meaningful context. Upon completion of the module’s development, it was examined for validity and reliability. Content validation of the module was evaluated by four experts using the Content Validity Index and Percentage Calculation Method. Meanwhile, the module’s reliability was tested in a pilot study using Cronbach’s alpha test on reliability questionnaire results and paired sample t-test comparison of pre and post-test scores of students’ vocabulary knowledge. The pilot study involved 20 students with varied English language proficiency levels at an English-medium university in Malaysia. Findings of content validation by four experts and module validation by the pilot study indicate that not only does the module have high validity and good reliability, but also succeeds in increasing the students’ post-test vocabulary knowledge scores compared to their pre-test scores. Overall, this study contributes empirical evidence for English as a Second Language (ESL) vocabulary module development. It also proves that a valid and reliable module must be developed by referring to an instructional design model, reviewed by subject matter experts, and tested with the target audience through a pilot study.
Keywords: Module development, vocabulary, reliability, theme-based content-based instruction, validity

Cite as: Ishak, N., Noordin,N., Ismail,L., & Mustakim, S. S. (2023). Development, Validity, and Reliability of a Theme-based CBI Vocabulary Module for ESL Post-secondary Tourism Management Students at an English-medium University. Arab World English Journal, 14 (3) 351-367. DOI:


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Received: 05/15/2023
Accepted: 09/6/2023 
Published: 09/24/2023 

Nurhamizah Ishak is a lecturer at the Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA Melaka, Malaysia. She holds a B.Ed. TESL (Hons), and a M.Ed. in Management and Leadership from Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam. Her research interests include English Language teaching and second language acquisition.

 Nooreen Noordin, Ph. D. is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia. She holds a Ph.D. in Pedagogy. Her research interests include content-based second language instruction, technology enhanced language learning, learning styles, and motivation.

 Lilliati Ismail, Ph. D. is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia. She holds a Ph.D. in TESL. Her research interests include instruction, task-based language teaching, and language assessment.

 Siti Salina Mustakim, Ph. D. is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Measurement. Her research interests include curriculum development, educational measurement, and program evaluation.