SAFMEDS as an effective strategy for increasing vocabulary
ABSTRACT SAFMEDS as an effective strategy for increasing vocabulary.
J. Carl Hughes & Mike Beverley
Wales Centre for Behaviour Analysis, School of Psychology,
University of Wales, Bangor
SAFMEDS cards were used to teach Welsh vocabulary to second language learners in four year-7 classes (12-year-olds). One class was randomly allocated to a waiting list control. 200 words were selected from the curriculum to be studied that term; to establish a baseline all classes were given a pre-test to determine the number of words already known. Children in the intervention classes were given packs of Welsh-English SAFMEDS cards and required to pair up with another pupil; both were instructed to conduct a practice run followed by a 1-minute timing at the start of each 50-minute lesson (3 lessons per week). They then scored their corrects and learning opportunities and charted their data on semi-log charts. The procedure took less than 5 minutes, after which the teacher continued with the scheduled lesson. The control class received their normal Welsh classes during the same period covering the same curriculum items (and vocabulary). The intervention spanned four weeks (12 classes) of the term and was followed with a post-test of the target words for all classes. The intervention children significantly out-performed the control children. The study demonstrates that, even with brief exposure, SAFMEDS are an efficient and effective method to enhance vocabulary learning within the context of second language learning classes.
key words: SAFMEDS, vocabulary learning, precision teaching