Raising Cultural Awareness through Implicit Exposure to Culturally-loaded Vocabulary

Mohammad Ali Heidari-Shahreza


The study explored the possible effects of exposure frequency on implicit acquisition of culturally-loaded words. In the context of the study, culturally-loaded words were defined as those L2 words which had significantly-different cultural connotations with respect to learners' first language (and culture). Within a quasi-experimental research design, 75 adult EFL learners took part in the study. Their gains in three culture-related aspects of lexical knowledge, through implicit exposure to target words, were measured. The findings confirmed that exposure frequency had a positive effect on vocabulary knowledge as a continuum of one to seven encounters could tell. In addition, it was revealed that receptive knowledge of meaning and form (RMF) as well as receptive knowledge of associations (RA) responded faster to implicit exposure than productive knowledge of associations (PA). Furthermore, whereas gains in vocabulary knowledge for RMF and RA were significant even after three encounters, for this latter subknowledge, at least seven encounters were needed to reach significant results.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijch.v1i2.5824


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