Article published in:Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education
Vol. 2:1 (2014) ► pp. 23–52
Three factors in vocabulary acquisition in a university French immersion adjunct context
This study investigates the role of teaching, context, and repetition in the acquisition of specialized vocabulary. It involves thirteen students enrolled in a French immersion class linked to a French adjunct language course at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Based on Webb’s (2008) classification, the researchers have examined and rated the contexts in which students were exposed to a sample of thirty words in their immersion course (lectures and readings). Of these, some (n = 22) were taught explicitly over the semester and others (n = 8) were not taught, as they were words students encountered incidentally in their readings or lectures. Results in this study showed that: a) incidental exposure did not lead to vocabulary acquisition regardless of clarity of context and number of exposures, and b) explicit teaching led to differential learning outcomes not fully explained by clarity of context or number of exposures. The study concludes with a discussion of other factors affecting vocabulary learning in the immersion adjunct context.
Keywords: specialized academic vocabulary, incidental learning, French as a second language, lexical acquisition
Published online: 17 March 2014
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