Effects of a Pop-up Dictionary Interface on Students’ Vocabulary Retention and Attitudes towards Reading Literary Works

Morvarid Movahedi, Hossein Zabihi Shourkaee


This study investigated how intermediate-level English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students’ attitudes toward literary works were impacted by employing an online English pop-up dictionary (PD) function for every unknown word in the text. To that end, an attitude questionnaire and a semi-structured interview were employed. Moreover, a pre-test post-test quasi-experimental design was adopted to examine students’ immediate and long-term vocabulary retention after receiving their specified treatments. The control group was provided with an electronic dictionary (ED) software for use while reading through their documents, whereas the experimental group tracked the texts enjoying the benefit of a PD feature. The findings suggested that both PD and ED are useful tools for intermediate level EFL students’ immediate vocabulary retention, yet not of significant efficacy for long-term recall. Furthermore, in terms of the two forms of vocabulary retention, the PD users showed no significant difference from the ED users. With respect to students’ attitudes, the results revealed that both the PD and ED users fostered a better attitude toward reading literary works, yet as compared with ED, PD proved statistically more significant to the betterment of students’ attitudes. The present study has implications for considering the facilitative role of English pop-up dictionary interfaces in online language pedagogy.


Reading, Literary works, Pop-up Dictionaries, Attitude

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