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Implicit and explicit vocabulary acquisition with a computer-assisted hypertext reading task: Comprehension and retention

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: Hassan Mahamat Souleyman
Abstract:
In a description of language, Ellis (1994) claims that "the bedrock of L2 is its vocabulary" (p. 11); while for Lewis (1993), language consists of "grammaticalized lexis," not "lexicalized grammar," and Nation (2001) adds that attention to vocabulary is unavoidable. This status of vocabulary determines its pervasiveness and implies the need for attention as claimed by Meara (1980). In second and foreign language teaching and learning, instruction is an important contributor in the development and consolidation of vocabulary knowledge while Computer-Assisted Language Learning has been described as facilitative in mediating instruction and improving learner independence (Chapelle 1998, 2001; Warschauer, 1998). The present study investigates narrative comprehension, immediate and delayed vocabulary retention as a result of implicit and explicit teaching and learning of vocabulary (Hunt & Beglar, 2005) with a hypertext reading task. Many researchers support that enhanced vocabulary activities and reading for meaning affect vocabulary acquisition (Krashen, 1989, Zahar et al., 2001; Paribakht & Wesche, 1997; Lee & VanPatten, 2003). For others, the degree of involvement in the processing and the noticed properties of words determine the degree of retention (Groot, 2000; Smith, 2004). Seventy-eight fourth-semester students of French as a foreign language from six classes at an American university participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to either the implicit or the explicit conditions, and received differential treatments. The subjects read the same enhanced electronic text with permanently highlighted target items in the explicit condition, and temporarily highlighted target items in the implicit condition. The target items were hyperlinked to the same textual, auditory, and graphic enhancements. The study also makes an overview of the effect of the motivation type on the subjects' performance levels. The statistical analyses reveal both strengths and weaknesses in the two modalities with regards to immediate and delayed retention; as one of the modalities favors immediate gain and the other longer-term retention. It is thus suggested that both modalities can be jointly implemented in a Computer-Assisted Teaching and Learning condition in order to achieve higher learning outcomes. The combination may favor the dual improvement in gain and retention in the learning process.

6 TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES………………………………………………………………………….…....13

LIST OF FIGURES………………………………………………………………………….…..15

ABSTRACT………………………………………………………………………………...……16

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………….……..18

1.1 Introduction……...…………………………………………………….…………………....18

1.2 Statement of the problem…………………………………………………………………..20

1.3 The notion of vocabulary…………………………………………………………………..22

1.4 Overview of the study……………………………………………………………………....24

1.5 Purpose of the study…….………………………………………….……………………....25 1.5.1 Importance of the study……………………………………………………….....27

1. 6. Definition of important terms……………………………………………………….....…27 1.6.1 Implicit learning…………………………………………………………………..27 1.6.2 Explicit learning…………………………………………………………………..28 1.6.3 Immediate retention……………………………………………………………....28 1.6.4 Delayed retention………………………………………….……………….......…28 1.6.5 Hypertext……………………………………………………………………….....29

1. 7 Research questions………………………………………………………………………....29

1. 8. Hypotheses………………………………………………………………………………....30

1. 9 Structure of the dissertation………………………………………………………………31

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE…………………………………………33

2.1 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………33

2.2 Theoretical background of the study……………………………………..…………….…33 2.2.1 Dual Coding Theory……………………………………………………………...35 2.2.2 Deep processing theory…………………………………………………………...36 2.2.3 Involvement Load Theories……………………………………………………...37

7 TABLE OF CONTENTS – Continued

2.3 Technology, teaching, and learning………………………………………………………..38 2.3.1 Hypertext theory…………………………………………………….…………....39 2.3.2 Cognitive theory of multimedia……………………………………………….…41

2.4 Vocabulary learning through reading…………………………………………………….42

2.5 Vocabulary instruction……………………………………………………………………..45 2.5.1 Direct or indirect instruction.................................................................................46 2.5.2 Implicit or explicit vocabulary instruction and learning……………………....48 2.5.2.1 Implicit learning of vocabulary………………………………………....48 2.5.2.2 Explicit learning of vocabulary………………………………………....54 2.5.3. Implicit learning of languages…………………………………………………..57 2.5.4 Explicit learning of languages…………………………………………………....59 2.5.5 Bidimentional framework…………………………………………………….….61 2.5.6 Grammar-based implicit and explicit teaching……………………………...…64 2.5.7 Production and recognition………………………………………………….…..70

