FREDA M. HOLLEY (Ph.D., Univ. of Texas, Austin) is Coordinator, Dept. of Educational Development, Austin Ind. School District, Austin, Texas. She has taught German at Huntsville High School, Hunts-ville, Alabama, and has received an Office of Education Fellowship in a Multidisciplinary Educational Research Specialist Training Program. She is a coauthor of “Vocabulary Glosses in Foreign Language Reading Materials,” Language Learning, 21, No. 2, and “Imitation and Correction in Foreign Language Learning,” MLJ, 55 (Dec. 1971). Her professional affiliations include AATG, National Society for the Study of Education, and the American Educational Research Assoc
A Study of Vocabulary Learning in Context: The Effect of New-Word Density in German Reading Materials*
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
© 1973 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 6, Issue 3, pages 339–347, March 1973
How to Cite
Holley, F. M. (1973), A Study of Vocabulary Learning in Context: The Effect of New-Word Density in German Reading Materials. Foreign Language Annals, 6: 339–347. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.1973.tb02613.x
The project reported herein was performed pursuant to a grant from the U. S. Office of Education, Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare. The opinions expressed herein, however, do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U. S. Office of Education, and no official endorsement by the U. S. Office of Education should be inferred.
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
ABSTRACT An implicit assumption in foreign language reading material preparation has been that new-word density should be kept low. The original hypothesis of the study reported here was that there would be a maximum facilitating density with respect to vocabulary acquisition and other factors. Several sources had suggested that a density of one new word per thirty to thirty-five known words might be the desirable maximum. Seven new-word densities ranging from one new word per 150 known words to one per fifteen known words were investigated. Results failed to support the original hypothesis: vocabulary learning continued to increase through the full range of densities investigated, and no consistently significant effects of new-word density on comprehension, reading time, or student ratings of the material's difficulty or enjoyability were found.