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    Rights statement: © 2014 The Authors. The Modern Language Journal published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Learning and retaining specialized vocabulary from textbook reading: comparison of learning outcomes through L1 and L2

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Modern Language Journal
Issue number4
Volume98
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)976-991
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This study investigated the acquisition of specialized vocabulary from L1 and L2 textbook reading by 64 Slovak high school students who were intermediate or advanced users of English. The students were divided into two groups: One group read the academic texts in their L1, the other group in their L2. In a posttest and a delayed posttest, they were asked to orally recall the meanings of 12 technical words that appeared in the texts. The word meanings recalled by the students immediately after reading and 1 week later were examined in terms of their breadth and depth. Results showed that although the L2-instructed students acquired the meanings of the specialized vocabulary items to a considerable degree, they still differed significantly from their L1-instructed counterparts in several respects: They could recall fewer word meanings after the reading; they acquired the words to a lesser depth; and after a week, their knowledge of the words faded more rapidly than that of the L1-instructed participants. The significance of the findings for L2 vocabulary acquisition and bilingual education is discussed.

Bibliographic note

© 2014 The Authors. The Modern Language Journal published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations, Inc.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.