Volume 4, Issue 3 December 2021, pp. 82–102
What constitutes vocabulary learning difficulty? A classroom-based study of semantic relatedness and L1 familiarity effects on L2 word learning
There has been a plethora of studies investigating the effect of semantic relatedness on second language (L2) word learning.However, most prior studies failed to control for the lexical properties of target words, which may be responsible for the mixed results yielded. This study, therefore, sets out to revisit this issue by controlling for L1 familiarity, one of the lexical factors confirmed to impact L2 learnability. Another goal of this study is to explore the extent to which semantic relatedness interacts with L1 familiarity, thus helping us determine the suitable condition under which word learning takes place. Towards these two aims, four sets of English target words matched in length were created (i.e.,words of high/low L1 familiarity placed in semantic related/unrelated set). For each set, after the timed learning session, an immediate posttest and an unannounced one-week delayed posttest, both of which measured the receptive knowledge of the target words, were administered to forty-one English as foreign language (EFL) learners. The results showed that (a) semantic relatedness negatively affected L2 word learning on the delayed posttest only, regardless of L1 familiarity status, suggesting a robust hindrance effect; (b) L1 familiarity persistently served as a facilitative force, as it aided the acquisition of both semantically related and unrelated word sets on both posttests; (c) similar L1 familiarity levels might result in additional interference. Our findings highlight the complex interplay between these two input-related variables.
© Hanzhong Sun, Shaohua Fang
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Sun, H., & Fang, S. (2021). What constitutes vocabulary learning difficulty? A classroom-based study of semantic relatedness and L1 familiarity effects on L2 word learning. Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4(3), 82–102. https://doi.org/10.29140/ajal.v4n3.545
Intercultural education in times of restricted travel: Lessons from the Gaza Strip
Maria Grazia Imperiale
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 19 April, 2021, Volume 4(1), 22–38.
"I don't want to be stereotypical, but..."
Norwegian EFL learners' awareness of and willingness to challenge visual stereotypes
Cecilie Waallann Brown
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 20 December, 2019, Volume 2(3), 120–141.
"Writing like a health scientist": A translingual approach to teaching text structure in a diverse Australian classroom
Sue Ollerhead, Isobel Crealy, Rebecca Kirk
Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics Published: 30 April, 2020, Volume 3(1), 77–90.
(Mis)use of e-mail in student-faculty interaction: Implications for university instruction in Germany, Saudi Arabia and Japan
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 30 April, 2013, Volume 9(1), 23–57.
(Re)imagining a course in language and intercultural communication for the 21st century
Adriana Raquel Diaz, Paul J. Moore
Intercultural Communication Education Published: 29 December, 2018, Volume 1(3), 83–99.
3D digital games, virtual worlds, and language learning in higher education: Continuing challenges in Japan
Robert Swier, Mark Peterson
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 December, 2018, Volume 14(3), 225–238.
A case study of using Facebook in an EFL English writing class: The perspective of a writing teacher
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 December, 2014, Volume 10(3), 189–202.
A comparative analysis of face to face instruction vs. Telegram mobile instruction in terms of narrative writing
Jamshid Heidari, Farzaneh Khodabandeh, Hassan Soleimani
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 August, 2018, Volume 14(2), 143–156.
A comparison of computer-mediated peer corrective feedback between high and low-proficiency learners in a Japanese EFL writing classroom
Bradley D. F. Colpitts, Travis Hunter Past
The JALT CALL Journal Published: 31 August, 2019, Volume 15(2), 23–39.