Guessing Word Meaning from Context Has Its Limit: Why?

Ahmad Azman Mokhtar, Rafizah Mohd Rawian


This study highlights the relationship between guessing strategy and the acquisition of passive and controlled active vocabulary knowledge among Malaysian university students. Two strategies make up the guessing strategy in this study namely using backward knowledge and using linguistic cues. Vocabulary Learning Questionnaire was used to measure the preference level of guessing strategy as one of the vocabulary learning strategies. Simultaneously, their passive and controlled active vocabulary knowledge were assessed using the Vocabulary Levels Test. 360 university students aged between 18 to 21 years old were involved. Though guessing strategy was preferred by the students as their vocabulary learning strategy, it does not help them in improving their passive and controlled active vocabulary knowledge. Further discussion focuses on the possible reasons why guessing strategy does not work for them. This paper concludes with a discussion on the pedagogical implications of the results.

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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