The Effects of Task Type and Task Involvement Load on Vocabulary Learning

Mandana Hazrat


Vocabulary learning has been a challenging task for Iranian EFL learners. Forgetting and inability to
use the learnt words productively are their common problems. In order to assist Iranian English
teachers and material developers to satisfy the learners’ needs, this study put the Involvement Load
Hypothesis and the Depth of Processing Hypothesis into practice. The former emphasises the impact
of a task’s determining factor for vocabulary learning including a combination of need, search, and
evaluation of the new words, which is called task involvement load, whereas the latter focuses on the effect of the task type on vocabulary learning. To this end, 39 adult Iranian EFL university students in three groups learnt 10 unfamiliar words via three types of tasks with the same involvement load including reading plus multiple-choice glosses, sentence writing and oral sentence production. Learning and remembering the new words were measured using the immediate and delayed productive and receptive vocabulary tests. The results suggested that, being equal in terms of the involvement load, the writing task resulted in more long-term productive vocabulary learning
compared with the reading and speaking tasks. The speaking task was the least effective one
regarding its impact on vocabulary learning.


The involvement load hypothesis; the depth of processing hypothesis; active vocabulary learning; passive vocabulary learning

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DOI: 10.15663/wje.v20i2.189


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© Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, 2015