Volume 163, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0019-0829
  • E-ISSN: 1783-1490
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study investigated the effect of two meaning-oriented communicative tasks on L2 learners’ consolidation of new vocabulary met in a reading text on a familiar topic, building on the premises underlying the Dreyfus and Tsamir (2004) ‘Recognising, Building-with, and Constructing’ (RBC) model. Students in four lower intermediate EFL classes participated in the pre-test (of vocabulary size) post-test experimental study. Some of them only read the new text before taking an immediate and a delayed word retention test (control group); others read the text and afterwards completed comprehension questions (meaning-oriented receptive task). Still others, in addition, wrote a text similar in structure and contents to the input text while using the target words (meaning-oriented productive task). The fourth student group completed all three tasks consecutively. Our results show the superiority of the guided writing task over the ‘reading + comprehension questions’ and the ‘reading only’ conditions. On a theoretical level, content familiarity is shown to be an important mediator variable in early stages of vocabulary processing and consolidation.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bogaards, P. & Laufer, B.
    (Eds.) (2004) Vocabulary in Second Language. Selection, Acquisition and Testing. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Chun, D. & Plass, J.
    (1996a) Effects of multimedia annotations on vocabulary acquisition. Modem Language Journal, 80,183–98. doi:  10.1111/j.1540‑4781.1996.tb01159.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1996.tb01159.x [Google Scholar]
  3. (1996b) Facilitating reading comprehension with multimedia. System, 24, 503–519. doi:  10.1016/S0346‑251X(96)00038‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0346-251X(96)00038-3 [Google Scholar]
  4. Craik, F. & Lockhart, R.
    (1972) Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior, 11,671–684. doi:  10.1016/S0022‑5371(72)80001‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5371(72)80001-X [Google Scholar]
  5. De Ridder, I.
    (2002) Visible or invisible links: Does the highlighting of hyperlinks affect incidental vocabulary learning, text comprehension, and the reading process?, Language Learning & Technology, 6,123–46.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Dreyfus, T. & Tsamir, P.
    (2004) Ben's consolidation of knowledge structures about infinite sets. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 23,271–300. doi:  10.1016/j.jmathb.2004.06.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmathb.2004.06.002 [Google Scholar]
  7. Dreyfus, T., Hadas, N., Hershkowitz, R., Schwarz, B.
    (2006) Mechanisms for consolidating knowledge constructs. InNovotná, J., Moraová, H., Krátká, M. & Stehllková, N.(Eds.). 465–472. Prague: PME.
  8. Hershkowitz, R., Hadas, N., Dreyfus, T.
    (2006) Diversity in the construction of a group's shared knowledge. InNovotná, J., Moraová, H., Krátká, M. & Stehllková, N.(Eds.). 297–304. Prague: PME.
  9. Horst, M., Cobb, T., & Meara, P.
    (1998) Beyond A Clockwork Orange: Acquiring second language vocabulary through reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 11,207–223.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Hulstijn, J.
    (2001) Intentional and incidental second-language vocabulary learning : A reappraisal of elaboration, rehearsal and automaticity. InP. Robinson(Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp.258–286). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi:  10.1017/CBO9781139524780.011
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524780.011 [Google Scholar]
  11. Hulstijn, J., Hollander, M., & Greidanus, T.
    (1996) Incidental vocabulary learning by advanced foreign language students: The influence of marginal glosses, dictionary use, and reoccurrence of unknown words. The Modern Language Journal, 80,327–339. doi:  10.1111/j.1540‑4781.1996.tb01614.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1996.tb01614.x [Google Scholar]
  12. Hulstijn, J. & Laufer, B.
    (2001) Some empirical evidence for the Involvement load hypothesis in vocabulary acquisition. Language Learning, 51,539–558. doi:  10.1111/0023‑8333.00164
    https://doi.org/10.1111/0023-8333.00164 [Google Scholar]
  13. Hunt, A. & Beglar, D.
    (2005) A framework for developing EFL reading vocabulary. Reading in a Foreign Language, 17,23–59.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Knight, S.M.
    (1994) Dictionary use while reading: The effects on comprehension and vocabulary acquisition for students of different verbal abilities. The Modern Language Journal, 78, 295–299. doi:  10.1111/j.1540‑4781.1994.tb02043.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1994.tb02043.x [Google Scholar]
  15. Larson, M. L.
    (1984) Meaning-based translation: A guide to cross-language equivalence. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Laufer, B.
