Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor, Sharif University of Technology


The study aimed at investigating whether the retention of vocabulary acquired incidentally is dependent upon the amount of task-induced involvement. Immediate and delayed retention of twenty unfamiliar words was examined in three learning tasks( listening comprehension + group discussion, listening comprehension + dictionary checking + summary writing in L1, and listening comprehension + dictionary checking + sentence writing with the target words) inducing differential ‘involvement loads’- consisting of varying degrees of need, search and evaluation. Time-on-task was kept constant among all three tasks. The results partially supported the Involvement Load Hypothesis: The sentence writing task generated the highest retention rate, a finding which is quite in harmony with the Hypothesis’s prediction. However, the other two tasks did not result in different retention rates despite equal involvement loads. These results are discussed with reference to the involvement load hypothesis and some suggestions are made as to how to improve and revise the original theory.


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