Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

E-mail this page

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: The Effect of Interaction on the Comprehension and Acquisition of New Lexical Items by Kindergarten E.S.L. Learners Add Dissertation
Author: Rick Heimbach Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Temple University, Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology in Education
Completed in: 1993
Linguistic Subfield(s): Applied Linguistics;
Subject Language(s): English
Director(s): Rod Ellis
James Brown
Philip Evanson
John LeBourgeois
Gladys Valcourt

Abstract: This study investigates the effect of interaction on the comprehension of input containing new lexical items and the acquisition of these new lexical items. Fourteen kindergarten English as a second language (ESL) students and a native-English-speaking teacher participated in the study which incorporated a pretest-posttest design in two rounds. All subjects completed the pretests and posttests. An experimental group of 11 subjects participated in four communication tasks (one individual task and one group task in each of the two rounds) which comprised the treatment phase of the study while the remaining 3 subjects formed the control group. New lexical items were embedded in the task instructions. As a result of each communication task, each subject received an interaction score based on the number of negotiations for the meanings of new lexical items he or she initiated. The comprehension score was based on the degree to which the task was successfully completed. The acquisition score was obtained by comparing pretest and posttest results. The results reveal that the amount of interaction the subjects initiate is significantly, but inconsistently, related to comprehension but appears to be unrelated to acquisition. Furthermore, comprehension appears to have no effect on subsequent acquisition which, however, does take place. The results support the claim that negotiated interaction can facilitate comprehension. However, this is tempered by evidence, also found in the present study, which supports the claim that teachers' elaborations can confuse learners and impede comprehension. Finally, the results offer confirming evidence for the claim that classroom interaction can facilitate comprehension for those learners who are exposed to the interaction as well as those learners who actually engage in the interaction.