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Contextualized Vocabulary Learning

Language Learning & Technology Volume 22, Number 3, ISSN 1094-3501


While vocabulary development is mostly peripheral to entertainment or socialization, there are opportunities for explicit learning which can complement incidental learning. In fact, recent work based on usage-based language theories calls for a combination of inductive learning and explicit instruction (Ortega, 2015; Tyler & Ortega, 2018). A common denominator in current views and practices concerning vocabulary learning is the recognition of the centrality of context, whether that be in independent reading, watching, or listening in the L2; interacting with other L2 users online (social media, gaming, fanfiction, etc.); accessing sample expression use through corpora; using L2 material supplied with glosses or other comprehension and learning assistance; or encountering and learning new words through everyday conversations in the target language. Contextualized encounters are likely to enhance the chances of retention, as words and expressions are used in meaningful, and therefore more memorable, ways. In this column the author will look at different online contexts of language use that enable vocabulary expansion and enrichment.


Godwin-Jones, R. (2018). Contextualized Vocabulary Learning. Language Learning & Technology, 22(3), 1-19. Retrieved October 19, 2019 from .

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