Teaching Academic Vocabulary Through Reconstruction Editing Task: Does Group Size Matter?

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Chabahar Maritime University

2 University of Isfahan

Abstract

The use of collaborative classroom interactional tasks is on the rise recently since they incorporate the negotiation of meaning and thus they may be regarded as one of the most efficient ways to ease a learner’s focus on form. This study investigated the immediate and long-term effects of reconstruction editing task on the learning of 20 academic vocabulary items through using five reconstruction editing tasks. Of interest was whether the number of students in the interaction groups made any considerable difference in the gains of vocabulary knowledge in the groups under study. Based on convenience sampling, some 30 teenage students of two intermediate level classes studying Top Notch course at a language institute in Isfahan volunteered to participate in the study. Having taken a teacher-made pretest, group A with 14 students did the reconstruction editing task in pairs, but the 16 students of group B did the task in groups of four. Then, they took an immediate and a delayed posttest. Comparing the performance of each group before and after the treatment through paired samples t-test, it was revealed that both methods led to a big increase in the knowledge of vocabulary items, but no significant difference was found between the effects of these two methods as demonstrated by the immediate posttest. However, the group which did the tasks in groups outperformed the pair group in the delayed posttest which was administered one month after the immediate posttest. Thus, output tasks are advised to be utilized in reading-oriented courses such as English for Specific Purposes (ESP) to involve the learners more in the learning process and create a more learner-centered atmosphere.

Keywords