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Abstract: Kaushik

During second language (L2) vocabulary teaching and learning, intralingual strategies using target language synonyms, definitions or linguistic contexts are often preferred over interlingual strategies using first language (L1) and L1 equivalents (Liu, 2008). The popular direct method and communicative language teaching approaches discourage any contact with the L1 in order to avoid interference from the L1 (Hummel, 2010). But research shows that the L1 is active during L2 lexical processing, both at the beginner and advanced levels. Therefore, the L1 can be effectively used to facilitate L2 vocabulary acquisition (Bruton, 2007).

A number of studies deal with the issue of effectiveness of using L1 and translation in L2 vocabulary acquisition but there is no study that looks into this issue in the context of German vocabulary acquisition by the native speakers of English. With the aim to fill this gap, this project compares the effectiveness of the two teaching conditions: German definitions of German words and English equivalents of German words, and discusses the role of L2 proficiency level in the recall of L2 words under the two conditions.

As there is a scarcity of research dealing with the use of English in German vocabulary acquisition, this presentation will be a step forward in establishing that this L1-L2 combination deserves further investigation like other L1-L2 combinations investigated in previous studies. This presentation will also demonstrate the effectiveness of the use of L1 in L2 vocabulary instructions and how it varies according to the proficiency level of L2 learners.


Keywords: L1, L2, German, English, vocabulary



Bruton, A (2007). Vocabulary Learning from Dictionary Reference in Collaborative EFL Translational Writing. System, 35, 353-367

Hummel, K.M. (2010). Translation and short-term L2 vocabulary retention: Hindrance or help?. Language Teaching Research, (14(1), 61-74

Liu, J. (2008). L1 Use in L2 Vocabulary Learning: Facilitator or Barrier. International Education Studies, 1(2), 65-69