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The Positive Effects of Writing Practice on Integration of Foreign Words in Memory

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Abstract

The effect of copying foreign language vocabulary words and/or pronouncing them aloud while attempting to learn their English counterparts was investigated. In Experiment 1, writing practice enhanced written recall of the foreign words in response to their English equivalents. Recall of the foreign words in the oral modality was not influenced by these variables. In Experiment 2, when recall of English words was measured, neither variable was found to have a significant effect. In Experiment 3, written free recall of foreign language words was found to be enhanced by writing practice, whereas associative recall, as measured by a matching test, was not reliably influenced by this variable. The overall pattern of results is interpreted as supporting the view that copying foreign language words assists in the formation of memory codes for their written forms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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... Several studies have looked at whether writing words in intentional vocabulary learning activities contributes to learning. Thomas and Dieter (1987), Webb and Piasecki (2018), and Candry et al. (2017) found that word writing contributed to FL vocabulary learning, whereas Barcroft (2006) found a negative effect of word writing on vocabulary learning. However, these studies investigated writing words in carefully controlled conditions. ...
... These studies provide some indication of whether copying the written form of a word from a visual cue leads to gains in knowledge of form-meaning connection of target items. Thomas and Dieter (1987) examined the effects of word writing in three experiments in which native English-speaking participants encountered French-English word pairs three times. During the experiments, participants wrote each French word twice in a word writing group while the other group simply viewed the word pairs. ...
... This prediction is supported by the Encoding Hypothesis, which emphasizes the positive effect of encoding information on language learning (Carrier, 1983;Di Vesta & Gray, 1972). In addition, several studies (e.g., Candry et al., 2017;Thomas & Dieter, 1987) have indicated that writing words contributes to vocabulary gains. ...
Article
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There has been little research investigating the effects of notetaking on foreign language (FL) learning, and no studies have examined how it affects vocabulary learning. The present study investigated the vocabulary written in notes of 86 students after they had listened to a teacher in an English as a foreign language (EFL) class. The results showed that 51.2% of participants took notes, and 32.6% wrote information about target words in notes. However, there were only 95 instances of information written about the 28 target words. The results revealed that the odds of vocabulary learning were 15 and 10 times higher in the immediate and delayed posttests for target words that were written in notes. The analysis also indicated that the use of first language (L1) translation in teacher speech increased the chances that target words were written in notes, and that writing words in notes was the most effective predictor of learning.
... The RDO hypothesis predicts negative effects for this type of output. Thomas and Dieter (1987) conducted a study on word writing among English-speaking learners of L2 French. The results of their first experiment indicated that word writing positively affected performance on an English-to-French translation task using scoring based on complete words (W) and complete words plus words with one letter wrong (Wϩ(W -1)) but not based on scoring that included word fragments (Wϩ(W -1)ϩF). ...
... The combined findings of Thomas and Dieter (1987) and the present study also suggest that the effects of word writing may depend upon experimental paradigm and methodology. Whereas Thomas and Dieter found positive effects for word writing on some measures and null effects on others, the present study revealed negative effects for word writing using LPSP-written scoring. ...
... Three potentially critical differences between the present study and Thomas and Dieter's (1987) study concern task difficulty, presentation format, and scoring. First, more target words were used in Thomas and Dieter's study, but the inclusion of an additional repetition for each word and an additional 4 seconds for every repetition may have resulted in a less demanding vocabulary learning task than that of the present study. ...
Article
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This study examined effects of word writing on second language vocabulary learning. In two experiments, English-speaking learners of Spanish attempted to learn 24 Spanish nouns while viewing word–picture pairs. The participants copied 12 target words and wrote nothing for the other 12 target words being studied. Productive vocabulary learning on immediate and delayed (2 days later) measures was higher in the no-writing condition. These findings suggest that this type of forced output without access to meaning can detract from word learning by exhausting processing resources needed to encode novel lexical forms.
