Keywords: Incidental vocabulary acquisition, input hypothesis, lexical processing strategies, retention
This article tends to investigate the lexical processing strategies adopted by 12 elementary level participants while doing reading-for-comprehension activities together with the effectiveness of these strategies on the retention of new vocabulary items in incidental vocabulary acquisition. The participants who took part in the research studied at an English Preparatory School in Turkey. Through these procedures, incidental vocabulary acquisition through reading for-comprehension tasks were aimed to be investigated since the Input Hypothesis suggests that incidental learning of vocabulary can be attained through reading. During the reading process, the adopted strategies were investigated through the introspective data gathered by the researcher. Later, the participants attended to a reading comprehension process and finally the participants participated in a post-test which is known to be the „Vocabulary Knowledge Scale‟. Through this scale the rate of retention of the participants for each vocabulary item was identified in accordance with related scoring procedures. The adopted strategies were then categorized in relation to the cognitive processing styles. Through this treatment the effectiveness of retention through implicit and explicit processing in incidental vocabulary acquisition was examined. The findings suggest that implicit processing strategies result to be more effective in terms of incidental vocabulary acquisition.