Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English, Imam Khomeini International University, Iran


Objective: The involvement load hypothesis posits that the higher the involvement load of a task, the more effective it will be in improving students’ lexical learning. It does not differentiate between the different components of involvement load (need, search, and evaluation). Nor does it assume that the type of words to be learnt has any role in the effectiveness of tasks with different involvement load indices. This study compared the effect of the components of task involvement load on the comprehension, production, and retention of concrete and abstract words.
Methods: Sixty upper-intermediate students were assigned to two groups. One group received a task in which the search component was dominant, the other group received a task (with the same overall involvement index) in which search was not present, and the evaluation component was the determining factor of task difficulty. A pretest, posttest, control group design (quasi-experimental method of research) was used to address the research questions.
Results: One-way MANOVA results on the immediate posttest were in line with ILH predictions, showing no significant differences between tasks with equal involvement indices. On the other hand, the delayed posttest results showed that in case of receptive knowledge, there was a meaningful difference between abstract and concrete vocabulary, and the search group outperformed the evaluation group. However, the results of the productive posttest showed that the evaluation group outperformed the search group in abstract words.
Conclusions: The findings can have significant implications for language learners, teachers, materials designers, and researchers.


Main Subjects

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