1 Professor, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch

2 Ph.D. candidate, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch


Framed in a cognitive approach to task-supported L2 vocabulary learning, the
present study used a pedagogical approach to investigate the relative effectiveness
of tasks with different involvement loads on the vocabulary knowledge of Iranian
EFL learners. The goal was to investigate the way that the construct of
involvement load is related to the Input Hypothesis (Krashen, 1985) and the
Output Hypothesis (Swain, 1996) to see whether the involvement load or
input/output-orientation of tasks is the determining factor in task effectiveness. A
quasi-experimental design with a pretest-treatment-posttest sequence was used in
this study. The participants were 127 university students from four General
English classes at Islamic Azad University, Mobarakeh Branch, who were assigned
to four instructional groups. Contrary to the predictions of the Involvement Load
Hypothesis (Laufer & Hulstijn, 2001), the results of the study indicated that
involvement load is not the only determining factor in task effectiveness, but
input/output-orientation of tasks is also a decisive parameter in task effectiveness.
While Laufer and Hulstijn’s proposal is a valuable first step towards building a
theory of vocabulary learning, the results of the study indicated that involvement
index may well not function independently of the task type, i.e., input or output
orientation of a word-focused task.


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