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Intentional and incidental learning of vocabulary among L1 Arabic learners of English using word cards and graded readers

Alghamdi, S. A. (2018) Intentional and incidental learning of vocabulary among L1 Arabic learners of English using word cards and graded readers. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00079709


Intentional learning can result in higher retention rates than incidental learning (Elgort, 2011; Horst, Cobb, & Nicolae, 2005; Hulstijn, 2001; Laufer, 2005; Nation, 2013; Prince, 1996). The current study explored the proportion of target words learned by L1 Arabic learners of English intentionally by using word cards and compared it with the proportion of the same target words learned incidentally by participants using graded readers and a control group who received no vocabulary guidance. Word cards techniques have the intentional learning advantages and are more effective than other vocabulary-learning techniques because of their distinctive characteristics such as learning the form and meaning of many vocabulary items in a short time (Hung, 2015; Mondria, 2007; Mondria & Mondria-De Vries, 1994; Nakata, 2008; Nation, 2001; Waring, 2004). Conversely, graded readers, despite the limited number of vocabulary items that can be retained through their use, provide an effective way to learn vocabulary (Day, Omura, & Hiramatsu, 1991; Dupuy & Krashen, 1993; Horst, Cobb, & Meara, 1998; Mason & Krashen, 1997; Pitts, White, & Krashen, 1989). Very few studies have investigated the characteristics of vocabulary retention one to two weeks after the experimental phase, in order to measure longer-term retention or ‘long-term’ recall of vocabulary (Godwin- Jones, 2010; Pellicer-Sánchez & Schmitt 2010). The current study investigated the effect of spaced repetition techniques, on the retention of the forms and meanings of forty-five low frequency target words (i.e. 6000 onwards according to British National Corpus (BNC)) immediately after each learning session and after a two-week delay. To evaluate learners’ vocabulary knowledge, it is important to use different vocabulary measures to investigate the different dimensions and degrees of knowing a word (Daller, Milton, & Treffers-Daller, 2007; Hulstijn, 2010; Milton, 2009; Nation, 2013; Schmitt, 2010). Three tests administrated during the learning phase and a delayed post-test were used to measure vocabulary receptive knowledge by using a Lexical Decision Task (LDT), and productive vocabulary knowledge using a gap-fill test. The overall performance of the word card group was superior to the graded readers and control group in the three testing phases and in the post-test.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Treffers-Daller, J. and Laws, J.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Literature and Languages
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
ID Code:79709


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