Effectiveness of Context-Based Strategy for English Learning among Chinese Middle School Students


Context-based strategy
Context clues instruction
Word recognition
Direct instruction
Contextual analysis




Currently, a growing number of educators are aware of the need to look for new approaches to replace the “spoon-feeding” method. Therefore, the context-based strategy began to emerge. This study aims to investigate how students derive information through contextual clues by examining the progress of Chinese middle school EFL students in terms of word recognition. The participants of this study included 20 eighth grade students from the same middle school. The participants sat for two different quizzes: a contextual vocabulary quiz (quiz A) and a direct instruction quiz (quiz B). In quiz A, the participants inferred the meaning of the target words from the example sentences, whereas in quiz B, the students utilized the accompanying English explanation to guess other new words. These students were in the experimental and control conditions, respectively. The two quizzes comprised of 15 multiple choice questions (MCQ) which differentiated the participants’ word recognition response to two different learning methods. There were two significant findings from this study. First, the results showed that the context-based strategy leads to a better vocabulary learning performance compared to the direct instruction strategy. Second, although it is not as effective as the context-based strategy, the direct instruction strategy may assist EFL learners in remembering words in short term.


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