2.6 Vocabulary learning and strategy use…………………………………………………….70 2.6.1 Strategy use…………………………………………………………………….....75

2.7 The role of CALL in learning vocabulary………………………………………………..76 2.7.1 Research in CALL……………………………………………………………….76 2.7.2 Second language acquisition and multimedia learning......................................77 2.7.3 Glosses…………………………………………………………………………….80 2.7.4 Visible and invisible glosses...................................................................................81 2.7.5 Hypertext in vocabulary learning…………………………………………….....83 2.7.6 The effectiveness of dual annotations in vocabulary learning………………...89

2.8 CALL and text comprehension…………………………………………………………....97 2.8.1 Comprehension……………………………………………………………….....100 2.9 Vocabulary retention……………………………………………………………………...102 2.9.1 Vocabulary learning principles………………………………………………...102 2.9.2 The role of attention in learning vocabulary…………………………………..107 2.9.3 Deep processing and retention………………………………………………….108 2.9.4 Retention………………………………………………………………………....109

2.10 Motivation and foreign/second language learning……………………………………..111

2.11 Summary……………………………………………………………………………….....115

8 TABLE OF CONTENTS – Continued

CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY……………………….……………………………...117

3.1 Introduction………………………………………………………………………………..117

3.2 Research questions……………………………………………………………………….. 119 3.2.1 Research question 1……………………………………………………………..120 3.2.2 Research question 2……………………………………………………………..120 3.2.3 Research question 3…………………………………………………………..…121

3.3 Hypotheses…………………………………………………………………………………122 3.3.1 Hypothesis 1………………………………………………………………….......122 3.3.2 Hypothesis 2………………………………………………………………….......124

3.4 Research design………………………………………………………………………...….125 3.4.1 Experimental conditions…………………………………………………..…….125 3.4.1.1 The implicit condition……………………………………………….....126 3.4.1.2 The explicit condition…………………………………………………..127 3.4.1.3 Annotations…………………………………………………………….127 3.4.2 Variables and instrumentation………………………………………...……….129 3.4.2.1 Experimental variables………………………………………………...130 3.4.2.2 Independent variables……………………………………………….....130 3.4.2.3 Dependent variables………………………………………………...….131 3.4.2.4 Demographic variables……………………………………………..….131 3.4.3 Type of motivation………………………………………………………………132

3.5 Subjects…………………………………………………………………………………….133

3.6 Materials………………………………………………………………………………...…134 3.6.1 Software preparation…………………………………………………………....135 3.6.2 Selection of the reading text…………………………………………………….137 3.6.3 Background questionnaire……………………………………………………...139 3.6.4 Measurement tools………………………………………………………………141 3.6.4.1 The recall protocol……………………………………………………..141 3.6.4.2 The immediate post-test………………………………………………..142 3.6.4.3 The post-reading questionnaire…………………………………..……144 3.6.4.4 The delayed posttest……………………………………………………145 3.6.4.5 Exit questionnaire…………………………………………..………….146 3.6.5 Piloting the materials……………………………………………………………146

3.7 Data collection………..……………………………………………………………………147 3.7.1 Setting and timing of the study………………………………………………....148 3.7.2 Group assignment procedure…………………………………………………...148

9 TABLE OF CONTENTS - Continued

3.7.3 Duration of the treatment………………………………………………………150 3.7.4 The reading activity………………………………………………………..……151 3.7.4.1 Screen display………………………………………………………....,.152 3.7.5 Implicit group........................................................................................................154 3.7.6 Explicit group…………………………………………………………………....156 3.7.7 The immediate posttest……………………………………………………….....158 3.7.8 The recall protocol………………………………………………………………159 3.7.9 The post-reading questionnaire……………………………………………...…160 3.7.10 The delayed post-test…………………………………………………………..161 3.7.11 The exit questionnaire…………………………………………………………161

