EUROSLA Yearbook: Volume 1 (2001)
  • ISSN 1568-1491
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9749
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This paper represents an exploration into the effectiveness and nature of vocabulary acquisition through reading in English as a foreign language. The subjects, Polish learners of English, were instructed to read three newspaper articles for comprehension while performing three reading tasks: ‘read only’, read for the main ideas, and read for selected information. Their gains in the knowledge of 60 potentially least known words were then measured. It was found that although all the students showed some vocabulary gains, the medium- and high-proficiency students profited more than the low-proficiency students. The while-reading tasks had a modest effect on learning unfamiliar lexical items, with the ‘read only’ task proving slightly more efficient than the other two tasks. The data did not support the hypothesis that increasing text comprehensibility promotes a proportional increase in vocabulary acquisition.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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