... Structural elaboration is defined as the "increased evaluation of an item with regard to its (phonemic, graphemic) structure" (Barcroft, 2002, pp.323-324). Examples of a task requiring structural elaboration are counting letters in a word, crossing out vowels in a word, or copying a word (Barcroft, 2002;Thomas & Dieter, 1987). Previous research shows that acquisition of the word form is facilitated by such tasks (Barcroft, 2002;Thomas & Dieter, 1987). ...
... Examples of a task requiring structural elaboration are counting letters in a word, crossing out vowels in a word, or copying a word (Barcroft, 2002;Thomas & Dieter, 1987). Previous research shows that acquisition of the word form is facilitated by such tasks (Barcroft, 2002;Thomas & Dieter, 1987). Nakata (2006) hypothesized that the Low-First Method would be more effective and efficient if structural elaboration were incorporated into the corrective feedback, providing a new kind of feedback. ...
... Fewer access times and less study time are interpreted to indicate more efficient learning. 1 It will be hypothesized that +structural condition will result in significantly fewer access times and less study time than the -structural based on findings from Thomas and Dieter (1987) and Barcroft (2002). These two studies demonstrate that elaborate processing of structural properties of a word facilitates acquisition of its spelling. ...
Article
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The spacing effect is known to be one of the most robust phenomena in experimental psychology, and many attempts have been made to realize effective spaced learning for L2 vocabulary learning. This study, by incorporating structural elaboration as corrective feedback, attempts to improve a computer program for L2 vocabulary learning based on the Low-First Method, an algorithm which was developed to realize optimal spaced learning. The present experiment revealed that although structural elaboration did not contribute to effectiveness or time-efficiency, it significantly decreased the number of errors during learning. The effects of corrective feedback were also found to interact with individual differences in learners.
... In an L1 vocabulary study, Gathercole & Conway (1988) found an advantage for oral repetition on a word recognition test. In the only L2 vocabulary study we are aware of, Thomas & Dieter (1987) compared the merits of writing words down and saying words out loud. They concluded that written repetition resulted in better retention of word-form than oral repetition. ...
... As such, our findings seem consistent with the Lexical Quality Hypothesis (Perfetti & Hart, 2002): learners had access to orthography, phonology and semantics in the written repetition condition and, as a result, were able to create more complete lexical representations of the new vocabulary than in the two other conditions. In addition, the results seem to be consistent with previous research establishing that immediate form recall was better for words which had been written down (Candry et al., 2017;Elgort et al., 2016;Thomas & Dieter, 1987). The effect observed in the present study was slightly smaller than the effect observed in Candry et al. (2017). ...
... For the most part, however, the advantage of the writing condition was short-lived. It should be noted that previous studies on the effects of word writing either did not include a delayed form recall test (Elgort et al., 2016;Thomas & Dieter, 1987), or delayed this test by only one day (Candry et al., 2017). In our study, the superiority of word writing had disappeared after a one-week interval. ...
Article
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Structural elaboration, i.e. increased attention to word-form, can aid an L2 learner in retrieving the form of a newly learned word (Barcroft, 2002), which is crucial for language production. However, the possibilities for developing meaningful interactions with the form of new words are rather limited. Previous research has proposed word writing as a structural elaboration technique (e.g. Candry, Elgort, Deconinck, & Eyckmans, 2017; Eyckmans, Stengers, & Deconinck, 2017) and has demonstrated that word writing promotes L2 word-form retrieval as compared to a semantically elaborative condition (Candry et al., 2017; Elgort, Candry, Boutorwick, Eyckmans, & Brysbaert, 2016). The advantage of word writing with reference to other structurally elaborative conditions has not been investigated yet. Therefore, the present study compared a written repetition condition with a condition in which learners said the new L2 vocabulary out loud repeatedly. 67 Dutch-speaking learners of German learned 24 unknown German words in one of these two conditions or a control condition. Both immediate and delayed measures of word knowledge were administered. The results showed that immediate form recall is marginally better when words are learned through written repetition than through oral repetition, though this advantage disappeared after one week. When it comes to meaning recall and implicit word knowledge, no differences between the two conditions were observed.
