Explicit Lexical Elaboration as an Autonomy Enhancing Tool for Acquisition of L2 Vocabulary from Reading
Studies (Kim, 1996, 2006; Silva, 2000, for example) indicate that explicit lexical elaboration is the most significant technique to make the meaning of unknown words clear in the text. Through explicit lexical elaboration, definitions or synonyms of the difficult words in the text are provided after the explicit elaborative devices such as which means whereas appositive devices are used in implicit lexical elaboration. This study was an experiment to show that explicit and implicit lexical elaborative devices can serve as autonomy enhancing tools which assist L2 learners in recognizing the meaning of the unknown words in a text in the absence of dictionaries and instructors. To do the study, three groups of EFL participants (each group including 45 participants) were exposed to 30 low-frequency words by reading one of the three versions of an experimental text containing these words. A univariate factorial ANOVA was administered to analyze the data of the study. The results of the study showed that explicit lexical elaboration was the most beneficial technique in meaning recognition of L2 vocabulary in the text. It is also implied from the results of the study that the explicit elaborative device creates the best condition for learners’ autonomy in acquiring L2 vocabulary from reading.
Key words: explicit and implicit lexical elaboration; learner autonomy enhancement; meaning recognition
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