Thi Cong Dung Nguyen


Vocabulary is believed to be stored in memory through phonological and semantic routes (Papagno, Valentine & Baddeley, 1991). As such, learners can encode words by repetition or by inferring their meaning in a context. However, the effectiveness of the two techniques for learning vocabulary, namely rote rehearsal and context-based strategy, in acquiring foreign language vocabulary has been controversial and hence has encouraged more empirical evidence. This study was conducted to investigate which of these two techniques had the greater impact on students’ vocabulary retention. The results revealed that the vocabulary retention of learners in the context-based strategy outperformed those in the rote group at both test intervals. Although the differences between the two groups in the delayed test failed to reach significance, their outstanding results in the immediate test were much more striking. The findings, therefore, suggested that context was more favorable for achieving word meanings than rote rehearsal in general.


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