Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30132
Experimenting the Influence of Input Modality on Involvement Load Hypothesis

Authors: Mohammad Hassanzadeh


As far as incidental vocabulary learning is concerned, the basic contention of the Involvement Load Hypothesis (ILH) is that retention of unfamiliar words is, generally, conditional upon the degree of involvement in processing them. This study examined input modality and incidental vocabulary uptake in a task-induced setting whereby three variously loaded task types (marginal glosses, fill-in-task, and sentence-writing) were alternately assigned to one group of students at Allameh Tabataba’i University (n=2l) during six classroom sessions. While one round of exposure was comprised of the audiovisual medium (TV talk shows), the second round consisted of textual materials with approximately similar subject matter (reading texts). In both conditions, however, the tasks were equivalent to one another. Taken together, the study pursued the dual objectives of establishing a litmus test for the ILH and its proposed values of ‘need’, ‘search’ and ‘evaluation’ in the first place. Secondly, it sought to bring to light the superiority issue of exposure to audiovisual input versus the written input as far as the incorporation of tasks is concerned. At the end of each treatment session, a vocabulary active recall test was administered to measure their incidental gains. Running a one-way analysis of variance revealed that the audiovisual intervention yielded higher gains than the written version even when differing tasks were included. Meanwhile, task 'three' (sentence-writing) turned out the most efficient in tapping learners' active recall of the target vocabulary items. In addition to shedding light on the superiority of audiovisual input over the written input when circumstances are relatively held constant, this study for the most part, did support the underlying tenets of ILH.

Keywords: Evaluation, incidental vocabulary learning, input mode, involvement load hypothesis, need, search.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 742


[1] E. Alcon-Solar, "Does instruction work for instruction of pragmatics in the EFL context?" System, 33(3), pp. 417-435, 2005.
[2] J. W. Best, and J. V. Kahn, "Research in education". Pearson: Allyn and Bacon. 2006.
[3] D. Brett, and M. Gonzales-Lloret, (2009). "Technology-enhanced materials," in Long, Michael H. and Catherine J. Doughty (Eds.), The Handbook of Language Teaching, Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2009, pp. 351-370.
[4] C. Canning-Wilson, "Practical aspects of using video in the foreign language classroom," The Internet TESL Journal, vol. VI, No. 11, available at:, 2000.
[5] E. Crandall, and H. Basturkmen, "Evaluating pragmatics-focused materials," ELT Journal 58(1), pp. 38-48, 2004.
[6] K. S. Folse, "The effect of type of written exercise on L2 vocabulary retention," TESOL Journal, 40, pp. 273-293, 2006.
[7] S. M. Gass, and L. Selinker, "Second language acquisition: An introductory course. (3rd ed.)," New York, NY: Routledge, 2008.
[8] A. Gilmore, "A comparison of textbooks and authentic interactions," ELT Journal, 58, pp. 362-374, 2004.
[9] L. Grant, and D. Starks, "Screening appropriate teaching materials: Closing from textbooks and television soap operas," International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 39, pp. 39-50, 2001
[10] T. Huckin, M. Haynes, and J. Coady, "Second language reading and vocabulary learning," Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1993.
[11] L. Jing and H. Jianbin, "An empirical study of the involvement load hypothesis in incidental vocabulary acquisition in EFL listening," Polyglossia, 16, pp. 1-11, 2009.
[12] Y. Kim, "The role of task-induced involvement and learner proficiency in L2 vocabulary acquisition," Language Learning, 58 (2), pp. 285-325, 2008.
[13] B. Laufer,., and J. Hulstijn, "Incidental vocabulary acquisition in a second language: the construct of Task-Induced Involvement," Applied Linguistics, 22, pp. 1-26, 2001.
[14] A. Martinez-Flor, "Analysing request modification devices in films: Implications for pragmatic learning in instructed foreign language contexts," in E. Alcon & P. Safont (Eds.). Intercultural Language Use and Language Learning, Dordrecht: Springer, 2007, pp. 245-280.
[15] T. S. Paribakht, and M. Wesche, "Enhancing vocabulary acquisition through reading: a hierarchy of text related exercise types," Canadian modern language review, 52, pp. 155-178. 1996.
[16] C. G. Penney, "Modality effects and the structure of short term memory," Memory and Cognition, 17, pp. 398–422, 1989.
[17] M. Tsubaki, "The involvement load hypothesis: An inquiry into vocabulary learning," Retrieved May 10, 2012, from 2006.
[18] W. Wong, "Modality and attention to meaning and form in the input," Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 3, pp. 345-368, 2001.