3.8 Coding and scoring procedures……………..……………………………………………162 3.8.1 Background questionnaire …………………………………………………..…162 3.8.2 The Multiple-Choice vocabulary test ………………………………………….163 3.8.3 The recall protocol………………………………………………………………164 3.8.4 The exit questionnaire………………………………………………………..…165

3.9 Data analysis…………………………………………………………………………….…165 3.9.1 Additional analysis …………………………………………………………...…166

3.10 Summary………………………………………………………………………………….166

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS…………...…………………………………………………….168 4. 1 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………….168

4. 2 The subjects……………………………………………………………………………….169

4.3 Research questions………………………………………………………………………..173 4.3.1 Research question # 1……………………………………………………………….173 4.3.1.1 The effect of implicit vocabulary teaching and learning on the comprehension scores of the implicit group…………………………………..173 4.3.1.2 Descriptive statistics of the comprehension scores of the implicit group…….175 4.3.1.3 The effect of explicit vocabulary teaching and learning on the comprehension scores of the explicit group……………………………………………………177 4.3.1.4 Descriptive statistics of the scores of the explicit group on the comprehension test………………………………………………………………………………179 4.3.1.5 Performance difference between the implicit and explicit groups on the comprehension test…………………………………………………………….180 4.3.1.6 Gloss access patterns of the two groups……………………………………….182

4.4 Research question # 2 …………………………………………………………………….183

10 TABLE OF CONTENTS – Continued

4.4.1 Immediate retention scores of the implicit group ………………………….…184 4.4.2 Immediate retention scores of the explicit group…………………………...…187 4.4.3 Performance difference between the implicit and explicit groups on the immediate retention test………………………………………………………189 4.4.4 The effects of implicit and explicit teaching of vocabulary on delayed retention ……………………………………………………………….………192 4.4.4.1 Delayed retention scores of the implicit group……………………...…192 4.4.4.2 Descriptive statistics of the delayed retention scores of the implicit group…………………………………………………………………………...193 4.4.4.3 Delayed retention scores of the explicit group……………….…….…197 4.4.4.4 Descriptive statistics of the delayed retention scores of the explicit group…………………………………………………………………………...198 4.4.4.5 Performance difference between the implicit and explicit groups on the delayed retention test…………………………………………...……..…..200 4.4.5 Performance difference between the two groups on the delayed retention test………………………………………………………………………………...……203 4.4.6 Summary of the different test results……………………………………….…205 4.4.7 Intercorrelations between the experimental variables……………………….207

4.5 Research question # 3 ……………………………………………………………………211 4.5.1 Motivation categories and coding……………………………………………....211 4.5.2 Means and standard deviations of the comprehension scores by motivation group in the implicit condition ………………………………………………213 4.5.3. Means and standard deviations of the comprehension scores by motivation group in the explicit condition ……………………………………………….215 4.5.4 Means and standard deviations of the immediate retention scores by motivation group in the implicit condition ……………………………….…216 4.5.5 Means and standard deviations of the immediate retention scores by motivation group in the explicit condition ………………………………..…217 4.5.6 Means and standard deviations of the delayed retention scores by motivation group in the implicit condition …………………………………………...…219 4.5.7 Means and standard deviations of the delayed retention scores by motivation group in the explicit condition ………………………………………………220 4.5.8 Summary of the change of the scores under the two conditions…………......222

4.6 Tendencies…...…………………………………………………………………………….225

4.7 Additional analysis of variance (ANOVA)........................................................................226 4.7.1 Regression analysis…………………………………………………………...…228

4.8 Additional comments…………………………………………………………………...…230 4.8.1 The vocabulary teaching program……………………………………………..231

11 TABLE OF CONTENTS - Continued

4.8.2 The software…………………………………………………………………..…231 4.8.3 Time……………………………………………………………...………………232 4.8.4 Benefits…………………………………………………………………………..233

