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Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition: the effects of Task Type, Word Occurrence and Their Combination


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We investigated how long-term retention of new words was affected by task type, number of word occurrences in the teaching materials and the combination of the two factors. The tasks were: reading a text with occasional Focus on Form when learners used dictionaries (T+F), or reading a text with Focus on Forms, i.e. word focused exercises (T+Fs). The words occurred 2—3, 4—5, and 6—7 times. Consequently, there were six conditions that reflected the 2 × 3 ‘task × occurrence’ combinations. Learners were exposed to 60 target words, 10 words in each condition during a 13-week course of study, and were subsequently tested on them by two unannounced tests: passive recall and passive recognition. An increase in word occurrence was found to have an effect on retention in T+Fs only. Starting with 4 occurrences, T+Fs fared better than T+F. Task type effect was superior to the effect of word occurrence in recall only (2 word exercises fared better than 6—7 occurrences in text). The value of word-focused practice was also confirmed by learners’ responses to an introspective questionnaire.
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Language Teaching Research
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DOI: 10.1177/1362168811412019
2011 15: 391 originally published online 26 August 2011Language Teaching Research
Batia Laufer and Bella Rozovski-Roitblat
and their combination
Incidental vocabulary acquisition: The effects of task type, word occurrence
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DOI: 10.1177/1362168811412019
Incidental vocabulary
acquisition: The effects of
task type, word occurrence
and their combination
Batia Laufer and Bella Rozovski-Roitblat
University of Haifa, Israel
We investigated how long-term retention of new words was affected by task type, number of
word occurrences in the teaching materials and the combination of the two factors. The tasks
were: reading a text with occasional Focus on Form when learners used dictionaries (T+F), or
reading a text with Focus on Forms, i.e. word focused exercises (T+Fs). The words occurred
2–3, 4–5, and 6–7 times. Consequently, there were six conditions that reflected the 2 × 3 ‘task
× occurrence’ combinations. Learners were exposed to 60 target words, 10 words in each
condition during a 13-week course of study, and were subsequently tested on them by two
unannounced tests: passive recall and passive recognition. An increase in word occurrence was
found to have an effect on retention in T+Fs only. Starting with 4 occurrences, T+Fs fared better
than T+F. Task type effect was superior to the effect of word occurrence in recall only (2 word
exercises fared better than 6–7 occurrences in text). The value of word-focused practice was also
confirmed by learners’ responses to an introspective questionnaire.
vocabulary acquisition, foreign language, instructed learning, task type, number of word
occurrences, task and word encounters, incidental vocabulary, long-term retention
I Background
Acquisition of new words in a second language depends on how many times learners
encounter them in the language input (Nation & Wang Ming-Tzu, 1999; Webb, 2007a)
and how well they process these words (Hulstijn, 2001; Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001).
Corresponding author:
Batia Laufer, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Haifa,
Mount Carmel, 31905, Israel
15410.1177/1362168811412019Laufer and Rozovski-RoitblatLanguage Teaching Research
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392 Language Teaching Research 15(4)
However, there is no agreement about the optimal number of encounters necessary for
acquisition. Nor is there agreement about the best conditions that induce processing:
purely communicative activities (Krashen, 1989; Cho & Krashen, 1994; Huckin &
Coady, 1999), Focus on Form, i.e. drawing attention to words during communicative
activities (Ellis et al., 1994; Ellis & He, 1999; De La Fuente, 2002), or Focus on
Forms, i.e. non-communicative, mainly decontextualized practice of vocabulary (Qian,
1996; Paribakht & Wesche, 1997; Laufer, 2003, 2006). As for the optimal combination
of the two factors, to our knowledge, no research is available on this issue. For exam-
ple, could meeting a word in one challenging task be as effective as meeting the word
3–4 times during reading? Our study explores incidental acquisition of new words as a
function of two variables: number of word occurrences in the teaching material, type
of task that learners perform with the words, and various combinations of the two fac-
tors. In our literature review we focus on empirical studies that investigate the effect
that different learning activities and repeated exposures to words have on the acquisi-
tion of words.
Krashen and colleagues have been advocating reading as the main source of vocab-
ulary learning (Krashen, 1989, 2008; Cho & Krashen, 1994; Mason & Krashen,
2004). Reading provides comprehensible input, which is the key to language acquisi-
tion, first and second, grammar and vocabulary. There are empirical studies that show
that words can indeed be ‘picked up’ from reading. Most studies used relatively short
texts (up to 7,000 words) and measured short-term retention of new words after a
reading activity. The reported vocabulary gains are 1–5 words per text (Pitts et al.,
1989; Day et al., 1991; Hulstijn, 1992; Knight, 1994; Paribakht & Wesche, 1997;
Zahar et al., 2001). Slightly higher gains (6 words per text) are reported by Dupuy and
Krashen (1993), but this study included the use of video in addition to reading.
Furthermore, learners knew that they would be tested, which may have led to some
intentional memorization of words. In Cho and Krashen (1994), the participant who
engaged in pleasure reading without using a dictionary learnt 7 words from a booklet
of 7,000 words. Similar numbers of words (3–5) were acquired from one graded
reader (Lahav, 1996; Horst et al., 1998).
Even though the figures above are not impressive, the defenders of the vocabulary-
through-reading position claim that results from isolated texts and even a book or two
do not reflect the value of reading for vocabulary growth. Only a flood of reading will
ensure repeated exposures to words, reveal the linguistics and pragmatic properties of
the new words, and reinforce the learners memory of already familiar words. Hence,
some researchers set out to explore the value of massive exposure to reading material
for word learning. In Mason and Krashen (1997), for example, the participants read on
average 30 books during one semester which contained from 6,000 to 16,000 words
each. Comparison of scores between identical 100-item pre- and post-test cloze pas-
sages containing 1,600 words showed that the average gain was 8.90 words. However,
the supplied words were marked correct, even though they were not identical with the
words in the original text, that is, no acquisition of target vocabulary was measured. In
their second experiment, two groups of advanced learners read one authentic book per
week during a whole year. Comparison of scores as in experiment 1 showed that the
gains of two experimental groups were 17.06 and 18.85. Even though in both
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Laufer and Rozovski-Roitblat 393
experiments the extensive readers outperformed ‘traditional’ learners, it is not clear
what the gain scores mean in terms of vocabulary acquisition. Horst (2005) found that
after a six-week program of extensive reading (on average 10.52 books per student), 18
words were learned fully or partially out of 35 tested. These figures are higher than in
earlier studies. However, the participants in the program received one hour per week
during which they performed activities connected with the material, including vocabu-
lary activities like constructing word notebooks.
The claim stated earlier that repeated encounters with new words contribute to their
memorization raises an important question: how many exposures are necessary for mem-
orizing new words and retaining them over time? Waring and Takaki (2003) investigated
25 target words that appeared with different frequencies in a text: 1 time, 4–5, 8–10,
13–14, and 15–18 times. They tested immediate and delayed retention by three tests:
recognition of form, that is whether learners remembered that a word had occurred
in the text;
recognition of meaning among four options; and
recall of meaning, that is providing the first language (L1) meaning of the target
The average scores on the immediate tests were 61% on form recognition, 42.2% on
meaning recognition and 18.4% on meaning recall. However, three months later, the
results were 33.6%, 24.4% and 3.6% on the three tests, respectively. None of the items
met less than 8 times was remembered after three months on the recall test. Waring and
Takaki conclude that learners have to meet a word at least eight times to have a 50%
chance of recognizing its form three months later. They have to encounter the same word
more than 18 times to have 10% to 15% chance of recalling its meaning.
