Uncovering the role of learning ecology in explaining students’ engagement in informal L2 learning activities in digital online environments
Guoyuhui Huang

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/9781914291050-7

In: Proceedings of the XXIst International CALL Research Conference (pp. 47–54)
Edited by Jozef Colpaert, Yijen Wang, Glenn Stockwell (2022)


Abstract

Productive vocabulary refers to retrieving and applying the words in speaking and writing. It forms the basis for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners to express themselves accurately and fluently. Recent years have witnessed a growth of publications examining the effects of the Involvement Load Hypothesis (ILH) on productive vocabulary performance, although with somewhat mixed results. The present study explored whether ‘repetition’ could complement the ILH in improving EFL learning of productive vocabulary. Correspondingly, two WeChat Applets (Applet 1.0 and Applet 2.0) were designed to help Chinese EFL learners apply productive vocabularies in the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examination. Applet 1.0 was chiefly developed based on the ILH. Applet 2.0 was developed based on ILH with the additional support of repetitive reading activities. Specifically, learners studied with Applet 1.0 merely encountered each target item once. By contrast, learners studied with Applet 2.0 would meet each required vocabulary eight times. Fifty Chinese college students, divided into a control group (CG, n = 26) and an experimental group (EG, n = 24), participated in the present study. Both groups were asked to write a composition every week while learning with different applets (CG learned with 1.0 and EG studied with 2.0). Three paragraph writing tests, namely pre-test, post-test and delayed-test were administered to assess their productive vocabulary proficiency. We found the EG significantly outperformed the CG in terms of the post-test and delayed-test. Therefore, it was concluded that repetition and ILH were indeed compatible, which could result in better productive vocabulary acquisition.

Suggested citation:

Huang, G. (2022). Uncovering the role of learning ecology in explaining students’ engagement in informal L2 learning activities in digital online environments. In J. Colpaert, Y. Wang, & G. Stockwell (Eds.), Proceedings of the XXIst International CALL Research Conference (pp. 47–54). London: Castledown Publishers. https://doi.org/10.29140/9781914291050-7