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ERIC Number: ED250908
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive Processes of Vocabulary Recognition.
Gabbay, Anita; Mirensky, Debi
This study investigates the cognitive processes used by nonnative students of English as a second language (ESL) in recognizing vocabulary items. Four specific questions are addressed: (1) To what extent does context aid in evoking educated guesses? (2) To what degree can contextual clues mislead intelligent guessing? (3) Do foreign language learners ignore wider contextual clues and focus only on the immediate radius of the unfamiliar vocabulary item? and (4) Do nonnative English learners perceive the meaning of unfamiliar items differently when items are presented in isolation rather than in a contextual framework? The subjects were 20 college-aged ESL students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a normal range of ability. A three-part questionnaire was administered. One part was a 385-word text with 10 words representing various parts of speech replaced by nonsense words and numbered alternatives for the nonsense word. The second part contained 10 vocabulary items to translate in Hebrew. The third part contained the second part's vocabulary items within a context-overloaded text, for translation. Several results suggest that context can aid in evoking educated guesses, but some suggest that context can be misleading. Theories that the phrase or sentence is the meaningful unit, and that language learners cling to erroneous ideas despite obvious contextual clues were both confirmed, but the contention that contextual clues are always helpful was not confirmed. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A