Brown et al. (2008) investigated immediate and 3-month delayed retention of 28
words that appeared 2–3 times, 7–9, 10–13 and 15–20 times in three graded readers
(altogether 16,700 running words). They used a meaning recognition test and a meaning
recall test, as in the previous study. The average scores on the immediate tests were 12.54
out of 28 on recognition and 4.10 out of 28 on recall. On the delayed tests, the scores
were 11.37 and 0.97 respectively. Of the seven words that were met 15–20 times, 4.29
were recognized and 1.97 recalled; of the seven words met 10–13 times, 2.86 were rec-
ognized and 1.39 recalled.
The researchers conclude that much more than 7–9 encoun-
ters with new words are necessary to ensure acquisition and prevent forgetting. Both
studies indicate that some words are learned partially (recognition of form or recognition
of meaning) and that the degree of knowledge is related to the number of word
In a 1-month case study, Pigada and Schmitt (2006) traced the acquisition of three
aspects of knowledge: spelling, grammatical behaviour, and meaning of 133 target
words. They appeared with different frequencies: 1, 2–3, 4–5, 6–10, 10+, and 20+
times, in four pocket-size books (approximately 30,000 words in total). Overall, there
was a 52% improvement in spelling, 20.2% in meaning and 27.6% in grammatical
behaviour. With regard to frequency–acquisition relationship, they conclude that ‘there
is no frequency point where meaning acquisition is assured, but by about 10+
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394 Language Teaching Research 15(4)
exposures, there does seem to be a discernable rise in the learning rate’ (p. 18).
However, in the case of some words, even after 20+ exposures, the participant did not
learn anything about their meaning.
Earlier studies suggested different frequency of occurrence requirements. Saragi et al.
(1978) found that words encountered six or more times were learned by 93% of learners.
But Jenkins et al. (1984) found that words that appeared 10 times were learnt by only
25%. Nagy et al. (1985) estimated the likelihood of acquisition after one encounter to be
about .15. However, Herman et al. (1987) lowered the estimate to .05.
We may draw several conclusions from the studies on multiple encounters with words.
First, there is no definite number of encounters that is thought to ensure some kind of
learning. Second, different numbers of exposure may be necessary for different degrees
of learning. Third, multiple exposures are possible only if learners read extensively. As it
is questionable whether the flood of reading can be implemented in classroom context
with 2, 3, or even 5 hours of instruction per week, some researchers have claimed that
input in general and reading in particular cannot be the main source of vocabulary learn-
ing and that it should be supplemented with form focused instruction (FFI).
Two major types of FFI have been discussed in the literature: Focus on Form
(FonF) and Focus on Forms (FonFs). Focus on Form (FonF) was defined by Long as
‘drawing students’ attention to linguistic elements as they arise incidentally in lessons
whose overriding focus is on meaning or communication’ (Long, 1991, pp. 45–46).
The term ‘form’ includes the function that a particular form performs. For example,
attention to the ‘form’ -ed subsumes the realization that -ed signals an action per-
formed in the past. FonFs is equated with teaching discrete linguistic structures in
separate lessons in a sequence determined by syllabus writers. According to Ellis
(2001), in a FonFs approach, students view the language as the object of study. In
FonF, on the other hand, students view the language as a tool for communication and
themselves as language users.
The notion of FFI was developed in the context of grammar learning, but it was
extended to vocabulary by Laufer (2005). An example of FonF vocabulary activity is
looking up unknown words in a dictionary during a reading task. Learners attend to
lexical items since they are necessary for the completion of an authentic reading task.
An example of FonFs activity is matching words in column A to their definitions in
column B, or filling in these words in given sentences, one word in each sentence.
Here learners’ attention is drawn to words in a non-communicative, non-authentic
language activity.
Many studies provide support for the efficacy of FFI for lexical learning. These stud-
ies examined the usefulness of various instructional techniques on vocabulary learning:
glosses, dictionary use, negotiation of meaning, sentence completion, sentence writing
and computer assisted learning devices (hypertexts, concordances, on-line dictionaries).
In comparisons of FFI and non-FFI tasks, the FFI condition was usually superior to the
non-FFI condition in terms of the number of words retained after task completion
(Luppescu & Day, 1993; Ellis et al., 1994; Knight, 1994; Paribakht & Wesche, 1997;
Ellis & He, 1999; Laufer, 2001, 2003; Kim, 2006). Comparisons of FFI tasks to one
another revealed that some tasks yielded better results than other tasks. For example,
looking up words in a dictionary during reading was more conducive to word retention
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than reading with marginal glosses (Hulstijn et al., 1996). A reading activity followed by
post-reading word-focused activities was more effective than consulting a dictionary
while reading (Peters, 2006; Peters et al., 2009). Various productive tasks were usually
more effective than comprehension tasks (Ellis & He, 1999; Hulstijn & Laufer, 2001;
Laufer, 2003; Webb, 2005; Keating, 2008; Kim, 2008)
Evidence has been accumulating to show that FonFs tasks that require learners to
practise words in non-communicative contexts are quite useful and not less effective
than FonF tasks. Mondria and Wiersma (2004) examined receptive – i.e. from second
language (L2) to first language (L1) – and productive (i.e. from L1 to L2) learning of
decontextualized word pairs. The mean retention scores on the immediate receptive (L2
to L1) test were 13.5 and 15.7 out of 16 (following productive and receptive learning
respectively), and on the delayed test (12–14 days after the learning session) 6.6 and 7.9.
This shows that 41%–49% of the target words were retained as a result of 15 minutes of
learning, which means that 56 seconds were required for learning a word.
Laufer (2006) compared the effectiveness of FonF and FonFs activities, and dem-
onstrated the contribution of word-list learning to retention. During the first phase of
the experiment, the FonFs group scored considerably higher (71.63%) than the FonF
group (46.62%). Yet, following the second phase, during which the two groups studied
the target L2–L1 pairs for 15 minutes for a quiz, the scores were similar in the two
conditions: about 88% on the immediate test and 62% on the delayed test. For addi-
tional studies on the effectiveness of learning lists, see Griffin and Harley (1996),
Prince (1996), Qian (1996), Laufer and Shmueli (1997), Waring (1997), Mondria
(2003), Webb (2007b).
The overall conclusion of the studies above is unambiguous: instructional activities of
FonF and FonFs are beneficial to vocabulary learning. To explain this effectiveness,
Laufer (2005, 2006) has related FFI to the Noticing hypothesis (Schmidt, 1994), the
Involvement load hypothesis (Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001) and the Pushed Output hypoth-
esis (Swain, 1985), the latter being relevant to productive tasks only. Attention is a pre-
requisite for learning, and FFI tasks make learners ‘notice’ vocabulary, i.e. make them
pay attention to the words. Most of the tasks induce learner ‘involvement’, i.e. induce
‘need’ for doing something with the word, ‘search’ for the appropriate word meaning or
form, and ‘evaluation’, i.e. comparison or combination of the target word with other
words in given or original contexts. In the case of productive tasks, learners are also
‘pushed’ to make the most of their linguistic resources. The three explanations are related
to the belief that retention of new information depends on the amount and the quality of
attention that individuals pay to various aspects of this information (Eysenck, 1982;
Anderson, 1995; Baddeley, 1997). In vocabulary learning this means that if learners pay
careful attention to the word’s pronunciation, orthography, grammatical category, mean-
ing and semantic relations to other words, they are likely to retain the word (i.e. the link
between at least one representation of the word’s form and at least one of its meanings).
