Skip to content
Conference proceedings

Inferring word meaning from context: A study in second language acquisition

Huckin T, Jin Z ...see all
  • 1


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.
  • N/A


    ScienceDirect users who have downloaded this article.
Sign in to save reference


A study investigated the ability of native-Chinese-speaking graduate students (N=18) at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh to infer word meanings from context in two passages written in English. One passage came from the "China Daily" and the other from an editorial in a student newspaper. Glosses were provided for the few non-target words, and 20 words in each passage were chosen for the study. All subjects were given the article from the "China Daily" and were asked to follow three steps: (1) to guess, in either English or Chinese, what the target word meant; (2) to translate the text into Chinese; and (3) to explain what strategies the student used to guess word meanings. Subjects were then divided into control and test groups. The test group was given 15 minutes of training in how to guess the meaning of unfamiliar words in context. The control group did not receive any training. Then, all subjects followed the same three steps with the other passage. The general observations resulting from the study are reported. (DJD)

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

There are no full text links


  • Thomas H. Huckin

  • Zhendong Jin

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below