4.9 Summary of the results…………………………………………………………………...233

4.10 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………..237

CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION……………………………………..238

5.1 Introduction……………………………………………………………………………….238

5.2 Discussion………………………………………………………………………………….238 5.2.1 Research question 1: Comprehension………………………………………....239 5.2.1.1 Implicit vocabulary teaching and comprehension……………………239 5.2.1.2 Explicit vocabulary teaching and comprehension……………………241 5.2.1.3 Reading time and comprehension……………………………………..242 5.2.1.4 Performance difference between the implicit and explicit groups on the comprehension test………………………………………………………..244 5.2.2 Research question 2: Retention………………………………………………...245 5.2.2.1 Immediate retention test scores………………………………………..245 5.2.2.2 Implicit vocabulary teaching and immediate retention………………246 5.2.2.3 Explicit vocabulary teaching and immediate retention………………248 5.2.2.4 The effect of reading time in the two conditions……………………...250 5.2.2.5 The effect of implicit and explicit teaching of vocabulary on delayed retention……………………………………………………………….251 5.2.2.6 Summary of the different test results………………………………….258 5.2.3 Research question 3: Motivation…………………………………….…............259 5.2.3.1 Motivation and performance…………………………………………..259 5.2.3.2 Summary……………………………………………………………….264 5.2.3.3 Retention……………………………………………………………….265

5.3 Pedagogical implications………….………………………………………………………266

5.3.1 The role of instruction………………………………………………………..…266 5.3.2 Implicit teaching and vocabulary learning………………………………….…267 5.3.3 Explicit teaching and learning of vocabulary……………………………….…269 5.3.4 Dual modality use in vocabulary teaching and learning…………………...…270 5.3.5 Putting motivation to work……………………………………………………..270 5.3.6 Use of software for vocabulary learning……………………………………….271

5.4 Limitations of the study………………………………………………………………...…272

12 TABLE OF CONTENTS - Continued

5.5 Recommendations for future research………………………………………………...…273

5.6 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………274

APPENDIXES………………………………………………………………………………….276

APPENDIX A: THE READING TEXT………………………………………………………..276

APPENDIX B: BACKGROUND QUESTIONNAIRE………….…………………………….277

APPENDIX C: MULTIPLE-CHOICE POSTTEST TASK…….….…………………………..279

APPENDIX D: RECALL PROTOCOL………………………………………………………..287

APPENDIX E: POST-READING QUESTIONNAIRE………….…………………………….288

APPENDIX F: EXIT QUESTIONNAIRE……………….…………………………………….290

APPENDIX G: MOTIVATION CATEGORIES AND CODING……………………………..292

APPENDIX H: CODING SHEET……………………………………………………………...294

APPENDIX I: UNITS OF IDEAS AND RUBRICS FOR THE COMPREHENSION TASK...295

APPENDIX J: ROBY’S TAXONOMY OF GLOSSES………………………………………..297

APPENDIX K: INTEGRATED MODEL OF SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITON WITH

MULTIMEDIA…………………………………………………………………………298

APPENDIX L: ANNOTATION TYPES USED BY DIFFERENT RESEARCHERS.………..299

APPENDIX M: RECRUITMENT MATERIAL……………………………………………….301

REFERENCES…………………………………………………………………………………303

13 LIST OF TABLES

TABLE 1: Summary of the Experimental Variables………………………………...…………131 TABLE 2: Summary of the Motivation Types Revealed by the Background Questionnaire.....132 TABLE 3: Subjects……………………………………………………………………………..134 TABLE 4: Summary of the Coding for the Multiple-choice Vocabulary Test………………...163 TABLE 5: Summary of the Coding for the Recall protocol………………………………..…..165 TABLE 6: Demographic Characteristics of the Subjects…………..…………………………..170 TABLE 7: Descriptive Statistics of the Reading times Recorded for the Two Groups…..……173

TABLE 8: Comprehension Scores Obtained by the Implicit group……………………..……..174 TABLE 9: Descriptive Statistics of Comprehension Scores for the Implicit Group…………...175 TABLE 10: Comprehension Scores of the Explicit Group Subjects…………………………...178 TABLE 11: Comprehension Test Scores of the Explicit Group………………………………..179 TABLE 12: Comprehension Test Scores of the Implicit and Explicit Groups…………………180 TABLE 13: Comparative Gloss Selection Patterns of Both Groups….………………………..183

