|Budget Amount *help
¥1,807,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,390,000、Indirect Cost: ¥417,000)
Fiscal Year 2010: ¥845,000 (Direct Cost: ¥650,000、Indirect Cost: ¥195,000)
Fiscal Year 2009: ¥962,000 (Direct Cost: ¥740,000、Indirect Cost: ¥222,000)
The purpose of the whole research is to investigate whether some aspects of already-known words are incidentally learnt through reading. In order to achieve this goal, I conducted a preliminary research in 2009. That is, using known words to learners (i.e., learners know at least one meaning of each word), I checked to what degree Japanese university students have knowledge about those words. I selected words belonging to level 1 in JACET8000, and I also check these words have more than one meanings. The results of this preliminary research suggested that regardless of students' vocabulary sizes (learners knowing more than 3000 words or learners knowing about only 2000 words), they know core meanings better than non-core meanings. Furthermore, correlation coefficients between the estimated vocabulary size, the knowledge about core meaning, and the knowledge about non-core meaning suggested that all of them had significant correlations, but the partial correlation coefficients between t
he estimated vocabulary size and the knowledge about non-core meaning was not significant. These results do not indicate strong relationship between having more vocabulary size and knowing more than one meaning of word knowledge. However, the shortcoming of this study is that the degree of knowing the target words differed greatly between the participants. Hence, the results of this research suggest the necessity of conducting research about the mechanism of known words before investigating the effect of incidental learning in detail.
Based on the results above, I conducted another study. I selected four words that have two or more Japanese translation words both in core meanings and non-core meanings. I also checked the relatedness of these Japanese translation words, and compared which affected the learners' knowledge more, the types of meaning (core or non-core) or the relatedness. The results showed that coreness affected the learners' vocabulary knowledge, but the relatedness did not. Hence, core meanings are more easily acquired than non-core meanings, which is along the line with what the cognitive linguists have been claiming.
Next, I conducted another study based on the above results. Focus was on the core and non-core meaning, and I examined how Japanese EFL learners interpreted the target words, when they knew the core meaning but did not know the non-core meaning. I have already collected the data, but it is still under analysis. Less