A Review of CALL and L2 Reading: Glossing for Comprehension and Acquisition

A Review of CALL and L2 Reading: Glossing for Comprehension and Acquisition

Lance R. Askildson (University of Notre Dame, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/ijcallt.2011100104
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This paper provides a comprehensive review of the present state of second language reading research and computer-assisted glossing for reading comprehension and vocabulary acquisition. Although computer-assisted language learning, in general, and computer-assisted glossing, in particular, are often cited as facilitative pedagogical and self-study tools for second language reading development (Chun, 2001; Al-Seghayer, 2003; Ko, 2005; Blake, 2007; Stockwell, 2011), the state of computer-assisted glossing research presents a much less compelling and far more nuanced picture of efficacy and facilitation (Ariew & Ercetin, 2004; Bowles, 2004; Taylor, 2006, 2009; AbuSeileek, 2008; Sato & Sazuki, 2010). Research on glossing for reading comprehension presents a mixed collection of findings suggesting facilitation (Leffa, 1992; Lomicka, 1998; Ko, 2005) and inhibition (Hegelheimer, 1997; Plass et al., 2003; Akbulut, 2005; Sakar & Ercetin, 2005), although affective and attentional benefits of glossing for reading comprehension are widely acknowledged. On the other hand, research on incidental vocabulary acquisition as a result of glossing – and particularly multimedia glossing – suggests significant effect and a compelling rationale for ulitization of glossing tools in classroom and self-study contexts (Ariew & Ercetin, 2004; AbuSeileek, 2008; Taylor, 2009; Stockwell, 2011; Aljabri, 2011).
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Reading And Multimedia Processing

Models of Interactive Reading Processes

Contemporary models of interactive reading are the summative result of a tenuous affirmation of the roles for both bottom-up and top-down language processing in reading development. While traditional bottom-up accounts of reading have emphasized the need for linguistic competence of vocabulary and syntax in order to decode text linearly (Gough, 1972; LaBerge & Samuels, 1985), top-down reading has stressed the importance of background knowledge and schema development in cognitive inferencing through contextual cues and hypothesis testing (Goodman, 1967, 1988; Smith, 2004). With early attempts by Rumelhardt (1977) and Stanovich (1980) to promulgate an integrated model of bottom-up and top-down reading, contemporary reading research largely acknowledges the necessary application and interaction of these two reading processes (Grabe, 1991, 2002, for a review). As a result, current reading pedagogy highlights such concern just as these same foci have largely served to direct the research and pedagogy of hyperglossing by aiding in the development of both decoding and cognitive inferencing. Thus, hyperglossing provides textual/pictorial translations of vocabulary or phrasal units for improved decoding alongside extratextual media (text, imagery, sound and/or video) that provide background knowledge necessary for schema development and top-down inferencing. In addition to such appropriate placement within current approaches to L2 reading pedagogy, however, hyperglossing also exploits an acquisitional-learning mechanism unique to the interactive multimedia reading platforms of CALL.

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