Abstract:This article focuses on the issue of the optimal on-line glossing format. Two glossing methods are compared. The first method provides readers with sentence-level translation equivalents of the second-language (L2) words. The second method connects the words with their meanings through basic dictionary forms. The main purpose of the study was to determine which of the two glossing formats is more beneficial for text comprehension and vocabulary retention. The results of the study show that retention of lexical items is better aided by reading the text with dictionary-form equivalents of the L2 words, because it involves a deeper level of cognitive processing. The situation is less clear-cut regarding the effect of the two glossing formats on global comprehension. The pedagogical implications of the data obtained are discussed.