Examining the influence of frequent appearance of unknown words and critical thinking on inferencing their meaning

2016 IJRSLL – Volume 5 Issue 1


Farahanynia, Mahsa*
Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran (M.farahanynia85@yahoo.com)

Nasiri, Morteza
Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran (Mortezanasiri85@yahoo.com)


The influence of repetition of an unknown word on incidental vocabulary learning has always been one of the areas that have attracted the attention of researchers in the vocabulary domain. Although different aspects of inferencing have been studied, the relationship between the repetition of an unknown word in the context and the inferencing of its meaning from the context has not been fully studied by researchers. Another point is that inference is one of the sub-skills of critical thinking, and there may be some relationship between critical thinking and lexical inferencing, but no study on this issue has been undertaken. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate these two relationships. To this end, 68 intermediate learners of English as a Foreign Language participated in this study. They took three inferencing tests which were constructed by the authors of this study. In these tests, the unknown words were repeated once, and three and five times respectively. In order to measure critical thinking ability of the participants, the Persian version of Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) Form A was utilized. The results of repeated-measures ANOVA indicated that the repetition of the unknown words had significant effects on the lexical inferencing. This implies that, as the number of times an unknown word is repeated increases, the probability of the learners’ ability to infer its meaning properly increases. It was also found that there is a significant relationship between critical thinking and lexical inferencing.

Keywords: lexical inferencing; critical thinking; repetition; Watson-Glaser critical thinking appraisal; EFL learners; frequency


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrsll.2015.1077

*Corresponding Author