Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate professor at Tabriz University, Tabriz, Iran

2 English Teaching Department, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran

3 Department of Language and Foreign Literatures, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran


One of the main ways to acquire unfamiliar words is to make guesses about words meaning. This study investigates the comparative effects of pictorial annotations and morphological instructions on Iranian EFL learners’ lexical inferencing ability. Considering homogeneity issues using PET (Preliminary English Test), the researchers assigned the participants into two experimental and one control groups. All groups took a vocabulary self-report test before the treatment. The treatment contained 6-weeks long reading texts tasks with 40 underlined and boldfaced target words. Groups differed as one experimental group was taught mainly through the annotated pictures technique while the other experimental group through the aid of morphological analysis of unknown words and the control group receiving the traditional root vocabulary learning technique. The results of a one-way analysis of variances (ANOVA) between the self-report vocabulary test and a piloted researcher-made lexical-inferencing post-test revealed no significant difference in performances of morphological instruction group and control group. The results also indicated that the pictorial annotation group significantly outperformed the morphological group on inferring the unfamiliar lexical items. It can be concluded that the outcomes of this study may provide insights to EFL teachers as well as students on how to best approach guessing target words while reading a text.


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