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An Experimental study of Task-based L2 lexical Learning by Chinese EFL learners

Zhou Weijing
School of Foreign Languages Jiangsu University

An Experimental Study of Task-based L2 Lexical Learning by TaskChinese EFL Learners

Outline
    
Introduction Literature review Methodology Major findings and discussions Contributions & Limitations

 Introduction

Motivation of the study Need for the study Orientation of the study

 Introduction
1. Motivation


Vocabulary plays a central role in L2 learning and teaching, however, L2 teachers are often unsure about how best to incorporate L2 vocabulary into their daily teaching. pedagogical requirements for efficient L2 teaching

Pedagogical vexation results from theoretical inadequacy. (Read,2004). Although theres been a boom in L2 vocabulary studies since 1990s, the mechanism of L2 lexical learning remains one of the most intriguing puzzles in SLA (Reed, 2004). theoretical urge for sound understanding of L2 lexical learning

Personally, being an L2 teacher and researcher, I have been impelled to do research on L2 lexical learning. personal experience of L2 lexical learning and teaching

 Introduction

2. Need for the study


Despite increasing interest and efforts in L2 vocabulary in the past 10 years, basic issues remain unsolved.
   

How do L2 learners acquire L2 lexicon? How do L2 learners acquire new vocabulary via learning tasks? What factors affect L2 lexical learning in or outside classroom? How to tract L2 learners incremental lexical learning?

Consequently, our knowledge of L2 lexical learning has mainly been built upon fragmental studies and there isnt an overall theory of how L2 vocabulary is acquired (Schimitt, 1998, Read, 2004).

Crying need to explore L2 lexical learning, theoretically, pedagogically, and methodologically.

 Introduction

3. Orientation of the study Handicaps hindering the studies up to date : No consistent or inclusive definition of the basic unit of L2 vocabulary, which makes the research domain a tricky and muddy area to explore. No solid evidence for an efficient way to enhance L2 learners lexical knowledge, in addition to controversies over incidental and intentional L2 approaches. Task-based L2 lexical learning seems to be an optimal area to investigate L2 lexical learning. Nevertheless, there is far from sufficient understanding of task-based L2 lexical learning according to the literature to date. Lopsided focus of present-day research on L2 lexical vocabulary learning. Inadequate support, either theoretically or empirically, for the Involvement Load Hypothesis (Laufer and Hulstijn, 2001), the newly-born theoretical construct targeting at L2 lexical learning. Besides word-based factors, few studies explored learner-related factors

 Literature

review

 Key terms  Theoretical framework  Previous empirical findings

Literature review

 Key terms
---To get rid of problems of word and word familiar, the present study adopted lexical unit (LU) as the basic unit of L2 vocabulary covering single words and multi-word chunks and idioms.

Literature review

 Theoretical framework
  

Input Hypothesis (Krashen, 1985,1989) Output Hypothesis (Swain,1985, 1995) Nations (2001) construct of L2 lexical knowledge

3 aspects: form, meaning, usage 2 levels: receptive & productive




Involvement Load Hypothesis (Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001 ) ---the latest and sole theoretical construct ---targeting at L2 lexical learning.

What is involved in knowing a word




R What does the word sound like? P How is the word pronounced? Written R What does the word look like? P How is the word written and spelled? word parts R What parts are recognizable in this word? P How word parts are needed to express the meaning? Meaning Form & meaning R What meaning does this word form signal? P What word form can be used to express this meaning? Concept & referents R What is included in the concept? P What items can the concept refer to? Associations R What other words does the word occur? P What other words could we use instead of this one? Use Grammatical functions R In what patterns does the word occur? P In what patterns must we use this word? Collocations R What words or types of words occur with this one? P What words or types of words must we use with this one? Constraints on use R Where, when, and how often would we expect to meet this word? P Where, when, and how often can we use this word? Form

Spoken

Involvement Load Hypothesis


(Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001 )

Its basic contention : --- The retention of unfamiliar words is, generally, conditional upon the degree of involvement in processing these words.

Involvement Load Hypothesis


(Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001 )

Its 3 assumptions :


Retention of words, when processed incidentally, is conditional upon the following factors in a task: need, search and evaluation. Other factors being equal, words which are processed with higher involvement load will be retained better than words which are processed with lower involvement load. Other factors being equal, teacher/researcher-designed tasks with higher involvement load will be more effective for vocabulary retention than tasks with a lower involvement load. Task-induced involvement does not have much to do with whether it is an input or output task.

Involvement Load Hypothesis


(Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001 )

Motivational-cognitive construct of involvement:

need, search & evaluation. L2 lexical learning is conditional upon taskinduced involvement. The higher involvement, the better acquisition and longer retention of unknown words.

