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Writing as a Vocabulary Learning Tool

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Chapter Summary

In the early to mid-1970s, researchers and authors began to examine the impact of writing on learning. Since that time, the research on writing-to-learn has shown that, although writing may produce positive learning results, the relationship of writing to learning is complex. Learning vocabulary is a challenge for most students. Vocabulary acquisition competes for time with other aspects of language learning. This chapter establishes that research indicating a strategic orientation towards vocabulary acquisition is beneficial. It describes a study examining vocabulary from a strategic perspective. Particularly, the impact of writing exercises on the acquisition of second language vocabulary. The chapter also explores the differences between receptive and productive vocabulary learning. This is related to implicit and explicit instruction. Implicit instruction was popularized by Krashen's (1985) Input Hypothesis, which was rebutted by Swain (1985). The results suggest that teachers and students make use of both of these orientations.

Keywords: Krashen's Input Hypothesis; productive vocabulary learning; receptive vocabulary learning; second language vocabulary; Swain; vocabulary acquisition; writing-to-learn



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