Cognitive Load Framework: An Alternative to The Involvement Load Hypothesis




cognitive load, depth of processing, ESL learning, involvement load, vocabulary


Achieving an acceptable degree of proficiency in any language is no doubt threatened by the daunting task of mastering a bulk of new vocabulary items. Although incidental reading is often considered an invaluable source of vocabulary learning, it seems to be such a slow and error-prone process that it needs to be supplemented with explicit instruction. In order to design and assess practical activities for vocabulary learning and retention, researchers have presented several techniques and models, from which the Involvement Load Hypothesis appears to be the most popular and of widespread use by ELT practitioners. The current paper presents a detailed criticism of the Hypothesis, arguing that it is unclear in identifying the model components, making the determination and measurement of the involvement load of learning tasks rather tricky. Therefore, the current paper suggests an alternative model, namely the Cognitive Load Framework, which is claimed to be more clearly operationalized, more conveniently practicable, and more easily measurable. 


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