Incidental Vocabulary Learning: A Comparison
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Previous research on incidental vocabulary learning has examined how participants gained vocabulary knowledge mostly through reading tasks (Ferrell Tekmen, & Daloglu, 2006, Pigada, & Schmitt, 2006; Kweo, & Kim, 2008; Peters, Hulstijn, Sercu, & Lutjeharm, 2009; Eckerth, & Tavakoli, 2012). Few studies, conversely, have been conducted on how incidental vocabulary can be gained through a communicative task (Newton, 1995, 2013). Even a smaller number of these studies have considered incidental vocabulary learning though communicative tasks in the German language classroom. Expanding the research of Newton (1995), this study examines how incidental vocabulary can be gained through communicative and reading tasks in three seminars of intensive German with participants from the beginner level. Data from pre- and post-tests were analyzed using a 2x2 repeated measure within subject ANOVA. Results showed significant differences for receptive vocabulary knowledge between pre- and post-test for both groups. Furthermore, the results on receptive vocabulary knowledge showed a significant interaction between the groups, indicating that the communicative task participants gained on average more words than the participants from the reading group. The productive task showed no significant difference for either group. However, it showed a significant interaction indicating that participants from the communicative task were on average better able to use their receptive knowledge of the words in the productive task, while the participants from the reading group could not make this transfer. Nevertheless, the findings suggest that both tasks, reading and communicative, are useful tools for incidental word learning.
Subjectincidental vocabulary learning
reading in a foreign language