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ERIC Number: EJ908910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-0155-0640
Investigating the Effect of Contextual Clues on the Processing of Unfamiliar Words in Second Language Listening Comprehension
Cai, Wei; Lee, Benny P. H.
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, v33 n2 p18.1-18.28 2010
This study examines the effect of contextual clues on the use of strategies (inferencing and ignoring) and knowledge sources (semantics, morphology, world knowledge, and others) for processing unfamiliar words in listening comprehension. Three types of words were investigated: words with local co-text clues, global co-text clues and extra-textual clues. Data were collected from 20 participants using the procedures of immediate retrospection without recall support and of stimulated recall. The results indicate that contextual clues are an important factor in learners' treatment of unfamiliar words in listening comprehension. Contrary to what some theories of inference generation predict, this study reveals that learners use the inferencing strategy more frequently for words with global co-text clues and words with extratextual clues than for words with local co-text clues. In terms of the use of knowledge sources for inferring word meaning, the learners in this study use the knowledge sources in accordance with the different types of contextual clues. (Contains 1 figure, 5 tables, and 4 endnotes.)
Applied Linguistics Association of Australia. Available from: Monash University ePress. Building 4, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton 3800, Victoria, Australia. Fax: +61-3-9905 8450; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China