... A pesar de que Atkinson (1975) especuló con que la mnemotecnia de la palabra clave podría presentar un efecto positivo sobre el aprendizaje de los sujetos, independientemente de que éste se midiese, tanto a través de tareas de recuerdo receptivo como productivo, los trabajos posteriores fueron incapaces de encontrar un efecto positivo en relación con el aprendizaje productivo, cuando dicha estrategia es aplicada directamente sobre el material (Ellis y Beaton, 1993;Press1ey y Levin, 1981;Press1ey, Levin, Hall, Miner, y Berry, 1980;Sweeney y Bellezza, 1982;Thomas y Dieter, 1987;Willerman y Me1vin, 1979). ...
... Por 10 tanto, la primera conclusión importante que podemos extraer de nuestros resultados es que la mnemotecnia de la palabra clave no es eficaz en el recuerdo inverso cuando utilizamos largas listas de palabras, independientemente de que las palabras sean altas o baj as en imagen. Estos resultados coinciden con los obtenidos en las investigaciones de Ellis y Beaton (1993), Pressley y Levin (1981), Pressley et al. (1980), Sweeney y Bellezza (1982), Thomas y Dieter (1987), y Willerman y Melvin (1979). ...
Article
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RESUMEN Son muchas las investigaciones que indi-can la efectividad de la mnemotecnia de la palabra clave en el aprendizaje de lenguas extranjeras. Presentar una palabra extranjera y aprender su significado es 10 que se conoce con el nombre de recuerdo hacia adelante o productivo. Sin embargo, no está clara la efi-cacia de la mnemotecnia de la palabra clave en el aprendizaje inverso, pasar del idioma conocido al extranjero. En esta investigación, en tres experimentos, intentamos comprobar la eficacia del método de la palabra clave en sentido inverso, tanto con palabras altas como bajas en imagen, con listas cortas y largas, y con diferentes modos de presentación de la palabra clave. En general, se puede decir que el método de la palabra clave no es eficaz en el aprendizaje inverso, y que, en algunas cir-cunstancias, influye de modo negativo. PALABRAS CLAVE: Mnemónico. Método de palabra clave. Memoria. Recuerdo. Aprendizaje. RESUMO Son moitas as investigacións que indican a efectividade da mnemotecnia da palabra clave na aprendizaxe de linguas extranxeiras. Presentar unha palabra extranxeira e aprende-10 seu significado é o que se coñece co nome de recordo para adiante ou productivo. Nembargantes, non está clara a eficacia da mnemotecnia da palabra clave na aprendizaxe inversa, pasar do idioma coñecido ó extran-xeiro. Nesta investigación, en tres experimen-tos, tentamos comproba-la eficacia do método da palabra clave en sentido inverso, tanto con palabras altas como baixas en imaxe, con lis-tas curtas e longas, e con diferentes modos de presentación da palabra clave. En xeral, póde-se decir que o método da palabra clave non é eficaz na aprendizaxe inversa, e que, nalgun-has circunstancias, inflúe de modo negativo. PALABRAS CLAVE: Mnemónico. Método da palabra clave. Memoria. Recordo. Aprendizaxe.
... Despite the potential role of forced output, review of prior studies indicated that there is a dearth of studies that have examined the role of forced output in vocabulary acquisition. In addition, the findings are mixed: (a) positive effects (Coomber et al., 1986;Thomas & Dieter, 1987), (b) no positive effect (Pressley et al., 1982), and (c) negative effects (Barcroft, 2002(Barcroft, , 2004(Barcroft, , 2006. Thomas and Dieter (1987) were among the first who examined the effect of word copying on vocabulary acquisition. ...
... In addition, the findings are mixed: (a) positive effects (Coomber et al., 1986;Thomas & Dieter, 1987), (b) no positive effect (Pressley et al., 1982), and (c) negative effects (Barcroft, 2002(Barcroft, , 2004(Barcroft, , 2006. Thomas and Dieter (1987) were among the first who examined the effect of word copying on vocabulary acquisition. The findings generally indicated positive effects of copying target words. ...
