ERIC Number: ED328096
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Lexical Decomposition as a Strategy for Guessing Unknown Words: Users' Competence and Confidence.
Yougiouklis, Penelope-Suzannah Kambakis
The study reported in this paper investigated second language learners' ability to analyze new words without the use of context clues. The study focused on how confidence and accuracy increase or decrease with prior knowledge of a language and how availability of reading strategies can affect confidence or accuracy. Three groups of graduate students (eight Greek learners of English, eight native English-speakers, and two Greek-English bilinguals) each completed two tasks: a multiple-choice vocabulary test using decomposable words with possible explanations of their Latin or Greek origins; and a measure of confidence in each response in the first task. Two groups of decomposable stimuli were used, including: 12 Latinate and 12 Greek pseudo-words made of bound morphemes, in verb form, prefixed. Twelve real words of low frequency, some decomposable and some not, were used as distractors. Results suggest that (1) all subjects must have consciously used the lexical decomposition strategy; (2) all subjects did significantly better on words of Greek origin; and (3) monolingual subjects' confidence rates were much lower than their accuracy rates. Additional research on pseudo-words in different contexts is recommended, to determine whether increasing lexical background information affects accuracy or confidence. A brief bibliography and test data are appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Lexical Decomposition Strategy
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the World Congress of Applied Linguistics sponsored by the International Association of Applied Linguistics (9th, Thessaloniki, Greece, April 15-21, 1990). Some tables may not reproduce well.