Therefore, since form focused tasks induce elaborative attention to words’ formal and
semantic features, they are also conducive to their retention.
From the review above, it follows that vocabulary learning is determined by repeated
encounters with the words and by quality of attention that learners pay to them (or elabo-
ration, or involvement) during a communicative or any other learning task. We do not
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396 Language Teaching Research 15(4)
know, however, which of these factors has a stronger impact on learning and whether
there is an optimal combination of the two. For example, is writing one original sentence
with a word as effective as meeting it three or four times in the input? To our knowledge,
two studies address the issue of the relative influence of the two factors.
Webb (2005) did not intend to explore the relative contribution of frequency and task
type, but his study indirectly provided evidence for a stronger effect of task type. Webb
investigated how reading and writing tasks affected five aspects of word knowledge: orthog-
raphy, syntax, association, grammatical functions, and form–meaning link. In a reading task,
the participants saw the target words with their L1 glosses in three sentences. In a writing
task, learners saw a list of the target words with their L1 glosses and wrote original sentences
with them, one sentence per target word. When time on task was identical in the two condi-
tions, reading was more effective. In the second experiment, when learners used as much
time as they needed, writing took longer, but proved more effective for all aspects of word
knowledge. The writing group scored on orthography 10.04 (out of 20), on association 9.47,
on syntax 8.29, on grammar 10.78 and on meaning 8.18. The reading group scored 7.92,
6.86, 6.55, 8.63, 4.78, respectively. Since non-identical time on task represents authentic
learning, an argument can be made for the superiority of task type (productive with one
encounter) over repeated encounters (three encounters in a receptive task).
Folse (2006) examined the relative importance of multiple exposures and task
involvement load. Students practised target vocabulary in three conditions: one ‘fill-in-
the-blank’ exercise, three ‘fill-in-the-blank’ exercises, and one ‘original-sentence-
writing’ exercise. The latter has the highest involvement load (Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001).
The ‘three fill-in-the-blank’ condition was significantly better (mean score was 4.78 out
of 15) than the other 2 conditions (‘one fill-in-the-blank’, which was 2.18; ‘one original-
sentence-writing’, which was 2.39). Folse argues that the number of word retrievals is
more important for word retention than task involvement load.
In both studies above, the new words were embedded in a sentence context rather than
in an authentic reading task. Moreover, in both studies word retention was tested shortly
after learners’ exposure to the words. The present study investigates retention of new
words as a function of two main factors:
the number of encounters with the words (2–7 encounters); and
type of task: text comprehension with occasional word look up vs. text followed
by Focus on Forms activities.
It also examines learning after a relatively long period of study, i.e. 13 weeks.
II The study
The particular research questions were as follows:
1. Will there be a significant difference in the number of retained words between
two task conditions, reading a text with occasional FonF and reading a text fol-
lowed by FonFs activities, when the number of encounters with the words is
identical in the two task conditions?
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2. Will there be a significant difference between the three ‘number of encounters’
conditions: 2–3, 4–5, 6–7 in the number of the retained words in each task?
3. How will the different combinations of number of encounters and task type
compare to each other regarding word retention?
4. What is learners’ perceived value of the two tasks and word occurrences with
regard to word retention?
In the first task condition, text and occasional FonF (henceforth T+F), learners read a
text, and whenever they felt they needed to understand a word (even though no under-
standing of the target words was required to answer comprehension questions) they
either used a dictionary, or asked the teacher for its meaning. In the second task condi-
tion, text followed by FonFs activities (henceforth T+Fs), learners read a text, used a
dictionary whenever they felt necessary, and practised the target words in specially
designed vocabulary exercises.
An equal number of encounters in the two tasks meant that if a word appeared five
times, for example, then in condition T+F it appeared five times in various texts, while
in condition T+Fs, the word appeared once in a text and four times in vocabulary
Retention was operationalized as two types of passive word knowledge: passive
recall, where learners supplied an L1 translation of the target words, and passive rec-
ognition, where learners recognized the correct translation of the target words from
four options.
1 Participants
Initially, there were about 40 potential participants from two intact classes of the Pre-
Academic Unit in a University taking a course in English for Academic Purposes. The
English courses in this Unit are intended for learners who are high school graduates, i.e.
studied English for 7–8 years, but whose level is lower than that required for entering the
regular University courses. They were placed at the intermediate level by an internal
placement test. At this level learners are generally expected to be able to read a text that
consists mainly of 2,000 words with the help of a dictionary. They were native speakers
of Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian.
Since the study lasted 13 weeks (52 academic hours), some learners missed many
classes, some did not submit all the assignments and some were exposed to English out-
side the classroom. We, therefore, selected 20 participants who attended at least 80% of
classes and made up the missed material, submitted all the written assignments, and
reported, in response to a questionnaire, that they had not been exposed to the target
words outside the classroom.
2 Target words
Learners were pre-tested on 120 words from the course book. Based on our teaching
experience, we believed that many of these were unfamiliar.
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398 Language Teaching Research 15(4)
In the first pre-test, learners supplied the L1 meaning of the words. In the second, they
recognized the correct translation of the word from four options. Following the pre-tests,
we selected 60 target words for the experiment based on the following criteria:
• The words were unfamiliar to all the learners on both tests.
They belonged to one of the major parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives,
They varied in terms of word length (1–4 syllables).
They had only one L1 translation.
Thirty words were assigned to the T+F condition, and the other 30 were assigned to T+Fs
condition. We believe the two sets of words to be of similar difficulty in terms of intra-
lingual and interlingual features that determine word difficulty (Laufer, 1990, 1997). For
example, in each condition, the words had equivalent concepts in L1, they were of simi-
lar length and morphological structure and of similar pronounceability vis-à-vis the
learners’ L1. Ten were assigned to each one of the three ‘number of encounters’ condi-
tions. Table 1 presents the target words by task and number of encounters.
3 Materials
The course book included 17 units. Each unit consisted of a text of about 600 tokens,
comprehension questions, a summary completion exercise of the text, and post-reading
Table 1 Target words according to six experimental conditions
Number of
T+F T+Fs
2–3 times approximately detest artificial attitude
contamination emphasize decline debts
grain indigenous era domesticate
merely participation significant evolve
sting severe yield lethal
4–5 times acquire confirm enormous entire
annual drawback flavor interruption
diverse prevalent infancy prevent
indicate treatment modify urge
inferior offspring vital
6–7 times acknowledge collapse funds mature
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Laufer and Rozovski-Roitblat 399
exercises for practising the words in T+Fs condition. The target words were spread
over as many texts as possible. Additional occurrences of the words were inserted
either into the texts (in T+F condition), or into exercises (in T+Fs condition) according
to their assigned ‘number of occurrence’ condition.
Half of the target words were
assigned to each task condition and 10 to each ‘number of encounters’ condition. The
modified textbook, therefore, included the 60 target words, 10 words per one experi-
mental condition: 2 task conditions and three ‘number of encounters’ conditions in
each task condition.
The comprehension questions and summary completion exercises did not require the
understanding of the target words. The vocabulary exercises designed for the T+Fs con-
dition included decontextualized practice of the target words and practice in sentence
context. Learners had to match the target words to their definitions, synonyms and anto-
nyms, select the correct explanation of meaning from four options, and to incorporate the
target words into sentences whose content was unrelated to the texts.
