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The primary goal of the current study was bi-fold. First it was to estimate the vocabulary size necessary for unassisted comprehension of the English and American novels that were commonly used in the literature courses at the universities in Korea. In addition, it was to measure the receptive vocabulary size of Korean university students and to see how much of a gap there was between the students’ vocabulary size and the vocabulary size necessary for the comprehension of novels. A vocabulary analysis of the novels was conducted utilizing Range, one of the most comprehensive lexical analysis tools, and it was found that the receptive vocabulary size necessary for comprehending the novels ranged from 6,000 to 11,000 word families. In addition, the receptive vocabulary size of 189 English majors at two universities was measured drawing on Vocabulary Size Test (Nation & Beglar, 2007) and it was revealed that the students’ average vocabulary size ranged from 6,400 to 7,400 word families, displaying a relatively large gap between their vocabulary size and the vocabulary size necessary for the comprehension of the novels.