ERIC Number: ED225364
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Word Frequency and Contextual Richness on ESL Students' Word Identification Abilities.
Perkins, Kyle; Brutten, Sheila R.
Some of the major research on the effects of meaning, frequency, context, and redundancy on word identification in first language reading comprehension is reviewed. The research indicates that the ability to identify words accurately and automatically has a direct effect on comprehension; at the same time comprehension affects word identification. A study is reported that applied the research findings and the methodology and results of previous studies to an investigation of reading comprehension among less advanced and more advanced students of English as a second language (ESL) at Southern Illinois University. Context, frequency, and the subjects' proficiency level were examined in individually administered tests using synonymous word pairs occurring in three levels of sentence context. For this study, the variables of course level, context, and frequency were found to affect word identification. The fact that the advanced students could identify target words with fewer visual cues than the less advanced students was taken to indicate that the ability to use context is a function of increased attained ESL proficiency. The influences of contextual richness and frequency on comprehension were found to be consonant with findings of the studies of first language comprehension on which the present study was based. (AMH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In "Selected Papers from the Illinois TESOL/BE Annual Convention" (10th, Chicago, IL, February 26-27, 1982).