Comparing the Effects of Direct and Indirect Learning Strategies on Iranian EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Learning

Ali Taghinezhad, Maral Azizi, Sedigheh Shahmohammadi, Fateme Saneie Kashanifar, Mahboobeh Azadikhah


Vocabulary is vital to English language teaching since without a sufficient knowledge of vocabulary students are not able to understand others or to express their ideas. Therefore, several indirect and direct strategies have been proposed to improve vocabulary learning. Whether indirect or direct strategies can contribute more to vocabulary learning has been a significant issue. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the influence of indirect and direct learning strategies on the vocabulary learning of Iranian EFL learners. To this end, ninety upper-intermediate students were selected from two English language institutes in Shiraz, Iran. Students were divided into two experimental groups. One experimental group (A) received vocabulary instruction using direct learning strategies and the other group (B) received vocabulary instruction using indirect learning strategies. After the instruction the students were required to take a vocabulary examination. The results indicated that students who received vocabulary instruction using indirect strategies outperformed their counterparts in the other group. Implications of the findings are also discussed at the end of the study.


direct/indirect learning strategies, vocabulary instruction, vocabulary knowledge, vocabulary acquisition

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