Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Developing Vocabulary for Specific Purposes and Reading Comprehension Using CALL – Student Opinion Questionnaire

Elle Sormus, Tallinn Health Care College (Estonia)

Kateriina Rannula, Tallinn Health Care College (Estonia)


In the context of learning language for specific purposes, vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension are receiving increased attention. The underlying reasons according to David Nunan (1999) are the influence of comprehension-based approaches to language development and the exciting possibilities opened up by the development of computer-based language learning possibilities. [1]. It has been pointed out by several researchers that there is a significant relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension. [2], [3].

Modern language learning is closely connected to using computer technologies with an intention of supporting learning. Most research on vocabulary acquisition and computer assisted language learning (CALL) has focused on the effects of using multimedia glosses and the same on reading comprehension, although multimedia is not used only for that single purpose. [2]. For example, multimedia resources (combination of text, pictures, sound, tables, graphs, simulations, videos) help learners become aware of their previous knowledge through meaningful communication.

Research was conducted among the students of Tallinn Health Care College in order to acquire knowledge about what is considered the most important in terms of vocabulary learning and reading comprehension. The answers to the questionnaire revealed that when reading texts for specific purposes, online dictionaries are used as a first tool, but as they sometimes fail to provide an exact term, images are searched from the Internet to clarify the term, sometimes followed by watching relevant explanatory videos. Furthermore, several graphs and other visual help were mentioned as helpful tools for the students.

Undoubtedly, lecturers should encourage the use of CALL tools not only in language lectures but also  in speciality lecturers to help students acknowledge the benefits of integrating technology into learning process.




[1] Nunan, D. (1999). Second Language Teaching & Learning. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

[2] Constantinescu, A., I. Using Technology to Assist in Vocabulary Acquisition and reading Comprehension. The Internet TESL Journal.

(01.06. 2015)

[3] Toscu, A. and J. Coady. (2004) Successful Learning of Frequent Vocabulary through CALL also Benefits Reading Comprehension and Speed. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 17 (5), pp. 473-495.




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