Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
An experiment involving 78 seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-grade Swedish students from two Swedish comprehensive schools was conducted over a four-week period in order to investigate the correlation between different kinds of learning through vocabulary tasks and the learning of new vocabulary. In addition, this research project also investigated the students' ability to retain learned vocabulary over a four-week period and the influence of contextual similarity between tests and texts on vocabulary learning.
The immediate results of this study suggest that for a short instructional period explicit learning through explicit vocabulary tasks is the most effective way for learning vocabulary independently of the "context" factor. However, even if implicit groups benefit greatly when the factor "same context" is present, the evidence from this research project suggests that teaching vocabulary implicitly is the least profitable method to use when instructional time is an issue.
The longitudinal part of the experiment provided evidence favourable to the use of a combination of both "implicit" and "explicit" learning (or alternatively only explicit learning) when the long-term retention of vocabulary is the prime goal. As for the effect of context, the factor "same context" was found to help all experimental groups in retaining vocabulary. However, groups which experienced explicit learning or a combination of both implicit and explicit learning show consistently a higher performance than those groups who experienced only implicit learning.