2008 Volume 10 Issue 1 Pages 25-37
The present study investigated effective tasks for incidental vocabulary acquisition through reading. The research was based on The Involvement Load Hypothesis presented by Laufer and Hulstijn (2001). The hypothesis is formed to compare one task with another task in terms of the effectiveness of L2 vocabulary tasks. They proposed the factors of Need, Search and Evaluation when words are processed incidentally and showed that tasks with higher involvement could lead to better vocabulary acquisition. The present study was designed to verify The Involvement Load Hypothesis, controlling the time constraint on tasks. The subjects of the experiment were Japanese university students learning English as an L2. There were two groups: a receptive task group with low involvement load and a productive task group with high involvement load. As the result, the latter demonstrated relatively better retention of the target word meanings, indicating that the task with higher involvement can be more beneficial to vocabulary acquisition.