Abstract.This article reports on an empirical study that examined the efficacy of two different methods (guessing from context and a word-list method in learning French homonyms and their meanings). Twelve university students in their fourth-semester of French were assigned randomly to two groups (control group and experimental group). Cued-recall and comprehension tests were used to measure effects both one week and one month after the treatment, and to compare the ability of the two groups to retrieve and retain French words in shorter and longer spans. The cued-recall results immediately after the treatment revealed that the guessing from context method facilitated more learning of French words and their meanings, and enhanced immediate recalls in comparison to the word-list method. The delayed results (one week and one month) for both cued-recall and comprehension tests indicated that the guessing from context increased retention above the word-list method. These findings provide evidence that supports the effectiveness of exposing students to contextual methods to enhance and promote more vocabulary acquisition. The findings of the study are discussed in light of previous research, and some pedagogical implications are suggested. pp. 73–87


Keywords: learning & teaching vocabulary, L2 French, instructional and learning

methods, guessing-from-context, memorization of word-list

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