A comparative investigation into effects of L1 lexicalization and cultural loadedness on incidental vocabulary acquisition and retention

2014 IJRSLL – Volume 3 Issue 5


Heidari-Shahreza, Mohammad Ali*
University of Isfahan, Iran (maheidari.sh@gmail.com)

Moinzadeh, Ahmad
University of Isfahan, Iran (moin@fgn.ui.ac.ir)

Barati, Hossein
University of Isfahan, Iran (h.barati@gmail.com)


Of primary importance to this study was to compare the incidental acquisition and retention of non-lexicalized (NL) and culturally-loaded (CL) words by 90 Persian-speaking EFL learners. An NL word was defined as an English word which despite bearing the same meaning(s) could not be translated with one single word in the learners’ L1 (i.e. Persian). CL words also referred to the lexical items which despite the same primary meaning(s) in both languages (i.e. Persian and English), bore significantly-different cultural connotations. The findings revealed that both NL and CL words were significantly different in the semantic aspects of vocabulary knowledge such as meaning and associations. Nevertheless, NL words were more sensitive to the number of repetition. It seems both groups of words may cause extra difficulty for EFL learners. Thus, the researchers recommend that language teachers have a special focus on such troublesome words through an intensive, systematic recycling program.

Keywords: non-lexicalized words; culturally-loaded words; vocabulary knowledge; Persian language; EFL learners


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrsll.2014.698

*Corresponding Author