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A Lexicographical Perspective to Intentional and Incidental Learning: Approaching an Old Question from a New Angle

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Second-language learning is a complex process that combines text reception (reading, listening) and text production (writing, talking). Applied linguistics usually distinguishes between intentional and incidental learning. The academic literature contains various definitions of these concepts, especially in connection with reading. The paper explores L2 learning from a lexicographical perspective and redefines the two terms based on parameters like flow, focus, and interruption. It then focuses on digital dictionaries integrated into e-readers, learning apps, and writing assistants, and argues that this integration, so far, has not been particularly successful due to a number of negative factors. As an alternative, the paper provides examples of how lexicographical data could be filtered and presented in pop-up windows to serve both incidental and intentional learning. The former requires instantaneous, contextualized, and discreet assistance with an absolute minimum of lexicographical data, whereas the latter presupposes easy access to relevant additional data. Finally, the paper discusses the techniques and technologies required to guarantee this approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-222
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

    Research areas

  • Context-awareness, E-readers, E-reading tools, Incidental learning, Integrated dictionaries, Intensional learning, Intuitive use, Learning apps, Lexicographical contextualization, writing assistants

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