NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ970541
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0008-4506
Ease of Inferencing, Learner Inferential Strategies, and Their Relationship with the Retention of Word Meanings Inferred from Context
Hu, Hsueh-chao Marcella; Nassaji, Hossein
Canadian Modern Language Review, v68 n1 p54-77 Feb 2012
In recent years the study of second language (L2) vocabulary learning through reading has attracted much attention in the field of L2 acquisition. A specific area that has received wide interest is the examination of the processes involved in deriving word meanings from context. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationships between the ease with which learners infer word meanings from context, the inferential strategies they use, and their subsequent retention of these words. Eleven ESL learners read and inferred the meanings of 10 unknown words in an academic text. Think-aloud procedures were used to collect data about learners' inferential strategies and their correct inferences during reading. A pre-test and a post-test were used to examine learners' degrees of retention. The results showed an inverse relationship between ease of inference and retention. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of learners' inferential strategies showed a significant relationship between the type and frequency of use of inferential strategies and retention. The findings confirm that a distinction needs to be made between ease of inferencing and the retention of the word meanings inferred from the context. Findings also suggest that the degree of retention depends on the type of strategies used. (Contains 1 note and 5 tables.)
University of Toronto Press. 5201 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H 5T8, Canada. Tel: 416-667-7810; Fax: 800-221-9985; Fax: 416-667-7881; 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: Canada
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Test of English as a Foreign Language