Making form-meaning connections while reading: A qualitative analysis of word processing

Date
2003-04
Authors
Rott, Susanne
Williams, Jessica
Journal Title
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Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Abstract
This study was a qualitative exploration of the effect of multiple-choice glosses and periodic L2 text reconstruction on lexical acquisition. L2 readers of German engaged in a think-aloud procedure while reading a short text and retelling its content in German after each of four short sections. In each section, four unfamiliar target words (TWs) were embedded. Half of the participants' passages contained multiple-choice glosses for the TWs. Reading behavior and test scores for the +gloss and no-gloss groups differed, suggesting that a) glosses triggered a search for concrete meaning and firm form-meaning mapping; b) a lack of glosses corresponded with global text processing, skipping of words and shallow meaning mapping; c) multiple encounters helped +gloss readers to gain semantic information and refine their understanding of the TWs; d) for those who established form-meaning connections in the input phase, the output task may have strengthened those connections, e) the post-test designed to measure word recognition may have had a strong learning effect.
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Keywords
vocabulary development, from-meaning mapping, second language acquisition, reading interventions, multiple-choice glosses, input-output cycle tasks, information processing
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