This research examines dictionary-induced vocabulary learning and inferencing in the context of reading. One hundred and four intermediate English learners completed one of two word-focused tasks: reading comprehension and dictionary consultation, and reading comprehension and inferencing. In addition to performing the tasks, some subjects reported their thinking processes either during or after the completion of the tasks, and those who did not were tested both immediately and one week later for their learning of target words. The results show that dictionary-induced vocabulary learning was significantly more effective than inferencing. The researcher explains such results in terms of theories of the degree of elaboration and connectionist models, and suggests that the provision of a number of various aspects of knowledge about a target word is very facilitative for word learning.
I would like to thank Dr. Alice Chan, Dr. James Lambert and Dr. Haoran Xie for their invaluable help. Special gratitude also goes to the Editor, Danie Prinsloo, and the reviewers of Lexikos for their insightful suggestions for improvement. This article is based on part of my Ph.D. dissertation, which was submitted to City University of Hong Kong in 2012.
- Dictionary-induced vocabulary learning
- Word knowledge
- Word learning