... To make up for the lack of stimuli for engagement with the formal facets of the target idioms in the learning tool, it was decided to incorporate an extra step in the procedure, one that was specifically intended to prompt attention to form. One form-oriented exercise that, according to a study by Thomas and Dieter (1987), can be expected to promote word recall is copying the words. Written repetition is a learning strategy that many language learners are indeed known to resort to. ...
... At first sight, these results contradict TAP theory, according to which practice that orients attention to form should privilege form recall more than practice that does not require this type of attention. The results also appear to contradict the findings of Thomas and Dieter (1987), who found that copying new L2 words was beneficial for recall. Barcroft (2006), on the other hand, has demonstrated that asking learners to copy a new word in the initial stage of word learning can distract their attention from the meaning of the word and thus hinder the formation of a word-formÀword-meaning connection. ...
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This paper reports an experiment designed to evaluate an attempt to improve the effectiveness of an existing L2 idiom-learning tool. In this tool, learners are helped to associate the abstract, idiomatic meaning of expressions such as jump the gun (act too soon) with their original, concrete meaning (e.g. associating jump the gun with the scene of a track athlete who starts running before the starting pistol is fired). This association lends concreteness to target lexis, which is known to facilitate learning (Paivio, A., & Desrochers, A. (1979). Effects of an imagery mnemonic on second language recall and comprehension. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 33, 17-28). It is a mental operation that orients the learner first and foremost to the semantic dimension of the expression, however. It does not as such engage the learner with formal properties of the expression, such as its orthography. In an effort to stimulate the latter engagement, a copy exercise was incorporated in the learning procedure. The merit of this additional exercise was evaluated by having one group of students (N= 21) study 25 idioms according to the new procedure, while a comparison group (N= 21) was given an additional meaning-oriented task instead. Recall by the two groups was compared immediately and two weeks after the treatment by means of a gap-fill test. The copy exercise was not found to promote better recall, a result we discuss with reference to levels of processing theory (Lockhart, R.S., & Craik, F.I.G. (1990). Levels of processing: A retrospective commentary on a framework for memory research. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 44, 87-112).
... Coomber et al. 1986;Barcroft 1998Barcroft , 2000, or the reading/visualizing of words was compared with the writing of isolated words (e.g. Thomas and Dieter 1987;Barcroft 2006). However, reading or writing isolated words out of context is not a normal learning task. ...
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This study compares the relative effectiveness of reading and writing sentences for the incidental acquisition of new vocabulary in a second language. It also examines if recall varies according to the concreteness of target words. Participants were 203 French-speaking intermediate and advanced English as second language (ESL) learners, tested for incidental acquisition of 16 rare concrete, or abstract L2 words. Immediate and delayed cued recall was used to assess acquisition. Results from immediate recall show superior recall for writing tasks over reading tasks, and for concrete words over abstract words. However, delayed recall scores suggest that this superiority disappears over time.
... All of these varying degrees of writing have been proven to be helpful in the retention of the words being written and the ideas being expressed. Thomas and Dieter (1987), for instance, have shown that copying foreign language words enables L2 learners to form memory codes for the forms of the copied words. Similar results were found by Mills (1958). ...
... Moreover, in order to spell correctly in a foreign language, one needs to have phonetical awareness in that language. A study by Thomas and Dieter reveals that the best practice for acquiring good orthographic knowledge is writing correct words (Thomas and Dieter, 1987 ). The interactive nature of a computer program allows to practice writing words and can give immediate feedback in terms of orthographic errors. ...
Conference Paper
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For visually impaired people it is both usable and effective to study foreign language vocabulary and spelling with an auditory e-learning device. Amongst visually impaired computer users there is a growing preference for the screen reader over the braille line. Unfortunately, this exposes them even less to the written word. However, spelling is considered one of the biggest challenges for visually impaired people who study a foreign language. Existing computer-assisted vocabulary learning software is often designed for sighted users and information is lost when they are accessed with a screen reader. This paper discusses the successful evaluation of a prototype of an auditory vocabulary and spelling trainer (AVoS) and explains how essential it is to involve the target group in the development process. The paper presents the results of an online survey amongst 88 adults with visual impairments in Germany. The survey clearly indicates who would benefit from an auditory vocabulary and spelling trainer and which features would make it usable.
