This study investigated Turkish as foreign language learners’ awareness and use of Turkish derivational affixes as a knowledge source in guessing the meanings of unknown words in written contexts. In addition, this study also examined the type of knowledge sources used in guessing the meaning of the unknown words. The study was conducted with the participation of 10 B1(Threshold, Pre-intermediate) which is based on Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages, level students at the Turkish Language Teaching and Application Center (TÖMER) at Gaziosmanpasa University, Turkey. The data were gathered through think aloud procedures. The participants were asked to read a passage and try to infer the meanings of 10 target words that included derivational affixes. The participants were tape-recorded during the think aloud procedures. The tape recordings were transcribed in order to analyze the data gathered from the participants. The data analysis involved reading and rereading of the tape scripts. Then, knowledge sources were identified and classified, and the participants’ successful and unsuccessful uses of Turkish morphology were examined. According to the result of the study, Turkish affixes are not effective knowledge sources in determining the meanings of unknown words. Among the knowledge sources used by the participants, Discourse/Text knowledge had the highest percentage (52.0%) and grammatical knowledge had the lowest (0.0%). The result of this study suggests that Turkish suffixes especially derivational affixes had a minimum affect in inferring the meanings of unknown words in context.
Key words: Guessing strategies, knowledge sources, Turkish derivational affix, vocabulary learning.
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