Toward a Comprehensive Model of Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning: To Integrate Instructed Learning with Incidental Learning

  •  Yanmei Liu    


The integration of vocabulary instruction and incidental learning has been proposed by many scholars, but the effective way to integrate these two approaches in vocabulary acquisition is still unclear. In order to know the roles these two approaches play in lexical learning, an empirical study was carried out. Three groups were randomly assigned to three treatments: incidental vocabulary acquisition through one reading, vocabulary instruction, and vocabulary instruction plus one reading. Both the immediate acquisition and delayed retention of the target words (including part of speech, semantic meaning, collocation and production) were examined and compared among the three groups. The study revealed that intentional instruction is significantly better than incidental learning in all four aspects of vocabulary leaning, but reading after instruction can consolidate and deepen learners’ leaning of words that have been taught. A comprehensive model was suggested to integrate instructed learning and incidental learning in foreign language vocabulary acquisition.

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