EFL vocabulary acquisition and retention: Reading plus vocabulary enhancement activities and narrow reading

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Abstract

The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to compare the effectiveness of reading plus vocabulary-enhancement activities (RV) and narrow reading (NR) - repeated reading thematically related articles - on vocabulary acquisition and retention among English as a foreign language (EFL) secondary school students. Twenty-five third-year male students with intermediate-level English proficiency participated in each instructional treatment 2 hr per week for five weeks. The RV group read selected texts and practiced various vocabulary exercises. The NR group read thematically related supplemental materials besides the selected texts. A Chinese version of the modified Vocabulary Knowledge Scale was employed to assess students' knowledge of 50 vocabulary items. The results show that the RV group demonstrated significantly more knowledge about the target vocabulary than the NR group on the acquisition and retention tests. The researcher concludes that reading plus focused vocabulary exercises are more effective and efficient than the narrow reading approach in enhancing target vocabulary acquisition and retention among EFL secondary students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-115
Number of pages43
JournalLanguage Learning
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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