    (2003) Vocabulary acquisition in a second language: Do learners really acquire most vocabulary by reading? Some empirical evidence. The Canadian Modern Language Revies/la Revue canadienne des langues vivantes, 59,567–587. doi:  10.3138/cmlr.59.4.567
    https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.59.4.567 [Google Scholar]
  17. (2005) Instructed second language vocabulary learning: The fault in the 'default hypothesis'. InA. Housen & M. Pierrard (Eds.), Investigations in instructed second language acquisition (pp.311–329). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi:  10.1515/9783110197372.2.311
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110197372.2.311 [Google Scholar]
  18. Laufer, B., & Nation, P.
    (1999) A vocabulary size test of controlled productive ability. Language Testing, 16,33–51. doi:  10.1177/026553229901600103
    https://doi.org/10.1177/026553229901600103 [Google Scholar]
  19. Lee, S.H.
    (2003) ESL Learners' vocabulary use in writing and the effects of explicit vocabulary instruction. System, 31, 537–561. doi:  10.1016/j.system.2003.02.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2003.02.004 [Google Scholar]
  20. Lomicka, L.
    (1998) To gloss or not to gloss: an investigation of reading comprehension online, Language Learning and Technology, 1,1–50.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Min, H.
    (2008) EFL Vocabulary Acquisition and Retention: Reading Plus Vocabulary Enhancement Activities and Narrow Reading. Language Learning, 58, 73–115. doi:  10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2007.00435.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2007.00435.x [Google Scholar]
  22. Nation, I. S. P.
    (2001) Learning vocabulary in another language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:  10.1017/CBO9781139524759
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139524759 [Google Scholar]
  23. Peters, E.
    (2007) Manipulating L2 learners' online dictionary use and its effect on L2 word retention. Language Learning and Technology, 71,36–58.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Peters, E., Hulstijn, J., Sercu, L., Lutjeharms, M.
    (2009) Learning L2 vocabulary through reading: the effect of three enhancement techniques compared. Language Learning, 59,113–151. doi:  10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2009.00502.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2009.00502.x [Google Scholar]
  25. Pulido, D.
    (2003) Modeling the role of second language proficiency and topic familiarity in second language incidental vocabulary acquisition through reading. Language Learning, 53,233–284. doi:  10.1111/1467‑9922.00217
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9922.00217 [Google Scholar]
  26. (2007) the effects of topic familiarity and passage sight vocabulary on L2 lexical inferencing and retention through reading. Applied Linguistics, 28,66–86 doi:  10.1093/applin/aml049
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/aml049 [Google Scholar]
  27. Rott, S.
    (2004) A comparison of output interventions and un-enhanced reading conditions on vocabulary acquisition and text comprehension. The Canadian Modern Language Review/ La Revue canadienne des languages vivantes61, 169–202. doi:  10.3138/cmlr.61.2.169
    https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.61.2.169 [Google Scholar]
  28. Rott, S., Williams, J., Cameron, R.
    (2004) The effect of multiple-choice L1 glosses and input-output cycles on lexical acquisition and retention. Language Teaching Research, 6, 183–222. doi:  10.1191/1362168802lr108oa
    https://doi.org/10.1191/1362168802lr108oa [Google Scholar]
  29. Sakar, A. & Ercetin, G.
    (2005) Effectiveness of Hypermedia Annotations for Foreign Language Reading, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21, 28–38. doi:  10.1111/j.1365‑2729.2005.00108.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2005.00108.x [Google Scholar]
  30. Salem, E.B., & Aust, R.
    (2007) The influence of feature-rich computerized glosses on reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. 663–668. Chamonix, France.
  31. Swanborn, M.S.L. & de Glopper, K.
    (1999) Incidental word learning while reading: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 69,261–285. doi:  10.3102/00346543069003261
    https://doi.org/10.3102/00346543069003261 [Google Scholar]
  32. Wesche, M., & Paribakht, T. S.
    (2000) Reading-Based Exercises in Second Language Vocabulary Learning: An Introspective Study. The Modern Language Journal, 84,196–213. doi:  10.1111/0026‑7902.00062
    https://doi.org/10.1111/0026-7902.00062 [Google Scholar]
  33. Yeh, Y., & Wang, C. W.
    (2003) Effectiveness of vocabulary annotations and learning styles on vocabulary learning. CALICO Journal, 21, 131–144.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Yoshii, M., & Flaitz, J.
    (2002) Second language incidental vocabulary retention: the effect of picture and annotation types, CALICO Journal, 20, 33–58.
    [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error