4 Measurement instruments
We used vocabulary tests and a retrospective questionnaire. The identical pre-tests and
post-tests measured two aspects of knowledge of meaning of the same words: passive
recall and passive recognition. In the former, learners demonstrated their understanding
of the word by supplying its L1 translation. For example:
diminish __________________
In the latter, learners had to select the word’s meaning from four L1 options:
ןיטקהל ,איבהל ,ליצהל ,שיערהל
In addition, at the end of the course, participants received a retrospective questionnaire
in which they were asked whether they had been exposed to any of the target words out-
side the classroom during the course, how effective they considered multiple exposures
and vocabulary exercises for word retention, and what other techniques they would rec-
ommend for reinforcing memorization of new words.
5 Procedure
After the pre-test, the participants embarked on a 13-week course during which they read
the texts and did all the assignments at home. These were corrected by the teacher and
returned to them. Sometimes they paid attention to the target words by looking them up
in the dictionary, or asking the teacher for explanation following corrections. As men-
tioned earlier, the course textbook was modified to include the target words with their
assigned frequencies in texts or in vocabulary exercises forming three ‘number of
encounters’ conditions. The same students were exposed to some words in T+F and to
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400 Language Teaching Research 15(4)
different words in T+Fs. Hence the study had a two-way 2 × 3 within-participant design
with task and number of encounters as independent variables and passive recall and pas-
sive recognition scores as dependent variables. Each student was exposed to the six
conditions built into the modified textbook as illustrated in Table 1. At the end of the
course the participants received two unexpected tests (recall and recognition) of the 60
target words. Since these tests were not announced and learners did not try to commit the
target words to memory to do well on the tests, the learning that occurred in the course
was defined as incidental.
6 Data analysis
Six sets of data were collected for each student for each of the two vocabulary post-tests.
These represented the six conditions of the study. The answers were scored dichoto-
mously. In the recognition test, the correct option received one point, no answer or a
wrong option was given a zero. In the recall test, a semantically correct translation
received one point, no answer or a wrong translation received a zero. The effects of task,
number of encounters and interaction between them were measured by multivariate
ANOVA with two within-participants factors for each test. Comparisons between pairs
of conditions were performed by post-hoc least squares means procedure and Tukey
The answers to the questionnaire were analysed using percentages only without
any inferential statistics.
III Results
1 Descriptive statistics
Tables 2 and 3 present the descriptive statistics for the passive recall and passive recogni-
tion tests respectively. Figures 1 and 2 present the same results graphically. Within each
‘number of encounters’ condition, T+Fs yielded higher scores and within each task type
condition, additional encounters with words led to higher scores.
Table 2 Vocabulary retention scores: Passive recall (mean values; SDs are given in
Number of
Passive recall (maximum 10 per cell)
T+F T+Fs Overall
2–3 1.30 (0.72) 1.55 (1.34) 1.43 (1.08)
4–5 1.40 (1.13) 2.55 (1.83) 1.98 (1.61)
6–7 1.80 (1.22) 3.40 (1.85) 2.60 (1.75)
Overall 1.50 (1.06) 2.50 (1.84)
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Laufer and Rozovski-Roitblat 401
Table 3 Vocabulary retention score: Passive recognition (mean values; SDs are given in
Number of encounters Passive recall
T+F (maximum 10) T+Fs (maximum 10) Overall
2–3 3.30 (1.02) 3.90 (2.00) 3.60 (1.60)
4–5 3.80 (1.80) 5.25 (1.97) 4.53 (2.01)
6–7 4.10 (1.66) 6.35 (1.64) 5.23 (1.99)
Overall 3.73 (1.55) 5.17 (2.12)
Mean correct answers
2–3 mes 4–5 mes 6–7 mes
Number of encounters
Figure 1 Vocabulary retention scores: Passive recall (maximum score = 10)
Mean correct answers
2–3 mes 4–5 mes 6–7 mes
Number of encounters
Figure 2 Vocabulary retention score: Passive recognition (maximum score = 10)
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402 Language Teaching Research 15(4)
Table 4 includes the questionnaire. It shows that no students were exposed to the tar-
get words outside the classroom (question 1). It also shows the percentage of students per
each answer option in questions 2, 3 and 4. These tapped the learners’ perceived value of
the experimental tasks and repeated word occurrences. Question 5 asked for further sug-
gestions to enhance memorization of new words. Six students answered it. Two students
made suggestion #1, 1 student made suggestion #2, 1 student suggested #3, and 2 stu-
dents suggested #4.
The answers to question 2 of the questionnaire revealed that repeated encounters with
the new words during reading were appreciated by 60% of the students (those who chose
the options ‘helped me very much’ and ‘helped me’). According to the answers to ques-
tion 3, vocabulary exercises were considered effective by 70%. The answers to question
4 revealed that 60% of the students perceived the combination of the two factors (repeated
encounters and post-reading word-focused activities) to be the most efficient way for
retaining new vocabulary.
The students who answered question 5 were unanimous in regarding a writing activity
as the most efficient tool for long-term retention. They suggested that new words be
practised in writing tasks rather than in recognition activities.
Table 4 Questionnaire (n = 20)
1. Have you been exposed to the
words in the test outside the
framework of the course?
Have not been exposed to none
of them
2. Did meeting new words
repeatedly while reading the
texts help you remember
Helped me very much
Helped me
Helped me remember only a small
amount of the words
Did not help me at all
3. Did the exercises in the
Vocabulary Section in the
book help you remember the
Helped me very much
Helped me
Helped me remember only a small
amount of the words
Did not help me at all
4. What would help you
remember new words?
Meeting new words repeatedly
while reading the texts
Post-reading exercises
The combination of the two above
None of them
5. What other methods, in
your opinion, would help you
remember new words?
6 students answered
1. to be more engaged in writing
new words
2. to write answers to
comprehension questions rather
than circle the correct answer
3. to write original sentences
4. to have more quizzes which
require writing new words
2 students
1 student
1 student
2 students
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Laufer and Rozovski-Roitblat 403
2 Inferential statistics
Multivariate ANOVA for passive recall showed main effects for task type (F(1,19) =
24.43, p < .0001), the number of encounters (F(2,38) = 13.24, p < .0001) and an interac-
tion between them (F(2,38) = 9.34, p < 0.001). Multivariate ANOVA for passive recogni-
tion showed main effects for task type (F(1,19) = 103.02, p < .0001) and the number of
encounters (F(2,38) = 9.72, p = 0.0004), but no interaction between them (F(2,38) =
3.03, p = 0.06 n.s.).
Research question 1 asked whether there was a significant difference between the
tasks (T+F and T+Fs) in the number of retained words when the number of encounters
with the words was identical in the two. We compared the tasks in each of ‘number of
encounters’ conditions by the least squares means procedure. Tables 5 and 6 show that
T+Fs yielded significantly better results than T+F in two of the three ‘number of encoun-
ters’ conditions, in recall and recognition tests. This means that if learners met new words
2–3 times, it did not matter whether they met them in text context only, or in text and
form-focused activities. However, when they practised the words in at least 3 activities
(in addition to meeting them once in a text), they benefited more than from an identical
number of encounters with these words in texts.
