Focus on form and vocabulary acquisition in the Spanish L2 classroom

Luke Plonsky, Shawn Loewen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study examined lexical development from an interactionist perspective. More specifically, we investigated student gains in seven specific vocabulary words as a function of their frequency of occurrence and the type and amount of focus on form episodes related to them. Pretests and posttests were given to an intact class of second-year Spanish students to assess their gains for the seven words. Each day of class was recorded and transcribed to enable corpus- and interaction-based analyses of target word use whether in isolation or within focus on form episodes. We present the results of overall (quantitative) and more finely-grained, word-by-word (qualitative) analyses, both of which indicate the insufficiency of any single variable to predict lexical development, thus providing support for multifaceted and mixed-method approaches to the understanding and research of vocabulary acquisition. Finally, the results are discussed in relation to models of L2 vocabulary learning, within the interactionist framework in particular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalLIA Language, Interaction and Acquisition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Focus on form
  • Interaction
  • Mixed-methods
  • Second language
  • Spanish
  • Vocabulary acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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