A study of Ilokano learners' lexical inferencing procedures through think-aloud

Soria, Julius
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This study is aimed at describing and understanding the different types of processing involved when foreign language learners infer the meaning of unknown words in a written text. Pair think-aloud protocols were used to examine the lexical inferencing procedures used by college-level students. Think-aloud protocols, a version of verbal report in which participants state their thoughts and behaviors, have become increasingly popular as a means of studying learners’ comprehension processes. The informants were intermediate and advanced Ilokano language learners of high and low proficiency in the target language. Informants’ use of interlingual, intralingual, and contextual sources is examined and compared across proficiency levels. Additional strategies employed by the informants as well as individual differences were also explored. Morphology proved to be the most prolific source informants appealed to in inferring the meaning of unknown words. The general finding of this study suggests that student proficiency is not a decisive factor in successful lexical guessing. Pedagogical implications and directions for future research emerging from the study are discussed.
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