TABLE 14: Immediate Retention Scores Obtained by the Implicit Group Members…...……..185 TABLE 15: Descriptive Statistics of the Immediate Retention Scores of the Implicit Group…186 TABLE 16: Immediate Retention Scores of the Explicit Group……………………………….187 TABLE 17: Descriptive Statistics of the Immediate Retention Scores of the Explicit Group...188 TABLE 18: Delayed Retention Scores in the Implicit Group………………………………….193 TABLE 19: Descriptive Statistics of Delayed Vocabulary Scores of the Implicit Group…......194 TABLE 20: Delayed Retention Scores Obtained by the Explicit Group Members…..………..197 TABLE 21: Descriptive Statistics of the Delayed Vocabulary Scores by the Explicit Group...199

14 LIST OF TABLES – Continued

TABLE 22: Comparative Descriptive Statistics of the Delayed Vocabulary Scores of the Implicit and Explicit Groups………………………………………………………….................200 TABLE 23: Summary of the Descriptive Statistics of the Different Test Results…...………...205 TABLE 24: Intercorrelations in the Implicit Condition…………………..……………………208

TABLE 25: Intercorrelations in the Explicit Condition…..……………………………………209

TABLE 26: Motivation Categories and Coding………..………………………………………213 TABLE 27: Comprehension Scores by Motivation Group in the Implicit Condition……..…..214 TABLE 28: Comprehension Scores by Motivation Group in the Explicit Condition……..…..215 TABLE 29: Immediate Vocabulary Retention Scores by Motivation Group in the Implicit Condition……………...………………………………………………………………..216 TABLE 30: Immediate Retention Scores by Motivation Group in the Explicit Conditions…...218 TABLE 31: Delayed Retention Scores by Motivation Group in the Implicit Condition...…….220 TABLE 32: Delayed Retention Scores by Motivation Group in the Explicit Condition…..…..221 TABLE 33: Results by Motivation Group on all the Three Tests in the Implicit Condition......222 TABLE 34: Results by Motivation Group on all the Three Tests in the Explicit Condition..…223 TABLE 35: Summary of the Descriptive Statistics of the Different Test Results………......…226

TABLE 36: ANOVA Summary for Three Experimental variables……………...…………….228

TABLE 37: The Beta Weights Observed in the Multiple Regressions Analysis of the Experimental Variables………………………………………………………………...230 TABLE 38: Results by Motivation Group on all the Three Tests in the Implicit and Explicit Conditions……………………………………………………………………262

15 LIST OF FIGURES

FIGURE 1: A Framework for Developing EFL Reading Vocabulary (Hunt and Beglar, 2005)..64 FIGURE 2: Simplified Taxonomy of Glosses……………………….………………………….80 FIGURE 3: Screenshot of the Software and Text (Implicit Group)……………………..……..153 FIGURE 4: Screenshot of the Software and Text (Explicit Group)………………..…………..154 FIGURE 5: Screenshot of the Written Instructions Given to the Implicit Group……………...156 FIGURE 6: Screenshot of the Written Instructions Given to the Explicit Group……………...158 FIGURE 7: Sample Test Screen……………………..…………………………………………159 FIGURE 8: Comprehension test Scores by the Implicit and Explicit Groups………………….181 FIGURE 9: Immediate Retention Scores by the Implicit and Explicit Groups………………...190 FIGURE 10: Delayed Retention Scores of the Implicit and Explicit Group…………………...204

FIGURE 11: Comprehension, Immediate and Delayed Retention Scores……………………..207 FIGURE 12: Mean Scores by Motivation Type in the Implicit Group………………………...224 FIGURE 13: Mean Scores by Motivation Type in the Explicit Group………………………...224 FIGURE 14: Immediate and Delayed Retention Scores in the Implicit and Explicit Conditions……………………………………………………………………………...257

