Input Enhancement, Noticing, and Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition

| December 19, 2011
Input Enhancement, Noticing, and Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition

Keywords: incidental vocabulary learning, input enhancement, noticing

Katerina Petchko
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, Japan

Bio Data
Dr. Katerina Petchko is Assistant Professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo, Japan. She teaches graduate courses in thesis and dissertation writing and conducts research on literacy development.
Author Note
I thank Paul Nation, who made valuable suggestions on an earlier draft of this paper, the anonymous reviewers, who made constructive comments on this manuscript, and the learners in Japan and Russia who kindly volunteered to participate in the study.

This study investigated the effect of input enhancement on vocabulary acquisition from reading at 98% known-word coverage. 47 intermediate EFL learners from 11 language backgrounds read a level-appropriate English story containing 12 nonwords under one of two conditions—with or without textual enhancement of the target words. The participants were tested on word noticing, word meaning recognition, and word meaning recall. Both groups showed large gains on all the tests: The enhanced reading group scored 58% correct on noticing, 43% correct on meaning recognition, and 24% correct on meaning recall, whereas the unenhanced reading group scored 65% correct on noticing, 39% correct on meaning recognition, and 25% correct on meaning recall. However, there were no significant differences between the groups on any of the tests, indicating that textual enhancement did not have any effect on either noticing or learning. Interviews with the participants confirmed that the learners in both groups had noticed many of the new words. Large variation was observed among the learners on vocabulary gains and among the words on pick-up frequency.

See pages  228-255

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 13 Issue 4