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Computer-Assisted Synonymous Phrase Learning: A Feasible Approach to Lexical Development

, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan

IJCALLT Volume 9, Number 2, ISSN 2155-7098 Publisher: IGI Global


It is not uncommon to see lists of semantically equivalent phrases in pedagogical materials. However, empirical investigations of the effect of synonymous phrase learning on vocabulary development are rarely attempted. The current study promotes computer-assisted synonymous phrase learning by introducing PREFER, a corpus-based paraphrasing system. The organized information including synonymous phrases, Chinese translations, usage patterns, and example sentences would help EFL learners develop vocabulary knowledge in terms of form, meaning, and use. The performances of 49 EFL first-year college students were evaluated using a 15-set multi-select test. The results showed that students consulting PREFER made greater progress than those consulting existing online tools. The improvements of the less proficient students were especially significant, which was to be expected. More importantly, the analyses of learners' errors indicated that their learning difficulties primarily resulted from the lack of attention to word form and the function words (i.e., word form and use) while learning vocabulary.


Chen, M.H. (2019). Computer-Assisted Synonymous Phrase Learning: A Feasible Approach to Lexical Development. International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, 9(2), 1-18. IGI Global. Retrieved February 28, 2021 from .