Literature review

 Empirical findings


Majority: looking for evidence for task-based L2 lexical learning A few: on effects of task type. Few: on effects of task frequency, word and learner factors indicating: task type, task frequency, word and text factors as well as learner factors affect L2 lexical learning Reading-based complex tasks : the most facilitative for L2 lexical learning.

Involvement Load Hypothesis: only partially supported.

1) Motivational-cognitive construct : problematic.


2) Involvement Load Hypothesis : needs further rectification.

 Methodology

Based on previous studies, an experimental study of task-based L2 lexical learning was designed and conducted.

Methodology

Research Questions

How do Chinese EFL learners acquire L2 vocabulary through learning tasks?

1. Effects of task type on L2 lexical learning?


-

Overall effects Modify effects Role of task-induced involvement Overall effects Modified effects Optimal task frequency

2. Effects of task frequency on L2 lexical learning?


-

3. Effects of lexical presentation on L2 lexical learning?


Overall effects Modified effects Most or least acquired LUs? Why?


TASK-BASED FACTORS
Read silently + comprehension Read aloud + comprehension Read silently + reproduction Read aloud + reproduction

Design

Pretest-posttest experimental design

 Task type

Task-based L2 Lexical learning

Task frequency

First exposure Second exposure Third exposure

LEARNER-BASED FACTORS

Lexical presentation

Lexical formation Contextual elaboration

English proficiency Prior lexical knowledge

Notes: refers to the effects of independent variable on dependent variable refers to the effects of moderator variable on dependent variable

Methodology

 Subjects


4 EGs: 119 English majors (EG 1/2/3: 30; EG 4: 29) Homogenous in age, learning background, motivation. Pretests: No significant differences between 4 EGs in
1. English proficiency 2. vocabulary size, and 3. baseline knowledge of target LUs.

Methodology

 Material
A treatment text


Length: 411 words No of target LUs: 21 Coverage of known LU: 95%

Methodology

 Instruments
Pretest
4 weeks before

Experiment
1 afternoon

Posttest
After the experiment

1. TEM-4 2. V size test 3. Spelling test of target LUs

4 tasks EG1: (RS+C) 3 EG2: (RA+C) 3 EG3: (RS+R) 3 EG4: (RA+R) 3

1.V acquisition test3 2. Spelling test of target LUs 3. Interviews

Methodology

 Data collection and analysis


Data collection: in a language lab Data analysis: 1. Revised 9-scale scoring of VKS
(Wesche & Paribakht, 1996: 5-scale scoring)

2. Statistic software: SPSS

III. VKS & its 5-point scoring 5

VKS elicitation scale (Wesche & Paribakht, 1996)

Self-report categories
I. I dont remember having seen this word just now.

II. I have seen this word just now, but I dont know what it means. III. I have seen this word just now, and I think it means____________ (synonym or translation). IV. I know this word. It means _______________ (synonym or translation). I can use this word in a sentence: _____________________________ ( If you do this section, please do section VI).

V.

 VKS Scoring

(Wesche & Paribakht, 1993),

Self-report possible Categories scores Meaning of scores  I. 1 This word is not familiar at all.


II.

2 3 4 5

III.  IV.
 

V.

The word is familiar but the meaning is not known. A correct synonym or translation is given. The word is used with semantic appropriate in a sentence. The word is used with semantic appropriateness and grammatical accuracy in sentence

A 9-point scoring of VKS 9stage F 1 2 3 scoring 0 1 1.5 scheme Not familiar at all Familiar with the form + no /wrong meaning is given Familiar with the form + no /wrong meaning + copy of the original sentence Similar sense Similar sense + original /creative sentence Right sense Right sense + grammatical error in semantic presentation Right sense + copy of the original sentence/creative sentence with grammatical error Right sense + correct creative sentence

4 5 6 7

2 2.5 3 3-0.5 4 5

8 9

 Major findings & discussions




Effects of task type Effects of task frequency Effects of lexical presentations

Findings &discussions

 Effects of task type


60 50 40 30 20 10 0 RS+C RA+C RS+R RA+R Pretest Postt1 Postt1-3mean

Conclusions
1. The facilitative power of each task varied significantly from one another. 2. RS+R was the most facilitative and RA+R was the least helpful. Task type significantly affects L2 lexical learning.

 Modified effects of task type


Learning outcomes after the 1st exposure
English proficiency Level HL Subgroups N Mean SD Mini EG1(RS+C) EG2(RA+C) EG3(RS+R) EG4(RA+R) Total ML EG1(RS+C) EG2(RA+C) EG3(RS+R) EG4(RA+R) Total LL EG1(RS+C) EG2(RA+C) EG3(RS+R) EG4(RA+R) Conclusion
Total

Findings &discussions

Between-subgroup (Kruskal-Wallis) Max 59.50 56.00 71.00 54.50 71.00 36.50 59.50 65.50 50.50 65.50 36.50 51.00 60.00 46.00
60.00

Chi-square

Asymp.Sig.

