Incidental Vocabulary Learning Through Information-Loaded and Negotiation-Oriented Tasks

Roya Khoii, Somaye Ashuri


The present study aimed to investigate the effects of implementing two innovative speaking tasks, namely, information-loaded and negotiation-oriented tasks, on the incidental vocabulary acquisition of advanced Iranian EFL learners. To this end, an experimental research was conducted in an English language institute with 30 homogeneous advanced EFL learners randomly divided into two experimental groups. Experimental group I performed some information-loaded tasks using thirty five texts as speaking aids for implementing multicultural experiences, and experimental group II performed some negotiation-oriented tasks utilizing seven argumentative sentences for each topic to promote divergent thinking processes. At the end of the treatment, a vocabulary post-test and a questionnaire were administered to measure the effects of the treatments on the students’ incidental vocabulary knowledge and attitude to the performed tasks in each group. The statistical analysis of the data revealed that the information-loaded tasks group had significantly outperformed the negotiation-oriented tasks group on the vocabulary post-test and had a significantly more positive attitude to the tasks they performed in their class. This study offers some implications for the development of a sizable and profound knowledge of vocabulary in an effortless and pleasant manner. It also fulfils the need of EFL teachers and material developers in their search for some effective activities and techniques that can help to improve EFL learners’ incidental vocabulary knowledge.



Incidental vocabulary learning; Information-gap tasks; Information-loaded tasks; Negotiation-oriented tasks; Opinion-gap tasks

Full Text:



Abidin, M., Pour Mohammadi, M. & Alzwari, H. (2012). EFL students’ attitudes towards learning English language: The case of Libyan secondary school students. Asian Social Science Journal, 8(2), 119–134.

Albert, A., & Kormos, J. (2004).Creativity and narrative task performance: An Exploratory Study. Language Learning, 54, 277–310.

Carter, R. (2007). Racism and psychological and emotional injury: Recognizing and assessing race-based traumatic stress. The Counseling Psychologist, 35, 116–125.

Chiu, C., & Hong, Y. (2005). Cultural competence: Dynamic processes. In A. Elliot & C.A. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and competence (pp. 489–505). New York: Guilford.

Chacón-Beltrán, R., Abello-Contesse, C., & Torreblanca-López, M. M. (eds.). (2010). Insights into non-native vocabulary teaching and learning. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Chua, R.Y.J. (2015). Innovating at cultural crossroads: How multicultural social networks promote ideas flow and creativity. Singapore: Singapore Management University.

Chua, R.Y.J., Morris, M.W., & Mor, S. (2010). Collaborating across cultures: The role of cultural metacognition and affect-based trust in creative collaboration. Working Paper. Harvard Business School.

Cheng, C., & Leung, A. K. (2013). Revisiting the multicultural experience–creativity link: The effects of perceived cultural distance and comparison mind-set. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 475–482.

Dufficy, P. (2005). Becoming in classroom talk. Prospect, 20(1), 59–81.

Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford University Press.

Fakeye, D. (2010). Students’ personal variables as correlates of academic achievement in English as a second language in Nigeria. Journal of Social Sciences, 22(3), 205-211.

Fernández Dobao, A. (2014). Vocabulary learning in collaborative tasks: A comparison of pair and small group work. Language Teaching Research, 18(4) 497–520.

Fuente, M. J. (2006). Classroom L2 vocabulary acquisition: investigating the role of pedagogical tasks and form-focused instruction. Language Teaching Research, 10(3), 263–295.

Gass, S. (1999). Discussion: incidental vocabulary acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 21, 319–333.

Hess, N. (2001). Teaching large multilevel classes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Hulstijn, J. H., & Laufer, B. (2001). Some empirical evidence for the involvement load hypothesis in vocabulary acquisition. Language Learning, 51, 539–558.

Hunt, A., & Belgar, D. (2005). A framework for developing EFL reading vocabulary. Reading in a Foreign Language, 17, 23–59.

Joe, A. (1998). What effects do text-based tasks promoting generation have on incidental vocabulary acquisition? Applied Linguistics, 19, 357–377.

Kara, A. (2009). The effect of a learning theories unit on students’ attitudes towards learning. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 34(3), 100–113.

Karimi, F. (2010).The effect of using information-gap tasks on Iranian EFL lexical development. Retrieved from http: // pub/articles/English language learning -ell/index.html

Krashen, S. (1989). We acquire vocabulary and spelling by reading: Additional evidence for the input hypothesis. The Modern Language Journal, 73, 440–464.

