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An Investigation of Vocabulary Learning Through Vocabulary Builder VB

Ventura, Matthew; Sabatini, John P.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Incidental Learning, Resonance Process, Contextual Informativeness, Interactivity Hypothesis, Vocabulary Builder (VB)


Vocabulary Builder (VB) is an interactive, gamelike, educational task where students are presented with unknown words in natural reading environments and required to make work meaning inferences. VB supplies sentences through an automated text selection tool that finds text proposed to promote word learning. The students’ goal is to try to supply the meaning of an unknown word based on contextual cues given in the text. Feedback is given indicating how close the students’ responses are to the meaning of the target word using natural language processing tools. Results from a pilot study of 164 students revealed significant learning gains between pre- and posttest sessions using VB. VB appears to aid in the learning of new vocabulary terms.

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