... Moreover, such a verification stage can contribute to retention in combination with the act of writing down the inferred and verified meaning (Schouten-van Parreren; cf. Thomas & Dieter, 1987). An additional point of interest concerning the meaning-inferred method is the amount of time the procedure takes. ...
Article
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This study investigated whether a word-learning method in which learners infer the meaning of unknown words from the context, sub- sequently verify the meaning with the aid of a word list, and finally memorize the meaning ("meaning-inferred method") leads to better retention than one in which the meaning of unknown words is given in the form of a translation so that learners can immediately start mem- orizing ("meaning-given method").Additionally, the learning effect of the various stages of the meaning-inferred method (inferring, verify- ing, and memorizing) was investigated.In all cases the amount of time invested was recorded.The most important findings were: (a) The meaning-inferred method leads to a similar level of retention as the meaning-given method, but the former is considerably more time- consuming and therefore less efficient; and (b) each separate stage of the meaning-inferred method leads to retention, but the learning effect of memorizing is the greatest, and the learning effect of verify- ing is about the same as that of inferring.
... The strong performance by participants in the copy condition suggests that exposure to L1 and L2 sentence equivalents -especially when attention is focused on sentences as when asked to copy them -appears to contribute to more effective L2 vocabulary retention compared to a translation exercise. Similarly, copying target words was found to have beneficial effects in a previous study (Thomas & Dieter, 1987) when compared with an oral repetition or non-practice condition. Thomas and Dieter (p. ...
Article
This study addresses the role that active translation may have in second language (L2) vocabulary learning. Some research suggests that translation might be an effective cognitive strategy for L2 vocabulary learning. Participants were 191 native French-speaking students enrolled in a TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) program.The study compared results across three different tasks: (1) L1 to L2 translation; (2) L2 to L1 translation; and (3) a rote-copying task. Results indicated significant short-term lexical recall following all three conditions, with no difference between the two translation conditions. However, a significant advantage was found for the rote-copying condition compared to the two translation conditions.
... (d) By writing the cards the learner pays more attention to the word form of the foreignlanguage word than is usually the case.lz Research has shown that this writing down of the foreign language word has a positive effect on the productive retention (Thomas and Dieter, 1987: p. 250). (e) During learning (receptively or productively) the learner does not at once see the translation of the word to be learned. ...
Article
An efficient method for memorizing words is the "hand computer": a deck of cards in which word cards are combined with a repetition system on the basis of ever bigger intervals. The hand computer, based on two learning-psychological principles, namely distributed practice and retrieval practice, has various advantages over traditional memorizing with the help of either contextualized or non-contextualized inflexible lists. The system, with which positive results have been obtained in several places, is suitable for all types of learners and for all levels, and is very flexible with respect to context (words, idioms, language functions, pronunciation). The system has also been implemented in a few CALL-programs.
... This exposure to rote-copying seems to contribute to more effective L2 vocabulary retention. Explanations given for the beneficial effect of copying was that rote-copy draws learners' attention to the structure of the word (Thomas & Dieter 1987). Hence, this research employed the successful Rote-Copying method to compare with the Read-Plus strategy which will be explained below. ...
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The purpose of this within-group experimental study was to compare the effectiveness of treatment on vocabulary acquisition and retention using two explicit vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) of Rote-Copying (RC) and Read-Plus (RP). Thirty five Form 1 Malaysian secondary school learners with poor English proficiency participated in both treatments for two weeks with each treatment carried out once in each week. A post-test was administered a week after the treatments. Participants read adapted texts and underwent different treatments. The RC required participants to copy L2 words, sentence in context and their translated L1 equivalent twice; while three vocabulary enhancement activities were used in RP. Nation's 1000 Level Vocabulary Test was used in this study. Results indicate that there was no significant difference between RC and RP in vocabulary learning. Both treatments led to significant vocabulary learning, however, participants showed better vocabulary gain in the post-test after undergoing the RP treatment. Interview findings indicate that participants preferred the more cognitively-challenging RP treatment. In contrast, the RC was deemed boring and ineffective. Nevertheless, RC was useful for low proficient ESL learners. In sum, intentional VLS seemed to be the key to vocabulary learning.