Leung, A. K., Maddux, W. W., Galinsky, A. D., & Chiu, C. (2008). Multicultural experience enhances creativity: The when and how. American Psychologist, 63(3), 169–181.

McDonough, J., Shaw, C., & Masuhara, H. (2013). Materials and methods in ELT: A teacher's guide (3rd ed.). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Nassaji, H., & Tian, J. (2010).Collaborative and individual output tasks and their effects on learning English phrasal verbs. Language Teaching Research, 14 (4), 397–419.

Nation, I.S.P. (2013). Designing reading tasks to maximize vocabulary learning. Applied Research on English Language, 3(1), 1–8.

Newton, J. (2001). Options for vocabulary learning through communication tasks. ELT Journals, 55(1), 30–37.

Newton, J. (2013).Incidental vocabulary learning in classroom communication tasks. Language Teaching Research, 17(2), 164–187.

Nunan, D. (1989). Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Nunan, D. (2004). Task-Based Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pennycook, A. (2007). Global Englishes and transcultural flows. London: Routledge.

Pica, T. (2005). Classroom learning, teaching, and research: A task‐based perspective. The Modern Language Journal, 3, 339–352.

Pica, T., & Doughty, C. (1985). The role of group work in classroom second language acquisition. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 1, 233-48.

Prabhu, N. S. (1987). Second language pedagogy. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Restrepo Ramos, F. D. (2015). Incidental vocabulary learning in second language acquisition: A literature review. PROFILE Issues in Teachers' Professional Development, 17(1), 157-166.

Read, J. (2004). Research in teaching vocabulary. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24, 146–161.

Reider. A. (2003). Implicit and explicit learning in incidental vocabulary acquisition. Views, 12, 24–39.

Robinson, K. (2005, July). The arts: A lifetime of learning. Symposium conducted at the National Forum of Education Policy, Denver, CO.

Roy, J., & Carter, V. (2013). Elementary teacher perceptions of teaching practices that foster creative thinking in students. Inquiry, 14, 75–94.

Runco, M.A. (2010) Divergent thinking, creativity and ideation, in J.C. Kaufman and R.S. Sternberg (Eds) The Cambridge handbook of creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schmitt, N. (2008). Instructed second language vocabulary learning. Language Teaching Research, 12(3), 329–369.

Shintani, N. (2012). Input-based tasks and the acquisition of vocabulary and grammar: A process-product study. Language Teaching Research, 16(2), 253–279.

Silvia, P. J., Winterstein, B. P., Willse, J. T., Barona, C. M., Cram, J. T., Hess, K. I., Martinez, J. L., & Richard, C. A. (2008). Assessing creativity with divergent thinking tasks: Exploring the reliability and validity of new subjective scoring methods. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 2, 68–85.

Swain, M. (1985). Communicative competence: Some roles of comprehensible input and comprehensible output in its development. In S. Gass & C. Madden (Eds), Input in second language acquisition, Newbury House, Rowley, Mass.

Swain, M. (2005). The output hypothesis: Theory and research. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language, 471–483. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Tang, E., & Nesi, H. (2003). Teaching vocabulary in two Chinese classrooms: school children’s exposure to English words in Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Language Teaching Research 7(1), 65–97.

Tarone, E. (2014). Enduring themes from the interlanguage hypothesis. In Z.-H. Han & E. Tarone (Eds.), Interlanguage: 40 years later (pp. 7-26). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Ting Hung, H. (2015).Intentional vocabulary learning using digital flashcards. English Language Teaching, 8(10), 107_112.

Tuan, L. T. (2011). An empirical research on self-learning vocabulary. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 1(12), 1688–1695.

Ur, P. (1996). A course in language teaching: Practice and theory. Cambridge:

Vasu, S, & Dhanavel, P.S. (2015). Understanding the attitude of ESL learners to vocabulary learning. Calidoscópio, 13, 218-226.

Vosoughi, H., & Mehdipour, Z. (2013). Effects of recognition task and production task on incidental vocabulary learning of Iranian EFL learners. International Research Journal of Applied and Basic Sciences. 4(2), 359–363.

Webb, S., & Chang, C.-S. (2015). How does prior word knowledge affect vocabulary learning progress in an extensive reading program? Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 1-25.

Woolfolk, A. (2009). Educational psychology (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.

Zeeland,H,& Schmitt,N .(2013).Incidental vocabulary acquisition through L2 listening: A dimensions approach. System 41, 609-624.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2021 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.