The Effects of L1 and L2 Glossing on the Retention of L2 Vocabulary in Intentional and Incidental Settings

Authors

1 Department of English Language Islamic Azad University, Shiraz Branch Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Foreign Languages Islamic Azad University, Shiraz Branch Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

The current study investigated the effects of L1 and L2 glosses on L2 vocabulary retention in incidental and intentional settings. To this end, 100 intermediate Iranian female learners of English as a foreign language at Soroosh High School were given a pre-test to make sure that they do not have any prior knowledge of the target words. Reading passages with three different glossing conditions (Persian, English, and no gloss) in two different settings (incidental and intentional) were given to five groups (L1 gloss group in incidental setting, L1 gloss group in intentional setting, L2 gloss group in incidental setting, L2 gloss group in intentional setting, and no gloss group). In L1 conditions, learners were provided with Persian words while in L2 conditions, learners were provided with English ones. Learners in the intentional setting were asked to read the text and the glossed words carefully because they would be asked to take a test regarding the words. On the other hand, learners in the incidental condition were not informed about the following tests. Receptive and productive vocabulary tests were administered to measure vocabulary recognition and to recall of the participants as a result of treatment conditions. The collected data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA procedure to see which gloss type most benefited the participants for vocabulary acquisition in incidental and intentional settings. The results indicated that L1 glossing was more effective than L2 glossing for L2 vocabulary learning. The findings of the current study also showed that vocabulary learning in intentional setting was more successful than learning new words in incidental setting. 

Keywords