16 ABSTRACT In a description of language, Ellis (1994) claims that “the bedrock of L2 is its vocabulary” (p. 11); while for Lewis (1993), language consists of “grammaticalized lexis,” not “lexicalized grammar,” and Nation (2001) adds that attention to vocabulary is unavoidable. This status of vocabulary determines its pervasiveness and implies the need for attention as claimed by Meara (1980). In second and foreign language teaching and learning, instruction is an important contributor in the development and consolidation of vocabulary knowledge while Computer-Assisted Language Learning has been described as facilitative in mediating instruction and improving learner independence (Chapelle 1998, 2001; Warschauer, 1998). The present study investigates narrative comprehension, immediate and delayed vocabulary retention as a result of implicit and explicit teaching and learning of vocabulary (Hunt & Beglar, 2005) with a hypertext reading task. Many researchers support that enhanced vocabulary activities and reading for meaning affect vocabulary acquisition (Krashen, 1989, Zahar et al., 2001; Paribakht & Wesche, 1997; Lee & VanPatten, 2003). For others, the degree of involvement in the processing and the noticed properties of words determine the degree of retention (Groot, 2000; Smith, 2004). Seventy-eight fourth-semester students of French as a foreign language from six classes at an American university participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to either the implicit or the explicit conditions, and received differential treatments. The subjects read the same enhanced electronic text with permanently highlighted target items in the explicit condition, and temporarily highlighted target items in the implicit condition. The target items were hyperlinked to the same textual, auditory, and graphic enhancements. The study also makes

17 an overview of the effect of the motivation type on the subjects’ performance levels. The statistical analyses reveal both strengths and weaknesses in the two modalities with regards to immediate and delayed retention; as one of the modalities favors immediate gain and the other longer-term retention. It is thus suggested that both modalities can be jointly implemented in a Computer-Assisted Teaching and Learning condition in order to achieve higher learning outcomes. The combination may favor the dual improvement in gain and retention in the learning process.

18 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1.1 Introduction In the strive to reach a proficient level in the target language, second and foreign language learners cannot omit, each at their own levels, to ask questions such as “what does X mean?” “What is the signification of Y?” “What would be a more appropriate term for Z?” “Is this the right word for X, Y, Z?”. This situation is created by the difficulty they face in gathering enough lexical knowledge in general or to make the pragmatic decision that fits the experience in real life under specific circumstances. It is difficult for many to find the appropriate term or phrase to use in a given communication situation or to appropriately understand what is being conveyed to them. Both second language learners who learn the everyday language of the learning environment and foreign language learners who learn a language that is not that of everyday communication in the learning environment aspire to be able to use their new language the way its native speakers do. The acquisition of this ability, however, is a lifelong process that educators and researchers try to shorten or to ease. Having as large a lexical knowledge as possible, being able to use it appropriately, conforming to usage norms, expressing what one exactly wants to convey or accurately decipher from a message with the meaning intended by the communicating source is a treasure most or every language learner aims at achieving. Both second and foreign language learners have this difficult situation to overcome but that of the foreign language learners is made even more difficult by the fact that they do not have the potential advantage of the environmental setting that may be

19 available to the second language learners even though this well sought-after environment does not guarantee that language development will surely occur. The term “second language learner” describes the person who is learning a language in the very setting where the target language is the one of everyday communication. On the contrary, the term “foreign language learner” describes a learner whose target language is not the everyday language of the learning environment. Yet, both are also generally identified as second language learners. The dissociation between the learner and the community of speakers of the new language reduces the possibility of exposure to potential spontaneous input or natural opportunities for practice that might be available on occasions. As for second language learners --in the strict sense of the term—some of them might have the possibility of experiencing, even though without guarantee, some level of exposure and the opportunity of spontaneous input that may purposefully or randomly be accessible to them. This opportunity is related the fact that the target language can and may be used in their immediate surroundings even in uncontrolled circumstances. They receive both structured and unstructured input, either formally learning it or being exposed to it, in a variety of receivable forms. As for the foreign language learners, who primarily rely on the instructional environment, the input is traditionally limited to printed, auditory and graphic materials, which can approximate a live language environment. In today’s context, technology has become, and is increasingly facilitative, in bringing to the learner more continuously up-to-date input in a variety of modalities and even as real-time communication, thanks to hyperlinks and the World Wide Web. Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) facilitates the learner’s endeavor toward progress. This help

20 in learning is better provided and benefited from when it is guided by the theories of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching. Vocabulary acquisition, just as the learning of other aspects of language, can be done implicitly through reading comprehension (or listening) or explicitly through target-focused instruction, both aiming at long-term retention, a condition that relies mostly on attention.

