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The effect of content retelling on incidental vocabulary acquisition for Chinese EFL learners

Jingyi Jin, Shuguang Li

Article ID: 1461
Vol 4, Issue 1, 2022, Article identifier:147-162

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As the foundation of English learning, the acquisition of vocabulary has always been a hot topic in the fields of second language acquisition and foreign language teaching. Contrasted with intentional vocabulary acquisition, incidental vocabulary acquisition (IVA) relates to lexical gains as a by-product of main cognitive activities. In the field of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) in Chinese high schools, the incidental acquisition of English vocabulary has increasingly attracted the academic attention in recent years. However, few empirical studies have focused on the incidental acquisition of English vocabulary engendered by doing content retelling tasks. In light of the inadequacy, this study adopted the quality audio-visual material as input and content retelling as output (forming an input-output-input circle), aiming at exploring the effect of retelling on Chinese high school EFL learners’ IVA. Results indicated that learners who retold the content of the audio-visual material between two viewings can pick up more words. In this process, the attempted use of new words in oral reproduction plays a positive role in strengthening the immediate acquisition and long-term retention of the target words.


incidental vocabulary acquisition; audio-visual material; content retelling; pick up and retention

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