Research question 2 asked whether there was a significant difference in the number of
retained words between the three ‘number of encounters’ conditions: 2–3, 4–5, 6–7
within each task. To this effect, we performed four one-way Repeated Measures
ANOVAs (two for each task, one for each test) followed by the least means post-hoc
procedure. The former compared the three conditions, the latter compared different pairs
of conditions. Table 7 presents the ANOVA results. The F values reveal that when learn-
ers met the target words in texts (T+F), it did not matter whether they met them 2–3, 4–5,
6–7 times. But when they met them in form-focused activities, an increase in the number
Table 5 Task effect per ‘number of encounters’ condition: Passive recall (mean values; SDs
are given in parentheses)
T+F (maximum 10) T+Fs (maximum 10) F-value
2–3 times 1.30 (0.72) 1.55 (1.34)
4–5 times 1.40 (1.13) 2.55 (1.83) 26.15**
6–7 times 1.80 (1.22) 3.40 (1.85) 50.62**
Notes: * p = 0.27, n.s., ** p < 0.0001
Table 6 Task effect per ‘number of encounters’ condition: passive recognition (mean values;
SDs are given in parentheses)
T+F (maximum 10) T+Fs (maximum 10) F-value
2–3 times 3.30 (1.02) 3.90 (2.00)
4–5 times 3.80 (1.80) 5.25 (1.97) 9.36**
6–7 times
4.10 (1.66) 6.35 (1.64) 22.53***
Notes: * p = 0.21, n.s., ** p < 0.005, *** p < 0.0001
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404 Language Teaching Research 15(4)
of encounters led to a significant increase in retention. The same pattern occurred in the
recall and recognition tests.
Following the significant differences in T+Fs, we performed the least squares means
procedure to find out where these differences occurred. The results are in Table 8 and 9.
Table 8 shows that all three ‘number of encounters’ groups were different from each
other in the recall test, which means that small increases in word occurrences in vocabu-
lary exercises contributed to better recall of these words. Table 9 shows that in the recog-
nition test, a significant difference occurred only between 2–3 and 6–7 word occurrences.
Apparently, recognition is less affected than recall by small increases in word
Research question 3 asked how all six conditions, i.e. all the different combinations of
‘number of encounters’ and task type would compare to each other. These comparisons
were performed by the post-hoc Tukey tests. Tables 10 and 11 show the mean differences
between all the possible pairs of conditions. (For means in each condition, see Table 2
and Table 3.) Table 10 (passive recall) shows that meeting words in texts (T+F condition)
2–3, 4–5, and even 6–7 times was no more effective (not significantly different) than
meeting them 2–3 times in T+Fs condition, i.e. once in a text and once or twice in word
Table 7 Number of encounters effect per task: Repeated measures ANOVA results: F-value
Passive recall Passive recognition
T+F: 23, 4–5, 6–7
2.77 (2,38)* 1.45 (2,38)**
T+Fs: 23, 4–5, 6–7 33.91 (2.38)*** 13.40 (2.38)***
Notes: * p = 0.8, n.s., ** p = 0.25, n.s., *** p < 0.0001
Table 8 Number of encounters effect (T+Fs condition): Passive recall: Post-hoc least squares
means comparisons
T+Fs 2–3 T+Fs 4–5 T+Fs 6–7
T+Fs 2–3 1* 1.85**
T+Fs 4–5 1* 0.85*
T+Fs 6–7 1.85** 0.85*
Notes: ** p < .01 *** p < .001
Table 9 Number of encounters effect (T+Fs condition): Passive recognition: Post-hoc least
squares means comparisons
T+Fs 2–3 T+Fs 4–5 T+Fs 6–7
T+Fs 2–3 1.35 2.45*
T+Fs 4–5 1.35 1.10
T+Fs 6–7 2.45* 1.10
Note: * p < .001
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Laufer and Rozovski-Roitblat 405
Table 10 Post-hoc Tukey mean comparisons of task and ‘number of encounters’
combinations: Passive recall
Passive recall T+F 2–3 T+F 4–5 T+F 6–7 T+Fs 2–3 T+Fs 4–5 T+Fs 6–7
T+F 2–3 0.10 0.50 0.25 1.25*** 2.10***
T+F 4–5 0.10 0.40 0.15 1.15*** 2.00***
T+F 6–7 0.50 0.40 0.25 0.75* 1.60***
T+Fs 2–3 0.25 0.25 1.00** 1.85***
T+Fs 4–5 1.25*** 1.15*** 0.75* 1.00** 0.85**
T+Fs 6–7 2.10*** 2.00*** 1.60*** 1.85*** 0.85**
Notes: * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001
exercises. The combination of 4–5 encounters and T+Fs, on the other hand, was more
effective than the 4 combinations above. The combination of 6–7 encounters and T+Fs
yielded the best results, which were significantly better than the results of all the other
five combinations. The picture is slightly different for passive recognition (Table 11).
Similarly to recall, four combinations are not different from each other: T+F (2–3, 4–5,
6–7) and T+Fs (2–3). But T+F (6–7), T+Fs (2–3), T+Fs (4–5) are also not different from
one another. T+Fs (4–5) and T+Fs (6–7) are not different either. These different result
patterns suggest that recall is more affected by small increases in word occurrences and
by word focused instruction than recognition.
Figures 3 and 4 provide a graphic summary of the results. We can clearly see that
T+Fs fares better than T+F, particularly as the numbers of encounters with words
increase. Similarly, research question 1 results showed that, both for recall and for recog-
nition, T+Fs was significantly better than T+F with 4–5 and 6–7 word encounters. The
graphs also show that an increase in the number of word encounters improves recall and
recognition when words are practised in T+Fs. The effect is hardly noticeable in T+F.
Similarly, research question 2 results showed that this increase led to significantly higher
scores in T+Fs condition, but not in T+F. We can also see that four combinations, all
combinations in T+F and T+Fs 2–3 yielded relatively similar results. A noticeable
Table 11 Post-hoc Tukey mean comparisons of task and ‘number of encounters’
combinations: Passive recognition
T+F 2–3 T+F 4–5 T+F 6–7 T+Fs 2–3 T+Fs 4–5 T+Fs 6–7
T+F 2–3 0.50 0.80 0.6 1.95* 3.05***
T+F 4–5 0.50 0.30 0.10 1.45* 2.55***
T+F 6–7 0.80 0.30 0.20 1.15 2.25**
T+Fs 2–3 0.6 0.10 0.20 1.35 2.45**
T+Fs 4–5 1.95* 1.45* 1.15 1.35 1.1
T+Fs 6–7 3.05*** 2.55*** 2.25** 2.45** 1.1
Notes: * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001
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406 Language Teaching Research 15(4)
difference occurred when learners met the words at least 4 times, once in text and 3 times
in form focused exercises, particularly in the case of recall. This observation is borne out
by the results to research question 3.
IV Discussion
The study investigated how well new words were remembered as a result of two factors
and their various combinations: two task types and three word occurrence clusters. In
2–3 times 4–5 times 6–7 times
Number of encounters
Mean correct answers
_ _ _
Figure 3 The effect of task type and number of encounters: Passive recall
2–3 times 4–5 times 6–7 times
Number of encounters
Mean correct answers
_ _ _
Figure 4 The effect of task type and number of encounters: Passive recognition
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Laufer and Rozovski-Roitblat 407
addition, we elicited learners’ perceptions of the effectiveness of these factors for vocab-
ulary learning. Altogether we investigated six combinations (2 tasks × 3 number of
encounters). Learners encountered 60 target words, 10 in each combination, during a
13-week course of study, and were subsequently tested on them by two unannounced
tests: passive recall and passive recognition.
Of the two tasks, T+Fs, was more effective than T+F, except when the words were
met 2–3 times. This means that in the case of 2–3 exposures, it does not matter whether
learners attend to words by using dictionaries, teacher explanation (as in T+F), or specifi-
cally designed word exercises (as in T+Fs).
