Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Farahnaz Faez


Vocabulary development is significant for mastering a second/foreign language. There are several approaches for vocabulary instruction, including glossing. Glossing is a context-based technique that represents information on target words via definitions, explanations, synonyms, pictures, sounds, and videos. Glossing can also be used electronically through texts, pictures, audios, and video/animations. Studies on different gloss combinations in multimedia learning environments have led investigators to inconclusive findings. The present study examined which mode(s) of gloss presentation (L2 definition, aural, and video/animation) is effective for learners’ short and long-term vocabulary learning and retention. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, 132 intermediate language learners formed one control and three experimental groups. The experimental groups received target words in different glossing modes; the control group received no glossing instruction. ANCOVA and paired samples t-test were used to analyze the pre/post-test data. Learners’ attitudes and perceptions towards glossing modes were also examined through a questionnaire and interviews. The results showed that glossing was significantly more effective than non-glossing strategy for participants’ short-term retention in both productive recall and multiple-choice productive recognition tests; and partially effective for their long-term retention. Additionally, in both vocabulary measurements, L2 definition and video/animation glossing as well as L2 definition and audio glossing were more effective than L2 definition alone for most test sessions; but since L2 definition alone was also effective for few test sessions, the findings cannot be generalized largely. The results of the questionnaire and interviews showed that the participants preferred L2 definition and video/animation glossing over the two other modes.