... However, previous research has offered mixed perceptions about the effect of copying vocabulary exercises. Thomas and Dieter (1987) stated that copying practice was beneficial for the accuracy and completeness of writing a word. Hummel (2010) confirmed the merits of rote-copying for learning L2 words that copying exercises promoted vocabulary recall in terms of immediate memory. ...
Article
The purpose of the study was to compare the effectiveness of hierarchy vocabulary exercises and copying vocabulary exercises on EFL students' vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension. Two specific factors were probed: (a) vocabulary gains and retention from different exercises; (b) reading comprehension performance through different exercises. Fifty-six Grade 5 students in Yanpu Elementary School in Taiwan were engaged in either hierarchy vocabulary exercises or copying vocabulary exercises, with sixteen target words. The results revealed that the experimental group receiving hierarchy vocabulary exercises significantly outperformed the control group receiving copying vocabulary exercises on students' performance of vocabulary gains, reading comprehension, as well as short-term and long-term word memory retention. A positive correlation between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension was also inspected. It was, therefore, concluded that hierarchy vocabulary exercise was a more effective exercise type for vocabulary acquisition and reading comprehension. © for this article is retained by the author(s), with first publication rights granted to the journal.
... This exposure to rote-copying seems to contribute to more effective L2 vocabulary retention. Explanations given for the beneficial effect of copying was that rote-copy draws learners" attention to the structure of the word (Thomas & Dieter 1987). Hence, this research employed the successful Rote-Copying method to compare with the Read-Plus strategy which will be explained below. ...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this within-group experimental study was to compare the effectiveness of treatment on vocabulary acquisition and retention using two explicit vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) of Rote-Copying (RC) and Read-Plus (RP). Thirty five Form 1 Malaysian secondary school learners with poor English proficiency participated in both treatments for two weeks with each treatment carried out once in each week. A post-test was administered a week after the treatments. Participants read adapted texts and underwent different treatments. The RC required participants to copy L2 words, sentence in context and their translated L1 equivalent twice; while three vocabulary enhancement activities were used in RP. Nation's 1000 Level Vocabulary Test was used in this study. Results indicate that there was no significant difference between RC and RP in vocabulary learning. Both treatments led to significant vocabulary learning, however, participants showed better vocabulary gain in the post-test after undergoing the RP treatment. Interview findings indicate that participants preferred the more cognitively-challenging RP treatment. In contrast, the RC was deemed boring and ineffective. Nevertheless, RC was useful for low proficient ESL learners. In sum, intentional VLS seemed to be the key to vocabulary learning.
... Listening to text read through text-to-speech technology prevents VI people from learning the orthographic forms. For example, homophones mainly create problems like faze/phase; feat/feet; find/fined, etc. Thomas and Dieter's (1987) study indicated that the correct writing of words is necessary in order to gain good orthographic knowledge. Lack of orthographic knowledge creates problems in spelling (Arter & Mason, 1994;Couper, 1996;Moodley, 2004;Nater & Thale, 1994;Orsini-Jones, 2009). ...
Article
The main aim of this study was to design, develop and test the instructional effectiveness of a web-based English vocabulary drill program developed for visually impaired middle school students. In this respect, the study focused on the educational affordances of the program and its contribution on VI students’ spelling and semantics knowledge in English vocabulary. Depending on the purpose and the nature of the study, exploratory case study and single-subject research were implemented. Face-to-face intervention sessions were applied from October 2015 through to February 2016. There were two groups of participants in the study, which were students and experts. The data were collected through interviews, vocabulary and retention tests. Collected data were analyzed with both qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques. Based on the qualitative data analysis, educational affordances of the web-based drill program were identified as instantaneous access to content, individualized instruction and tracking progress. Quantitative findings revealed that students showed substantial progress on the vocabulary tests and maintained their achievements after the study.
