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Learning L2 vocabulary from audiovisual input: an exploratory study into incidental learning of single words and formulaic sequences

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Television is considered an important source of comprehensible input for second language learners of English and there is some evidence that L2 words can be learned incidentally by watching television. Few studies have looked at the role of TV viewing for learning formulaic sequences, despite the ubiquity of formulaic sequences in spoken English, and the importance of formulaic language in the development of second language proficiency. This study aims to find out whether single words and formulaic sequences can be learned incidentally by watching English language television, and whether learners’ prior vocabulary knowledge and item-related factors affect the learning process. Data were collected from 20 English as a foreign language (EFL) learners (L1 = Dutch) in their first year at university. A pre-test post-test within-subject design was adopted. Learning gains were measured at three levels of sensitivity: a form recall test, a meaning recall test and a form recognition test. The results indicate that single words and formulaic sequences can be learned incidentally from TV viewing and that the learning is mediated by item- as well as learner-related factors.
Journal: Language Learning Journal
ISSN: 0957-1736
Issue: 4
Volume: 47
Pages: 424 - 438
Publication year:2019