10 10 10 10 40 10 10 10 9 39 10 10 10 10
40

41.10 45.10 45.25 40.70 43.04 30.50 43.90 47.85 37.45 39.92 28.45 37.85 39.95 36.50
35.67

9.60 7.16 16.28 9.54 10.95 5.88 9.28 10.15 9.32 10.78 6.01 6.30 10.15 4.45
8.15

29.50 34.50 24.00 29.00 24.00 18.00 27.50 31.00 22.00 18.00 19.00 28.50 26.00 30.00
19.00

1.303

.728

16.390

.001

9.760

.021

 Modified effects of task type


Average learning outcomes after 3 exposures
English proficiency Level HL Subgroups N Mean SD Mini EG1(RS+C) EG2(RA+C) EG3(RS+R) EG4(RA+R) Total ML EG1(RS+C) EG2(RA+C) EG3(RS+R) EG4(RA+R) Total LL EG1(RS+C) EG2(RA+C) EG3(RS+R) EG4(RA+R) Total 10 10 10 10 40 10 10 10 9 39 10 10 10 10 40 54.10 55.23 57.25 55.01 55.39 37.63 54.30 61.46 45.94 49.94 37.16 46.16 49.18 42.91 43.85 9.25 16.20 8.41 8.44 10.69 7.99 10.36 9.27 8.84 12.69 9.39 10.30 12.81 6.68 10.65 36.83 25.83 42.83 42.17 25.83 26.00 39.50 43.67 33.67 26.00 22.50 38.00 34.00 34.67 22.50 Max 70.67 75.50 68.83 66.83 75.50 46.83 72.17 75.67 58.17 75.67 48.83 67.67 73.00 53.67 73.00

Findings &discussions

Between-subgroup (Kruskal-Wallis) Chi-square Asymp.Sig.

.579

.901

19.023

.000

4.768

.190

Findings &discussions

 Modified effects of task type


 To conclude, the overall effects of task type were generally modified by English proficiency in the 4 EGs lexical learning. To be specific,
 HL : achieved similar lexical progress, regardless of the significant different effects of task type;  ML : abided by the effects of task type to the letter; and  LL : being unable to make full use of the effects of task type, keeping their lexical learning at a similar low rate.

 Effects of task type


2. Modified effects

Findings &discussions

Each EG: 3 subgroups according to their English proficiency (HL, ML, LL).
 Significant correlations between English proficiency and L2 lexical learning outcomes. ( 1st: r=.352***; Average 1-3: r=.456***)  Overall effects of task type : ---- totally rejected by HL, ----strictly followed by ML ---- abided by at the first trial and refuted at the later trials by LL.

Conclusion
Overall effects of task type were generally modified by English proficiency.

Findings &discussions

 Role of task-induced involvement taskInvolvement loads of the 4 tasks according to motivational-cognitive motivationalconstruct of task-induced involvement (Laufer & Hulstijn,2001) task-

Subjects

Tasks

Involvement load Need Search + + + + Evaluation _ _ ++ ++

Involvement Index

Rank order of learning outcomes

EG1 EG2 EG3 EG4

RS+C RA+C RS+R RA+R

+ + + +

2 2 4 4

4th 2nd 1st 3rd

Prediction:

No significant differences between EG1 and EG2 / between EG1 and EG2 Significant differences between EG(1+2) and EG(3+4)

Findings &discussions

 Role of task-induced involvement task50

50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0
RS+C RA+C RS+R RA+R

45

40

35

30

25

20

15

10

RS+C

RA+C

RS+R

RA+R

Lexical gains

involvement

Lexical gains

involvement

Predicted rank order of learning outcomes

Actual rank order of learning outcomes

 Effects of task type


3. Roles of task-induced involvement
 Motivational-cognitive construct of involvement : theoretically invalid task-based construct

Findings &discussions

 Involvement Load Hypothesis : partially supported. Optimal involvement Load Hypothesis 1) Tasks vary in their involvement: under-involving, optimal, and over-involving 2) Productive tasks are usually more involving than receptive ones. 3) Tasks with balanced integration of input and output are endowed with optimal involvement, resulting best learning outcomes.

 Findings & discussions


1. Which task most facilitates L2VA? RS+R >/RA+C

>

RA+R

>

RS+C

Optimal involved

Over- involved

Under-involved

1. Both input and output are essential to L2VA. 2. Neither mere input nor overproduction facilitates high gains in L2VA. 3. Optimal involvement is required for L2VA.