... Hazrat and Hessamy (2013) studied the impact of written pushed output on vocabulary learning and found that engaging the students in learning the shape of a word and making them write meaningful sentences with the word was useful in developing vocabulary knowledge of students. Likewise, a study conducted by Thomas and Dieter (1987) on word writing among English-speaking learners of L2 French indicated that it positively affected performance on an English-to-French translation task. He (2010) found that "doing dictation practice can help the students acquire not only the word meaning but also the spelling and usage of the word" (p. ...
Article
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This study aimed to fid out the effect of oral output and written output as two types of vocabulary instruction on Iranian EFL learners' listening comprehension and vocabulary learning. A pretest-posttest comparison group design, as one of the quasi-experimental research designs, was employed in this study. To this end, 40 male intermediate EFL learners within the age range of 14-18, studying at a Language Institute, participated in this study. At the beginning, pretests of vocabulary and listening comprehension were administered to determine the participants' initial listening comprehension ability and vocabulary knowledge and also collect a list of unknown words as the target words for the fie treatment sessions. Each group practiced these words, one through the oral output instruction and the other through the written output instruction. Then, both groups took part in the posttests which were similar to the pretests. Within-group, results through Paired-Samples t-test showed that there were signifiant improvements in both the listening comprehension and vocabulary learning of the oral output group, while only vocabulary knowledge of the written output group was signifiantly improved from the pretest to the posttest. Between-group results through the Independent-Samples t-test indicated that oral output group signifiantly outperformed the written output group in the listening test, although no signifiant difference was found between their vocabulary test scores. The fidings offer a wealth of opportunities to English teachers to employ the two types to enrich their instruction in order to motivate learners to expand their English vocabulary knowledge and become actively engaged in the listening process.
... While results of some studies indicate that this practice is not beneficial (e.g., Barcroft, 2006Barcroft, , 2007, results of other studies indicate the contrary. Specifically, Thomas & Dieter (1987) It appears that a sizeable minority of L2 research reports include no mention of whether learners were forewarned of tests or not. ...
Chapter
This chapter begins by characterizing intentional, or deliberate, L2 vocabulary learning mainly in relation to incidental learning, a key difference between these two conditions of learning being that intentional learning involves greater focus on the written and spoken forms of vocabulary items that are encountered. Next to be considered are two types of activity with well-documented potential to enhance the effectiveness of intentional learning, namely, "retrieval practice" and "elaborative processing". The first of these two topics involves discussion of productive knowledge and effortful processing (or "desirable difficulty"). The second topic involves discussion of Levels of Processing theory and Barcroft's Type of Processing-Resource Allocation model. To apply some of the concepts that have been outlined, we consider a method that has attracted a phenomenal amount of attention from researchers of intentional L2 word-learning, the keyword method. 16 Intentional L2 Vocabulary Learning Section 1
... Although other studies (e.g. Thomas and Dieter, 1987) have found copying to contribute to more effective L2 vocabulary retention than other tasks such as active translation activities (Hummel, 2010), no students in this study mentioned that they found copying a useful foreign language learning strategy. ...
