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The effects of context on incidental vocabulary learning

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Title:The effects of context on incidental vocabulary learning
Authors:Webb, Stuart
Keywords:incidental learning
vocabulary knowledge
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Date Issued:Oct 2008
Publisher:University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
Abstract:Japanese university students learning English as a foreign language (EFL) encountered 10 target words in 3 sets of 10 short contexts that were rated on the amount of information available to infer the target words’ meanings. One group of learners met the target words in contexts rated more highly than the contexts read by the other group. A surprise vocabulary test that measured recall of form, recognition of form, recall of meaning, and recognition of meaning was administered after the treatments. The results showed that the group that read the contexts containing more contextual clues had significantly higher scores on both tests of meaning. The findings indicate that the quality of the context rather than the number of encounters with target words may have a greater effect on gaining knowledge of meaning. Conversely, it is the number of encounters that will have a greater effect on knowledge of form.
Appears in Collections: Volume 20, No. 2 Special Issue: Reading and Vocabulary

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