Supporting Word Retrieval From Memory
The Rbcmodel And Productive Vocabulary Learning
I-Hsin Liu |
Research Unit ‘Language and Education’, KU Leuven, Belgium
This study investigated the effect of two meaning-oriented communicative tasks on L2 learners’ consolidation of new vocabulary met in a reading text on a familiar topic, building on the premises underlying the Dreyfus and Tsamir (2004) ‘Recognising, Building-with, and Constructing’ (RBC) model. Students in four lower intermediate EFL classes participated in the pre-test (of vocabulary size) post-test experimental study. Some of them only read the new text before taking an immediate and a delayed word retention test (control group); others read the text and afterwards completed comprehension questions (meaning-oriented receptive task). Still others, in addition, wrote a text similar in structure and contents to the input text while using the target words (meaning-oriented productive task). The fourth student group completed all three tasks consecutively. Our results show the superiority of the guided writing task over the ‘reading + comprehension questions’ and the ‘reading only’ conditions. On a theoretical level, content familiarity is shown to be an important mediator variable in early stages of vocabulary processing and consolidation.