1.2 Statement of the Problem In foreign language learning, learners are faced with two fundamental problems in their efforts to learn the target language they have chosen or happen to be learning because of personal circumstances. In foreign language learning, it is difficult to obtain enough language input, both in and outside of learning institutions, as is the case for first and second language learners. This lacking creates the need to build a system that helps to increase the language potential of the learners in as consistently effective way as possible that will allow them to boost the acquisition and retention of functional language and beyond. For Groot (2000), there seems to be no viable alternative to intentional learning of a large number of words with the help of authentic L2 material. Groot referred to the fact that L1 vocabulary is mainly learned incidentally and incrementally over a longer period of time and that for L2, this time factor is not available at the same level while the L2 learner needs a large number of vocabulary words or phrases for immediate use. Thus, it is imperative that the acquisition process be accelerated. Once a method of learning vocabulary is chosen and used, the next problem is to find out if it leads to more comprehension and better acquisition and retention o ver time.

21 It also appears to be difficult for L2/FL learners to acquire the meaning of multiword units such as collocations and the relative meanings that they can obtain in given contexts of use. Compensation for this lack is difficult for foreign language learners, as they generally do not have the possibility of performing recurring interaction in the target language that can facilitate retention, thus the necessity for finding an alternative that will increase this possibility. Many studies have been done on implicit teaching, explicit teaching, comprehension, retention, and reading in hypertext environment, using different types of glosses. There are not many, however, that have compared implicit and explicit vocabulary acquisition with a hypertext reading task, to investigate comprehension and retention with fourth semester learners of French as a Foreign Language. Another difference is that the present study provides three types of annotations, namely a translation in the student’s first language (English in the present case); an audio representation of the target unit in the target language (French in this case) and graphics including still images. According to Rott et al. (2002), multiple- choice glosses require “mental efforts” which in turn increase the likelihood of retention. Based on considerable empirical support, there is a widely held view that many learners acquire a lot of second language vocabulary incidentally while reading for meaning (Cho & Krashen 1994; Dupuy and Krashen, 1993; Rott, 1999, Zahar et al., 2001). Even though incremental, incidental acquisition is considered to be efficient as the readers do two things at once. Other researchers question how beginners would read enough to increase their vocabulary while they may not have the minimum knowledge necessary for reading and improving (Laufer 1997; Nation, 2001). This is known as the beginner’s paradox.

22 1.3 The Notion of Vocabulary In order to be complete, vocabulary should not be limited to individual words. It needs to include lexical items, grammatical features, whole phrases and discourse chunks also known as bundles as its units of identification. In the recent past, research in vocabulary has mostly concentrated on whether vocabulary is worth teaching at all. This situation led Meara (1980, 1983) to call for its active teaching. Ellis (1994) insists that “the bedrock of L2 is its vocabulary” (p. 11) while Lewis (1993, 1997) supports a lexical approach to language teaching, and claims that the dichotomy between grammar and vocabulary is invalid, as successful language goes beyond accuracy to include appropriateness and more. Most importantly, Lewis emphasizes that language consists of grammaticalized lexis—not lexicalized grammar, thereby calling for more attention on vocabulary learning. Not only has vocabulary recovered much of its importance, but also specific foci have been put on ways of presenting new language. Vocabulary is too important to ignore and constitutes the basis on which language lies. It is the concretization of language, the frame to which other language elements adhere. Additionally, vocabulary is not only a list of individual words of a language but also includes the grammar and grammatical forms of the language as well as the discourse created out of the combination of the individual words or phrases. As cited in Paribakht and Wesche (1997), Gairn and Redman (1986) provide a list of what needs to be taken into account when teaching vocabulary such as “boundaries between conceptual meaning (e.g. cup, mug, bowl); polysemy (e.g. head :of a person, of a pin, of an organization); homonymy (e.g. a file: used to put papers in or a tool); homophony (flour, flower);

