The Comparative Effects of L1 Equivalent versus Contextualized Vocabulary Instruction: EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Retention in Focus

  • Hamed Barjesteh Islamic Azad University, Amol, Iran
  • Salimeh Alinia Omran Islamic Azad University, Amol, Iran
Keywords: Vocabulary, First Language, Contextualized Vocabulary Learning, Vocabulary Retention


This study sought to compare the effectiveness of learning words in context versus translation on vocabulary retention of forty-five EFL learners. They were divided into three groups as two experimental and one control group. The experimental groups used L1 equivalent and contextualized vocabulary instruction. The first experimental group received Persian translation of the predetermine word, and the second experimental group received 60 sentences in which they need to fill the gap by target words. As a note of caution, the words considered to be the most frequent vocabularies extracted from reading passages of the students' textbooks.  Before the intervention, a pre-test of vocabulary was conducted to check the students’ knowledge of vocabulary. The data were collected during a period of seven weeks by a post test and a delayed test. The findings revealed that using L1 equivalents could not improve EFL learners' vocabulary retention; however, incorporating contextualized vocabulary instruction promote EFL learners' vocabulary retention. The findings may help EFL teachers and material developers note that vocabulary learning does not happen in isolation. This study suggests that EFL students should take the advantage of contextualized vocabulary instruction for retention of new words.


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How to Cite
Barjesteh, H., & Alinia Omran, S. (2019). The Comparative Effects of L1 Equivalent versus Contextualized Vocabulary Instruction: EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Retention in Focus. AJELP: Asian Journal of English Language and Pedagogy, 7(1), 38-49.