These results are different from Laufer’s (2006), where practising new words in two
word focused activities (FonFs) led to better results than meeting them in a text and look-
ing them up in a dictionary (FonF). However, in this study, students were tested immedi-
ately after task completion, i.e. on short-term retention of the new vocabulary. In the
present study, the tests were administered at the end of a 13-week course. Thus, learners
met some of the target words long before they took the tests. Our results suggest that, for
long-term retention, the effect of FonFs commences after three activities for recall as
T+Fs 4–5 meant that a word appeared once in a text and 3–4 times in exercises. This
combination is more effective than meeting the word 6–7 times in a text (T+F 6–7 condi-
tion). The latter condition is, in turn, just as effective (or ineffective) as one exercise after
a text (T+Fs 2–3). If meeting words in texts 6 or 7 times is worse than meeting them once
in a text and then in three exercises, this suggests that the effect of task type is superior
to that of frequency of word occurrence.
For recognition, 3–4 exercises were not significantly more effective than 6–7 encoun-
ters in texts, although the scores in the former condition were higher (5.25 as opposed to
4.10, out of 10). However, 5–6 exercises (T+Fs 6–7) yielded significantly higher scores.
Thus, in the case of recognition, we cannot state that task type is superior to the number
of word occurrences, but that T+Fs is superior to T+F when the number of encounters is
equal. Even though we acknowledge the importance of partial knowledge of words
reflected in passive recognition, we attach more importance to the recall results and sug-
gest that teaching methods should ultimately facilitate recall. In real life, when learners
need to comprehend spoken or written texts, they are not presented with options of
meanings to choose from, but have to recall the specific meanings of words. Since FonFs
appears to be particularly effective for recall, we suggest that the non-communicative,
partly decontextualized activities characteristic of FonFs are crucial for learners’ future
performance of authentic language tasks.
As for the effect of word occurrences, it did not make any difference whether the
target words were encountered 2 or 7 times in texts and occasionally looked up in a dic-
tionary, i.e. in T+F condition. The lack of difference was observed both in recall and in
recognition tests. We cannot say, from this study, how a higher number of encounters
would affect learning. But according to Brown et al. (2008), 10–13 word appearances did
not lead to higher scores than 6–7 appearances in our study. In their study, 2.86 out of
7 (i.e. 41%) were recognized and 1.39 (i.e. 19%) were recalled. In our study, 4.10 out
of 10 (i.e. 41%) were recognized and 1.80 (i.e. 18%) were recalled. Of words that were
met 15–20 times in Brown et al., 4.29 out of 7 (i.e. 61%) were recognized and 1.9 (i.e.
27%) were recalled. Although the two studies are not identical in design, they were
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408 Language Teaching Research 15(4)
conducted with foreign learners not too different in language proficiency. Results of both
studies and other studies surveyed in the Background section show that, without a rein-
forcement of vocabulary in the form of specifically designed exercises, smaller increases
in word appearances may not be very effective for learning.
This is not the case when words appear in additional word focused exercises. Our
results show that all the three ‘number of encounters’ conditions were different from
each other in the recall test. In the recognition test, an increase from 1–2 to 3–4 exercises
(from T+Fs 2–3 to T+Fs 4–5) did not produce a significant difference. An additional
increase to 5–6 exercises (to T+Fs 6–7) yielded a higher score, significantly different
from T+Fs 2–3, but not significantly different from T+Fs 4–5. Our recognition result in
T+Fs 6–7 was 63%, which is close to 61% in Brown et al. (2008) for words that appeared
in texts 15–20 times. Our recall result in T+Fs 4–5 was 25.5%, which is close to 27% in
Brown et al. for words that appeared 15–20 times in texts.
On the basis of the above results, it seems that the cumulative effect of repeated
encounters with new words occurs much earlier in FonFs than in reading + FonF. The
value of word focused activities was perceived by students as well. When asked whether
these activities helped them to remember new words, 70% chose the options ‘helped me’
and ‘helped me very much’. When asked what helped them remember new words, 60%
opted for a combination of exercises and repeated appearances of words, 30% chose
exercises, and only 10% chose ‘meeting words repeatedly’. Of the six students who
offered opinion on additional vocabulary activities, all recommended writing exercises,
which indicates that they intuitively perceive the value of pushed output and a high
degree of involvement.
Finally, we would like to suggest a realistic combination of task and number of word
encounters in the classroom. As mentioned earlier, a statistically significant effect of
word repetitions occurred when words were practised in 3–4 exercises (T+Fs 4–5). The
result was an average of 2.55 correctly recalled words out of 10. This may seem too little.
However, the result is quite encouraging bearing in mind that learning was incidental,
that the tests were given weeks after exposure to the words, and that in Brown et al.
(2008) similar vocabulary gains occurred when learners met the words 15–20 times in a
text. We believe that any type of reinforcement soon after T+F 4–5 (rather than weeks
later) and some intentional learning could improve the result considerably and we invite
teachers to experiment with our suggestion.
1 These were the results for the reading mode only, which is of interest here. The article also
investigated word acquisition in listening and reading + listening modes.
2 Target words that appeared two or three times only were inserted later on in the book, together
with the third or fourth occurrence of the target words that appeared six or seven times. This
was done so that the effect of low number of encounters will not be confounded with the
distance from post tests.
3 We adopt Hulstijn’s (2001, 2003) distinction between incidental and intentional learning.
Incidental learning is any learning (focused or unfocused) which does not involve the learn-
ers deliberate intention to commit words to memory.
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Laufer and Rozovski-Roitblat 409
4 Due to a relatively small number of participants (20), prior to the choice of statistics, we
performed two tests on the same set of data: the non-parametric Wilcoxon signed-rank
test and the parametric dependent t-test. We compared the difference between the two task
types in one identical ‘number of encounters’ condition. The results of both tests showed a
similar level of significance in the difference between the means. Hence, we chose to use
parametric tests.
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... In practice, telling students before doing an activity that they will take a test afterwards has also been classified as intentional learning (Baddeley et al., 2009). Research has shown there are several advantages to learning vocabulary intentionally; for example, the number of words learned intentionally tends to be higher than the number of words learned incidentally (Agustín Llach, 2009;Barcroft, 2015;Hulstijn, 2003;Laufer & Rozovski-Roitblat, 2011;Lindstromberg, 2020), even if other authors have found that incidental learning is conducive to more robust learning (Ahmad, 2012;Sok & Han, 2020). Intentional learning, through explicit vocabulary teaching and teachers' explanations (Lee & Lee, 2022), is said to lead to higher indices of vocabulary learning in comparison to less interventionist incidental approaches (Alemi & Tayebi, 2011;Barcroft, 2009;Bilgin & Bingol, 2022;Coyne et al., 2007;File & Adams, 2010), also as far as retention of the target vocabulary is concerned (Qian, 1996). ...
... vocabulary exercises) is defined as a 'response that requires the understanding of the words on which the exercise focuses, with or without producing them' (Laufer, 2020, p. 352). Research has shown that focused exercises lead to higher learning indices than unfocused ones (Laufer & Rozovski-Roitblat, 2011) and are less time-consuming. However, not all exercises are thought to be equally effective. ...
... This supports previous research suggesting that intentional learning leads to faster and higher gains than incidental learning (e.g. Agustín Llach, 2009;Laufer & Rozovski-Roitblat, 2011), and it reinforces the value of teachers' explanations of the target vocabulary (Lee & Lee, 2022). However, learning explicitly is challenging when TWs are new and, in instructional settings, repeated encounters are often a luxury, as vocabulary is not recycled to the extent it is in naturalistic settings. ...