23 synonymy (e.g. extend increase, expand); affective meaning (e.g. distinguishing between attitudinal and emotional factors, denotation and connotation, depending on the speaker’s attitude or the situation or socio-cultural associations); style, register, dialect (levels of formality and geographical variations); translation ( awareness of differences and similarities, false cognates); chunks of language (multi-words, idioms, strong and weak collocations and lexical phrases); grammar of vocabulary (rules for building words and deriving others from them (e.g. sleep, slept, sleeping; able, unable; disability)” (p. 181). In the present dissertation study, the notion of vocabulary includes individual words, multiword units, lexical and grammatical phrases and beyond, as opposed to the traditional vocabulary focusing solely on individual words. This is why the choices that can be made about vocabulary include aspects such as its presentation in context or by itself, implicitly or explicitly, as individual words or in multiword units (Moon, 1998), and in single or multiple exposures. Ultimately, in this study, the notion of vocabulary includes both individual vocabulary words and lexical units. As part of this investigation, the problem raised is whether a single event of a vocabulary learning activity on the computer and with enhancements can be effective, especially when it is expected be learned as a by-product of another activity as is the case for reading comprehension activity or explicitly as a word learning task from a text in the present study. Other choices related to the teaching and learning of vocabulary involve determining if vocabulary should be learned and taught receptively or productively, actively and passively through listening and/or reading, relating of new information to old, in a teacher-controlled environment, or focusing on strategy training and strategy

24 use. The issue of strategy training, however, is beyond the scope of this dissertation. The list of techniques involved in this study are limited to teaching vocabulary through intensive reading, with written, auditory and graphic sources of enhancement in the input; learner-controlled activities; in-depth processing of language; and comprehension and retention (short-term or long-term) as an end goal.

1. 4 Overview of the Study The present dissertation study investigates the implicit and explicit modalities of teaching and learning of vocabulary with an electronic text presented on the computer. Seventy-eight students of French at the intermediate university level participated in the study. The subjects were randomly assigned to two conditions: an implicit group and an explicit group and were asked to fill out a background questionnaire before the formal task. The groups received slightly different treatments on the computer and read a text containing sixty-five target words highlighted and hyperlinked to additional information in a variety of modalities: textual, graphic, and auditory. The implicit group was instructed to read the text for comprehension and was informed that there will be an additional task to do after the reading. They were also informed that the highlighted words were hyperlinked to additional help. If the word was difficult, they could click on it to obtain help I understanding it, but they did not have to click on the highlighted words if they did not need to do so. Each time they clicked on a word, the highlighting disappeared while the hypertext remained in place. The explicit group was instructed to read the text and learn the highlighted vocabulary words. They were also informed that

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Abstract: In a description of language, Ellis (1994) claims that "the bedrock of L2 is its vocabulary" (p. 11); while for Lewis (1993), language consists of "grammaticalized lexis," not "lexicalized grammar," and Nation (2001) adds that attention to vocabulary is unavoidable. This status of vocabulary determines its pervasiveness and implies the need for attention as claimed by Meara (1980). In second and foreign language teaching and learning, instruction is an important contributor in the development and consolidation of vocabulary knowledge while Computer-Assisted Language Learning has been described as facilitative in mediating instruction and improving learner independence (Chapelle 1998, 2001; Warschauer, 1998). The present study investigates narrative comprehension, immediate and delayed vocabulary retention as a result of implicit and explicit teaching and learning of vocabulary (Hunt & Beglar, 2005) with a hypertext reading task. Many researchers support that enhanced vocabulary activities and reading for meaning affect vocabulary acquisition (Krashen, 1989, Zahar et al., 2001; Paribakht & Wesche, 1997; Lee & VanPatten, 2003). For others, the degree of involvement in the processing and the noticed properties of words determine the degree of retention (Groot, 2000; Smith, 2004). Seventy-eight fourth-semester students of French as a foreign language from six classes at an American university participated in the study. They were randomly assigned to either the implicit or the explicit conditions, and received differential treatments. The subjects read the same enhanced electronic text with permanently highlighted target items in the explicit condition, and temporarily highlighted target items in the implicit condition. The target items were hyperlinked to the same textual, auditory, and graphic enhancements. The study also makes an overview of the effect of the motivation type on the subjects' performance levels. The statistical analyses reveal both strengths and weaknesses in the two modalities with regards to immediate and delayed retention; as one of the modalities favors immediate gain and the other longer-term retention. It is thus suggested that both modalities can be jointly implemented in a Computer-Assisted Teaching and Learning condition in order to achieve higher learning outcomes. The combination may favor the dual improvement in gain and retention in the learning process.