優點為：(1) 增加閱讀速度、(2) 增強閱讀信心、(3) 簡易閱讀理解、(4) 注意到語境線索使用、 (5) 加強考試作答能力。其中，(1)選擇有趣且相關的閱讀題材，以及(2) 合作式的同儕學習，提昇其語境學習動機和效果。 學習限制分面為：(1) 字彙（能力）不足、(2) 誤用語境線索、(3) 語境線索不明顯、 (4) 練習不充足、 (5) 個人缺乏學習意願。質性分析結果亦反映影響教學成功的要素為: (1)應用學習反思於策略教學過程、 (2)關心學習者情意因素、 (3)合作式教學、 (4)適當的選材 、(5)系統且引導式的練習。
In the EFL learning context, learners always encounter unknown words in pleasure reading and academic course work. This study was theorized upon the notions of explicit instruction, strategy-based instruction and second/ foreign language learning to bring learners in the technology-oriented university the learning experience of word-solving strategies from context. The researcher hopes that the proposed guidelines can help EFL teachers to incorporate in their daily lessons context-based instruction for inferring the meaning of unknown words.
The quasi-experimental study aimed to investigate the immediate and delayed effects of a fifteen-week context-based instruction on EFL learners in a technological college, in terms of the ability to infer word meanings and reading comprehension, the perception of strategy use and knowledge use for unknown words, as well as the reactions to the benefits and limitations of contextual analysis. Quantitative data included a set of pretests, immediate posttests, and delayed posttests on word inferencing, reading comprehension, self-evaluation survey, and vocabulary strategy questionnaire. Qualitative data were collected from the retrospective written descriptions of guessing processes and learners’ periodical reflective journal entries. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with repeated measures, analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures and a non-parametric test were the three major statistical techniques chosen for this study.
Findings are summarized as follows. Firstly, the effects of treatment were substantially meaningful. The two experimental groups outperformed the comparison group on word inferencing ability, reading comprehension, strategy and knowledge use immediately after the instruction. While the treatment groups at different proficiency level benefited from instruction, the more proficient group suppressed the less capable group. Secondly, the students in the experimental groups and the comparison group used world knowledge (i.e. prior knowledge) frequently for guessing prior to instruction. While the experimental groups’ use of context clues increased in frequencies and varied in types (i.e. discourse knowledge, grammar knowledge, and morphological knowledge) immediately after instruction, the comparison group did not change the way of guessing. Thirdly, while each of the groups degraded with time, the delayed effects still maintained. Finally, qualitative analysis of the learners’ reflective journal entries indicated that learners benefited in: (a) increasing their reading speed, (b) facilitating their reading comprehension, (c) enhancing their confidence and sense of achievement in reading English, (d) developing awareness of context clues surrounding the unknown words, and (e) developing problem-solving ability on tackling test questions. They enjoyed the classroom activities involving (a) selection of appropriate and relevant materials, and (b) cooperative learning on guessing and learning. The limitations of using context clues were identified as: (a) insufficient vocabulary (b) misuse of context clues, (c) insufficient textual clues, (d) insufficient practice, and (e) lower motivation.
This study concludes that inferring word meaning from context is amenable to explicit instruction for a semester and could be a complement for vocabulary acquisition. It further recommends that contextual inferencing be integrated into the reading classes as part of the strategy instruction in EFL learning context.