This study presents a teaching intervention to maximize the learning of a set of target words (TW) in learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) in a secondary school by means of intentional vocabulary learning activities and additional captioned television (TV) viewing. In the course of one academic year, two groups of grade 10 EFL learners ( N = 64) were introduced to new TWs each week through language-focused exercises. The experimental group ( n = 33) was additionally exposed to a captioned TV series where these TWs appeared. To measure lexical growth, all students took pre- and post-tests evaluating both TW form and meaning recall. Vocabulary retention was measured with an eight-month delayed post-test. Results revealed that vocabulary was mainly learned intentionally, but that additional viewing of the captioned TV series significantly contributed to greater lexical gains at different testing times. Similar vocabulary retention rates were observed for both groups. Conclusions and implications for teaching are drawn on the role of extensive video viewing for vocabulary learning in instructional settings.
... Empirical evidence has continually confirmed the positive effects of reading for (incidental) L2 word learning in significantly fostering the form-meaning mapping process through repeated lexical encounters. Its effectiveness for lexical development has been broadly examined within paper-based reading settings (e.g. Brown et al., 2008;Heidari-Shahreza & Tavakoli, 2016;Horst, 2005;Hulstijn et al., 1996;Laufer & Rozovski-Roitblat, 2011;Pellicer-Sánchez & Schmitt, 2010;Pigada & Schmitt, 2006;Rott, 1999;Senoo & Yonemoto, 2014;Webb, 2008;Webb & Chang, 2015). More recently, however, eye-tracking studies have shed new light on the cognitive processes associated with L2 word learning during reading on computers (e.g. ...
... The combined offline measures can efficiently document the lexical development in multiple aspects at both the receptive and productive levels (e.g. Godfroid et al., 2018;Laufer & Rozovski-Roitblat, 2011;Mohamed, 2018;Pellicer-Sánchez & Schmitt, 2010;Pellicer-Sánchez, 2016;Rott, 1999;Webb, 2008). ...
... Senoo & Yonemoto, 2014) and English L2 (e.g. Heidari-Shahreza & Tavakoli, 2016;Laufer & Rozovski-Roitblat, 2011;Webb & Chang, 2015). It also includes work on foreignised words (e.g. ...
Previous reading research on incidental word learning as product and process has largely employed computer- or paper-based delivery methods. The present study uses a novel combination of offline and online measures to examine the effects of mobile media (mobile phone and tablet) compared to traditional media (paper and computer) on incidental L2 word learning from reading at three stages: the acquisition outcome, the acquisition process, and the posttest recall. One hundred fifty-six participants were assigned to one of the four media conditions with their eye movements recorded. We examined the acquisition outcome using form recognition, meaning recognition, and meaning recall posttests. We examined the acquisition process using summed first fixation duration, summed gaze duration, and summed fixation time. We used response time to examine the posttest recall. Our results show that mobile-assisted reading yielded an equivalent performance in word learning accuracy, allocated visual attention, and response time compared with paper-based reading that still presents a small advantage. Lower performance in one dimension of accuracy and two dimensions of attentional allocation suggest less efficiency in word learning from computer-assisted reading. This study presents a new research direction and cognitive evidence of the effectiveness of mobile-assisted language learning in word learning. We critically discuss the limitations of this study and provide suggestions for future research.
... A study by Laufer and Rozovski-Roitblat (2011) compared the effects of repetition on vocabulary learning between using a Focus-on-Form task and a Focus-on-Forms task with 20 university EFL learners. The Focus-on-Form condition involved learners reading 17 modified texts, completing comprehension questions, and consulting dictionaries or teachers for the meaning of 30 target words appearing in the reading texts over a 13-week course. ...
... In sum, all the above three studies (Laufer & Rozovski-Roitblat, 2011;Peters, 2014;Teng & Xu, 2022) have shown positive effects of repetition on explicit vocabulary instruction. Compared to incidental vocabulary learning, the required number of repetitions to significantly improve learning seems to be much lower. ...
... These findings suggest that at least seven repetitions are needed to significantly improve vocabulary learning through explicit Focus-on-Form instruction. Although this number is much lower than the 20 repetitions suggested by Uchihara et al. (2019) for incidental vocabulary learning, it is slightly higher than what has been found in previous studies exploring the effects of repetition through Focus-on-Forms vocabulary learning tasks, namely two to three repetitions in Laufer and Rozovski-Roitblat (2011), four repetitions in Teng and Xu (2022), and five repetitions in Peters (2014). Different from Focus-on-Forms tasks where learners have a clear intention to learn vocabulary, activities in the present study asked learners to attend primarily to the comprehension of the listening passages. ...
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The study examines the effects of repetition on vocabulary learning within the context of three types of explicit aural vocabulary instruction (Second Language vs. Codeswitching vs. Contrastive Focus-on-Form) among 98 Chinese secondary school English as a Foreign Language learners. It also explores how the effects of repetition on vocabulary learning were moderated by learners' listening proficiency and preexisting levels of vocabulary knowledge. Within a 12-week pre-post test quasi-experimental design, learners listened to explicit vocabulary instruction for 20 target words, five of which were repeated four times, five repeated five times, five repeated seven times, and the remaining five repeated nine times. Findings suggested that regardless of the type of explicit instruction, vocabulary learning gains were positively correlated with repetitions but at least seven repetitions were needed for significant gains to take place. In addition, the effects of repetition were moderated only by learners' listening proficiency but not by their preexisting levels of vocabulary knowledge. Less proficient listeners benefited significantly more than more proficient listeners with every unit increase of the number of repetitions. The study illuminates important relationships between repetition and listening proficiency, factors useful to consider when designing pedagogical activities to enhance vocabulary learning through listening to explicit instruction.
... The involvement consists of three components: 1) Need the motivation to know a word's meaning, 2) Search: to look up the meaning from different channels (e.g., dictionary lookup, asking someone) and, 3) Evaluation: to assess if the grasped meaning fits the context in which the word appeared [30]. Many studies have utilized this notion and studied the effects each component has on ord learning, for example, on exposure frequency and elaboration [22], amount of involvement variation [36], learners' proficiency [39], task type and word occurrence [44], and vocabulary learning [38,56]. Some of these studies and others are also investigated in depth in a meta-analysis [29]. ...
Conference Paper
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The use of social robots as a tool for language learning has been studied quite extensively recently. Although their effectiveness and comparison with other technologies are well studied, the effects of the robot's appearance and the interaction setting have received less attention. As educational robots are envisioned to appear in household or school environments, it is important to investigate how their designed persona or interaction dynamics affect learning outcomes. In such environments, children may do the activities together or alone or perform them in the presence of an adult or another child. In this regard, we have identified two novel factors to investigate: the robot's perceived age (adult or child) and the number of learners interacting with the robot simultaneously (one or two). We designed an incidental word learning card game with the Furhat robot and ran a between-subject experiment with 75 middle school participants. We investigated the interactions and effects of children's word learning outcomes, speech activity, and perception of the robot's role. The results show that children who played alone with the robot had better word retention and anthropomorphized the robot more, compared to those who played in pairs. Furthermore, unlike previous findings from human-human interactions, children did not show different behaviors in the presence of a robot designed as an adult or a child. We discuss these factors in detail and make a novel contribution to the direct comparison of collaborative versus individual learning and the new concept of the robot's age.
