2020 Volume 31 Pages 129-144
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of gloss types on incidental vocabulary learning. Twenty-nine Japanese university students took part in this experiment. Each participant performed reading tasks in English with 4 gloss conditions. These conditions were as follows: (a) a single meaning bracketed in the text, directly after the glossed word; (b) a single meaning listed at the bottom of the page, containing the glossed word; (c) multiple-choice options immediately after the glossed word (requiring readers to select the correct meaning based on the context); and (d) multiple-choice options at the bottom of the page, containing the glossed word. After task completion, the participants took an unexpected retention test regarding the glossed target words. The results suggested that multiple-choice gloss is more effective than single gloss and that the larger the vocabulary size learners have, the more effective their learning from glossed contexts becomes. This paper also discusses the pedagogical implications for vocabulary learning with glosses.