ERIC Number: ED424742
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Mar
Acquisition of Culturally-Loaded Words in EFL.
A study investigated whether English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) students' understanding of culturally-loaded words (those that are similar in primary meaning but different in connotation between the two languages) approximates that of native speakers of English, and how much English proficiency level may account for the extent of this approximation. Subjects were 125 intermediate- and advanced-level EFL students at a Chinese university and 61 native English-speaking students from an American university. The groups were asked to rate the appropriateness of six culturally-loaded words and four culturally-neutral words in sentences that provided adequate contextual information. Analysis of responses indicates that there is some limited but inadequate EFL approximation of understanding of the culturally-loaded words, and that even advanced EFL students' comprehension of most of the words differs significantly from that of native speakers. Results suggest that EFL educators and researchers should pay more attention to this type of vocabulary, and that vocabulary should be taught in adequate and appropriate social and cultural context. Contains 23 references. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (32nd, Seattle, WA, March 17-21, 1998).