Findings &discussions

 Role of task-induced involvement taskResults of Independent Samples T-Tests

F EG1-EG2 EG3-EG4 EG 1+2 - EG 3+4 .001 6.16 1.46

Sig. .974 .016 .22

t -4.02 2.19 -1.87

df 58 57 117

Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .032 .063

Indications
1. 2. Involvement load Hypothesis: partially supported, partially rejected. Motivation-cognitive construct: problematic

 equal value for need, search, evaluation  exclusion of input-output dimension

Findings &discussions

Task-based construct of involvement


Motivational-cognitive  Input-output

Subjects Tasks Involvement load Involvement Index Evaluation +e +e ++e ++e 4 7 8 10

Need EG1 EG2 EG3 EG4 RS+C RA+C RS+R RA+R +n +n +n +n

Search ++s + ++ + +s + + + + +s + ++ + + + +s

Findings &discussions

 Effects of task frequency


1. Overall effects
 Task frequency significantly affected the 4 EGs lexical learning and the third trial led to the most progress.

Task frequency had the power to reduce involvement load and the gaps caused by the effects of task type, but the modifying effects can not override the effects of task type

Task frequency interacted with task type.

 Effects of task frequency


70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

RS+C RS+R RA+R RA+C

el in e

Ru n

Ba s

Ru n

Ru n

 Effects of task frequency

Tests of Within-Subjects Contrasts in regards to HL, ML and LLs lexical learning outcomes after each exposure Subgroup Source HL Task frequency Type III Sum of Squares df 7581.76 5017.60 4995.22 2480.62 2600.15 1939.05 1 1 1 1 1 1 Mean Square F Sig.

Task Run 1 vs. frequency Run 2 Run 2 vs. Run 3

7581.7 118.0 .000 6 9 5017.6 104.6 .000 0 5 4995.2 146.2 .000 2 8 2480.6 52.14 .000 2 2600.1 33.59 .000 5 1939.0 50.57 .000 5

ML

Task Run 1 vs. frequency Run 2 Run 2 vs. Run 3

LL

Task Run 1 vs. frequency Run 2 Run 2 vs. Run 3

Modified effects of task frequency


80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

HL ML LL

el li ne

Ru n

Ru n

Ba s

Ru n

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 BSL Run 1 Run 2 Run 3

80 70 60 50 40 30 20

80
10

RS+R RS+C

RA+C RA+R

70
0

60 50

BSL

Run 1

Run 2

Run 3

RS+R

RA+C RA+R

40 30 20 10 0 BSL Run 1 Run 2 Run 3

RS+C

LL

ML
RS+R RS+C RA+C RA+R

HL

Findings &discussions

 Effects of task frequency


2. Modified effects
   HL: no variation between subgroups: fully enjoying the overall effects ML: variations enlarged at the 2nd trial but narrowed at the third trial. LL: variations revealed at the 2nd trial but vanished at the third trial.

3. Optimal task frequency


 The 3rd exposure.

 Effects of lexical presentation


1. Overall effects

Findings &discussions

 Lexical formation and contextual elaborations significantly affected 4 EGs lexical learning. 1) Multi-word LUs were better learnt than single-word LUs. 2) Both implicit and explicit elaborated LUs were better learned than no elaborated ones.  Lexical formation and contextual elaborations not only interwove with each other, but also interrelated with, or controlled by learners prior lexical knowledge

 Effects of lexical presentation


2. Modified effects

Findings &discussions

 HL had the greatest achievements than ML and LL in the 2 types of presented LUs.  HL and ML achieved more gains in implicitly elaborated LUs, whereas LL had more progress in explicitly elaborated LU. 3. Most and least acquired LUs  Familiarity with the LU form and implicit/explicit elaborations led to the most acquired LUs, and vice versa.  Ignorance of word parts, high density of target LUs and mutual antonyms of LUs also lead to least acquired LUs.

Contributions & limitations 1. Contributions


Theoretical
   Modifying the motivational-cognitive construct of task-induced involvement motivationaltaskand Involvement Load Hypothesis Clarifying the role of input and output in task-based L2 lexical learning. taskRevealing the complexity of task-based L2 lexical learning. task-

Methodological
 Combining quantitative and qualitative methods in L2 lexical research.  Devising more valid scoring of VKS

Pedagogically
 Applying the effects of task type, task frequency, word and text factors as well as learner factors in L2 lexical teaching.

Task type
Learner factors  English proficiency
Prior lexical knowledge

Task frequency

Lexical presentation  formation  elaboration

Task-based L2 learning

Contributions & limitations 2. Limitations


Three trials of tasks may not enough for the effects of task frequency. The effects of vocabulary acquisition tests should be teased out from the effects of task frequency.

Questions and suggestions!

Thanks You!