... which means an average of 21 words per message. As shown by Laufer et al. [45], adults typically type at about 40 words per minute when writing for enjoyment and 5 words per minute for in-depth essays or articles, with an average of 22.5 words per minute. This means that typing a message would require 0.93 min on average. ...
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This article presents the methodology of creation of an innovative used by intelligent chatbots which support the admission process in universities. The lifecycle of the ontology, unlike the classical lifecycles, has six stages: conceptualization, formalization, development, testing, production and maintenance. This leads to sustainability of the chatbot, called Ana, which has been implemented at the “Iuliu Hatieganu” University of Medicine and Pharmacy from Cluj-Napoca during the admission session throughout July–September 2022, for international candidates. The sustainability of the chatbot comes from the continuous maintenance and updates of the ontology, based on candidates’ interraction with the system and updates of the admission procedures. Over time, the chatbot is able to answer the questions according to the present situation of the admission and the real needs of the candidates. Ana had a huge impact, succeeding to resolve a number of 5173 applicants requests, and only 809 messages was transferred to the human operators, statistics which show a high cost-benefit improvement in terms of reducing the travel expenses for the candidates and also for the university. The article also summarizes the good practices in developing and use of such an intelligent chatbot.
... − Sur le plan de l'exposition à un mot, une exposition plus fréquente à un mot L2 inconnu dans différents contextes contribue à l'apprentissage de ce mot (Hulstijn et al., 1996;Laufer & Rozovski-Roitblat, 2011;Rott, 1999;Teng, 2016;Waring & Takaki, 2003). ...
Nous nous intéressons à l’utilisation de l’inférence lexicale en langue seconde/étrangère (L2) qui consiste en la déduction du sens d’un mot inconnu rencontré dans la lecture. Nous cherchions à savoir 1) si l’existence d’un équivalent lexical dans la langue maternelle de l’apprenant pour un mot L2, ou la lexicalisation, influence l’inférence et l’acquisition subséquente de ce mot et 2) si une charge cognitive plus importante dans l’input aboutit à de meilleurs gains lexicaux pour ce mot.Selon les résultats de notre étude menée auprès d’apprenants francophones ayant un niveau intermédiaire en chinois, la lexicalisation n’a pas d’effet sur l’attention que les apprenants portent aux mots inconnus pendant la lecture, mais elle influence le choix de sources de connaissance des apprenants pendant l’inférence lexicale ; la lexicalisation n’est pas l’élément concluant dans le résultat de l’inférence lexicale, cependant, les apprenants ont davantage de difficultés à retenir les mots non lexicalisés à court et à long terme ; enfin, la combinaison de deux tâches post-inférence aboutit à de meilleurs gains pour les mots inconnus sur le plan formel.
... To the contrary of this fact, some other studies were conducted and provided counterevidence for receptive tasks' superiority. Laufer and Rozovski-Roitblat (2011) advocated that most of the linguistic resources should be used for productive tasks. Webb (2009) concluded that the students assigned to productive tasks did better on the tests compared to the students assigned to receptive group. ...
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Incidental vocabulary learning, foreign language teaching, EFL, Task induced involvement load hypothesis
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This quasi-experimental study investigated the effect of task-related focus-on-forms (FonFs) (i.e., written form and word parts) instructions on EFL vocabulary development in Thai primary school students. The participants were 72 sixth-grade Thai EFL students and were divided into two groups: the written form group participants (n = 37) who received the written instruction and the word parts group participants (n = 35) who received the word parts instruction. In the written form group, the teacher taught the one hundred and four target words by giving their definitions (in the form of target language explanations), followed by the participants’ spelling and example sentences; hence the focus was on the written form. The word parts group did the same as the written form group. Besides, they focused on word parts as another aspect of word form. One vocabulary size test was conducted to measure the number of participants' vocabulary words. Four tests were used to measure receptive and productive knowledge of vocabulary development, and two questionnaires were employed to explore the participants’ perceptions. Descriptive and inferential statistics were employed to analyze the data of the study. These findings indicate the significant effect of task-related focus-on-forms (FonFs) on vocabulary development among Thai primary school participants. In addition, the perception questionnaire data analysis also revealed that task-related FonFs in written form and word parts groups helped learn vocabulary. Pedagogical implications and suggestions for further studies are presented.
Language learning in early childhood has been the subject of great interest both in first language (L1) and second language (L2) acquisition research. For the past 40 years, we have witnessed significant advances in the study of child language, with particular references to the cognitive, linguistic, psychological, pedagogical, and social aspects of child language. This chapter aims to shed light on some of the theoretical paradigms and their implications on language learning and assessment in young children whose exposure to another language begins early in life. In view of the diversity facing pedagogical practices worldwide, the authors aim to show the connection between classroom practices and assessment tools appropriate for young language learners, with special reference to formative and ongoing assessment.
Conference Paper
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To better understand what prospective undergraduates understand about the process of applying for federal student aid, this study captured nationally-representative survey data from 1,230 prospective undergraduates applying to four-year, bachelor’s degree-granting U.S. institutions of higher education in Fall 2018. A financial aid jargon survey was administered to assess what financial aid jargon terms are unfamiliar or confusing to prospective students. Results suggest some prospective students understand financial aid jargon, but many reported jargon as unfamiliar and confusing, such as FAFSA, master promissory note, entrance counseling, data retrieval tool, and non-filer’s statement. After controlling for demographic information, respondents who reported being gender non-binary conforming (p=0.03) and bilingual (p=0.03) reported more jargon terms, while respondents preferring not to disclose their religion (p=0.00) provided fewer jargon terms with statistical significance. Implications for research and practice are addressed.
The influence of cognitive processing on second language acquisition (SLA), and on the development of second language (SL) instruction, has always been a subject of major interest to both SLA researchers and those involved in SL pedagogy. Recent theoretical research into SLA and SL pedagogy has shown renewed interest in the role of cognitive variables such as attention, short, working, and long term memory, and automaticity of language processing. This volume first examines the theoretical foundations of research into the cognitive processes underlying SLA, and then describes various implications for pedagogically oriented research and for SL classroom practice. The blend of research from the cognitive sciences and applied linguistics make it an excellent introduction to applied linguists and language teachers interested in the psycholinguistic processes underlying SLA.
Among ordinary language learners, the acquisition of vocabulary has long been felt to be a crucial component of learning a foreign language. Second Language Vocabularly Acquisition has the goal of comparing the effectiveness of the direct learning of vocabulary (through memorization) and the indirect learning of vocabulary (through context); it encourages an appropriate balance between direct and indirect teaching of vocabulary in second language classrooms. The authors of these original articles present theoretical background, empirical research, and case studies focusing on a variety of modes of vocabulary acquisition. There is also an exploration of relevant pedagogical issues, including a description of practical strategies and techniques for teaching vocabulary.
The term incidental learning is used, in applied linguistics, to refer to the acquisition of a word or expression without the conscious intention to commit the element to memory, such as "picking up" an unknown word from listening to someone or from reading a text.
This study explores conflicting views concerning the relative superiority of two approaches to learning a second language (L2) vocabulary: i.e., learning words in context and learning words out of context. The present study endeavoured to explore these two apparently related issues at the same time. It would have been ideal if the present study could have followed the framework of Seibert' s (1930) study, which also explored the two issues. However, Seibert' s paper does not provide sufficient information as to what kind of target words were used in the experiment ( e.g., whether they were associative words or non-associative words). Meanwhile, Anderson and Jordan's (1928) study provided much more detail, which is helpful in designing follow-up studies. The time frame of the Anderson and Jordan (1928) study, therefore, was used as a basis for designing the present study.