Consciousness-raising versus explicit grammar teaching and their impact on Iranian EFL learners’ lexical inferencing

Document Type: Original Article


Islamic Azad University, North Branch


 The present study attempted to investigate the impact of sentence-level grammar instruction, explicitly and through consciousness-raising, on Iranian EFL learners’ lexical inferencing behavior and subsequent learning of inferred vocabulary. It also aimed at examining the relationship between the number of used knowledge sources and success in lexical inferencing. To address these issues, a quasi-experimental study with a mixed design involving two treatment groups and one control group was conducted. The participants were 47 adult learners at intermediate proficiency level. A counterbalanced design was utilized to eliminate the effect of the topic familiarity on the learners’ performance. Retrospective data were collected from eight participants, as well. Further, the eight participants were divided into two groups (successful and less successful) in order to identify the differences between the two groups’ lexical inferencing behavior. The findings indicated that sentence-level grammar instruction could place learners in a better position to infer the meaning of unfamiliar words more successfully and also could help them recall the inferred vocabulary better. The results are significant due to the controversy surrounding teaching grammar; moreover, they confirm the positive role of the number of knowledge sources in the lexical inferencing success.