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Title: Incidental vocabulary learning in second language reading : the effects of word-focused activities
Author: Srichamnong, Nataporn
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 8217
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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This study investigates incidental L2 vocabulary learning in a computer-mediated reading setting. The objective of the study is to determine the effect on lexical retentio~ of (1) computerised word-focused activities, (2) different types' of vocabulary learning activities, (3) frequency of word encounters, and (4) spacing between encounters. ( Sixty intermediate-level Thai learners of English (forty-five distributed across four experimental groups, and fifteen in a no-treatment control group) participated in the four- week experimental study. Over two weeks, they read two texts in one of four conditions: with an interactive multiple-choice gloss (IMG) activity; with a vocabulary enhancement exercise (VEE) activity; with both vocabulary activities; and with no supplementary vocabulary activity. Three vocabulary tests (form-supply, meaning-supply, and form- meaning matching tests) were administered immediately after the final reading task and again two weeks later. The results revealed a significant positive impact of the word- focused activities, particularly on short-term retention (the immediate test). For longer- term retention (the delayed test), the benefit of the supplementary vocabulary activities remained effective, in conditions where the activities included the IMG. In addition, the combined activities were best resistant to word loss, while the IMG was potentially better at mitigating word losses than the VEE. The study further examines the combined effect of the number of word encounters (one or two occurrences) and the length of time between repetitions (close or wide spacing). The test scores show a significant relationship between number of encounters and short- and longer-term word retention. Words that occurred twice were remembered significantly better than those occurring once. It was also found that the timing of explicit focus in relation to the tests was important for word recall. Words that were explicitly focused on through the activities and tested on the same day were remembered significantly better than those that were not. However, the length of time between repetitions had no significant effect. The study discusses the facilitative role of word-focused activities, particularly the interactive multiple-choice gloss, and the benefit of multiple exposures in incidental vocabulary learning from reading. It also suggests ways to implement the activities in classroom teaching. Keywords: Incidental vocabulary learning, word-focused activities, vocabulary retention, interactive multiple-choice glosses, vocabulary enhancement exercises, frequency of word exposures, spacing effect.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available