受試者共計59位國中生，他們隨機被分配為四組:一組控制組，一組傳統教學組及兩個任務組 (一組為較重涉入負荷，另一組為較輕涉入負荷。所有的受試者都要經歷三階段的實驗過程:前測、實驗介入及立即後測與延宕後測。使用七種工具來探討學習成效: 兩種用來檢視英語及中文形義對應記憶的傳統字彙評量工具及五種檢視語義關係及受試者參與任務想法的開放式另類工具。傳統字彙評量工具為一個翻譯測驗及一個字彙知識量表，而開放式另類工具則用來檢視兩個任務組的學習成效:包含字彙語義圖活動、一個問卷、任務說明問題、面談及小組錄音。
;Vocabulary is widely acknowledged as a central component in second language learning. The content of vocabulary instruction, however, is often restricted to conveying form-meaning correspondences of individual items of vocabulary without attention to other crucial aspects such as semantic relations that each word holds with other words in the target language. In addition, how vocabulary is incorporated in pedagogical practice has been largely limited to decontextualized techniques such as memorizing through word lists or flashcards. This directly limits how the learners learn vocabulary in the target language: mainly through memorization. This implies that little attention is paid to the authentic uses of vocabulary. This thesis aims to provide two areas of contribution: concerning content, it focuses on learning the lexical semantic relations among words in English (e.g., anger is a kind of emotion); it approaches this content using a task-based approach through a task that incidentally requires learners to seek, find, and use the semantic relations among English words.
Fifty-nine junior high school students were divided into four groups: one control group, one conventional instruction group, and two task groups (a higher involvement load group and a lower involvement load group). All the participants experienced three-phase sessions: pre-test, intervention, immediate post-test, and delayed post-test. Seven types of instruments were used for investigation of learning gains: two conventional vocabulary assessments solicited the retention involving L2-L1 correspondence and five open-ended alternative instruments for exploring knowledge of lexical semantic relations and the participants’ opinions toward the task. Conventional vocabulary assessments consisted of a translation test and Vocabulary Knowledge Scale whereas open-ended alternative instruments solicited data from the two task groups including a vocabulary semantic maps activity, a questionnaire, task-clarification question, interviews and group recordings.
Contrasting outcomes were yielded from these two types of instruments. The conventional instruction group outperformed the other three groups in the two conventional vocabulary assessments. This outcome reflects that the conventional instruction directly prepared the students for item-based word knowledge, such as L1 translation equivalents. The task-based participants showed that the involvement load made a difference in the lexical semantic relations they could express in their semantic maps. They also showed effects of the task-based learning in the questionnaire, task-clarification question, interviews and group recordings. The results suggest that drawing learners’ attention to lexical semantic relations within the target language in the curriculum might cultivate the learners’ elaboration competence. Moreover, tasks of more involvement load seem to induce deeper elaboration than the tasks of lower involvement load. In short, the findings suggest that more focus might be put on meaning relations among words and that teachers may embed such authentic tasks in the curriculum, especially the tasks of higher involvement load.