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Volume 12 Number 3, Autumn 2015, Pages 1-147 PDF Download

Effects of Massed vs. Distributed Implicit FonF on Receptive Acquisition of L2 Vocabulary Items

    Mohammad Nowbakht, Ahmad Moinzadeh, Azizollah Dabaghi

The present study investigated the comparative effects of massed vs. distributed implicit focus on form (FonF) on the students' short-term and long-term receptive L2 vocabulary acquisition. The participants (n = 45) were selected out of a population of 153 according to the result of the placement test and were randomly assigned to three groups of massed FonF, distributed FonF, and control group. The massed group was taught three short passages in which 28 target words were made typographically salient. Subsequently, they answered the comprehension questions presented after each passage during one session. The distributed group received instruction during three consecutive days. During each session they answered only one third of the comprehension questions. The control group received the same passages in which no words were made salient. The results of the immediate and delayed post-tests revealed the following: (a) both massed and distributed groups outperformed the control group in the post-tests; (b) there was no difference between the massed and distributed group in short-term vocabulary acquisition; and (c) the distributed group outperformed the massed group in the delayed post-test. These findings provide empirical evidence that Implicit FonF is beneficial to vocabulary learning; however, distributed FonF is more successful in long-term acquisition than massed FonF.

Keywords: Massed implicit focus on form; distributed implicit focus on form; receptive vocabulary acquisition; salient