Thesis
Post-14 foreign language learning in England has seen a decline in recent years. This follows changes to languages education policies which made the subject optional rather than part of the statutory National Curriculum. Such changes were predicated in part on the belief that optional study would increase students' motivation to continue with language learning. However, the number of students choosing to study for a General Certificate in Secondary Education (GCSE) in another language decreased significantly once the changes were implemented in 2004. As changes to policies bring forward the role of motivation in language learning but highlight the variance between policy and research, this study sets out to provide empirical evidence of students' experiences of foreign language learning. The specific research question underpinning this study is: what are the qualitatively different ways in which year 9 students experience foreign language learning? Thus it seeks to determine what motivates (or demotivates) students to learn another language rather than how to motivate language learners. In doing so it contends that foregrounding student voice challenges existing models of language learner motivation and argues for its inclusion in revised motivation constructs. The study identifies three concepts central to language learner motivation: a sense of belonging; learner autonomy; feelings of competence. It finds they are also at the core of student voice research, thereby underpinning further the argument for focusing on students' perspectives of their language learning experiences as an important, yet under-researched, aspect of learner motivation. Phenomenography, grounded in exploring students' experiences of learning, provides the theoretical framework for the research. It allows for an in-depth examination of students' conceptions of foreign language learning. Participants' experiential descriptions of foreign language learning were expressed in one of four qualitatively different ways. They described: 'a negative learning experience', 'an emotional one, 'a disengaged one or a 'self-assured one'. At the same time, further outcomes reveal that aspects which motivate or demotivate students in the foreign languages classroom are strongly linked to the concepts of belonging, learner autonomy and competence. Through examining participants' descriptions of their foreign language learning experiences the study contends that seating arrangements, copying activities and in-class relationships all have a cumulative effect on their levels of motivation. These effects are felt differently depending on the type of learning experience the participants describe. Moreover, the issues raised by students often conflict with the beliefs held by their teacher. These findings contribute to new knowledge in the field by not only focusing on previously unconsidered motivational factors, but also by substantiating the claim that including student voice, often little heard by teachers, in models of foreign language learning motivation is not only appropriate but necessary.
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The underlying objective of the research reported in this thesis is to find an effective means of improving our students reading comprehension of expository texts written in English, and thereby provide them with the resources and the self-confidence necessary to make more productive and autonomous use of the vast quantities of information now available for their own academic professional and cultural purposes. After a general overview of the main issues, the thesis examines the current situation of foreign language learning in higher education in Spain, noting the reasons for the acknowledged importance of English in its role as an international language, and defining the sorts of knowledge and skills that are considered to be involved in knowing a language and how these can be assessed, with particular reference to reading. From there, it goes on to explore some of the cognitive and knowledge variables involved in the reading process, and discusses some of the difficulties native Spanish readers may find in each of these areas, especially when reading expository texts. Following that, the results of a study carried out into the use and awareness of comprehension strategies by Spanish university students when reading expository texts in Spanish and in English are presented. The aim of this study is to identify the comprehension strategies employed in both languages in the context of specific reading tasks, and thus add to our knowledge of how students go about processing texts. Finally, the thesis investigates whether groups of native Spanish university students with a low-intermediate level of English can be trained to engage in self-regulated constructive reading activities when reading expository texts written in English, with a view to (i) enhancing their comprehension of such texts, and (ii) improving their long-term learning of the subject content of the texts. Self-regulated constructive reading activities are operationalised as self-explaining, note-taking and asking questions, and the group training takes place as normal classroom procedure. __________________________________________________________________________________________________ RESUMEN El objetivo de la investigación recogida en esta tesis es encontrar un método efectivo para mejorar la comprensión lectora en nuestros estudiantes de textos expositivos escritos en inglés, y equiparlos con los recursos y la autoconfianza necesaria para hacer un uso más productivo y autónomo de la ingente cantidad de información disponible en la actualidad para sus fines académicos, profesionales y culturales. Tras ofrecer una visión de conjunto de los principales aspectos de interés, la tesis examina la situación actual del aprendizaje de lenguas extranjeras en la educación superior en España, y define los tipos de conocimientos y aptitudes que se consideran implicados en el hecho de saber una lengua, y cómo pueden estos ser evaluados, especialmente en relación con la lectura. La tesis continúa con la exploración de algunas de las variables cognitivas y de conocimiento relacionadas con el proceso de lectura, y estudia algunas de las dificultades que los lectores cuya lengua nativa es el español pueden encontrar en cada una de esas áreas. A continuación, se presentan los resultados de un estudio realizado sobre el uso y la toma de conciencia de estrategias de comprensión por parte de estudiantes universitarios españoles al leer textos expositivos en español y en inglés. El objetivo de este estudio es identificar las estrategias de comprensión empleadas en ambas lenguas en el contexto de tareas específicas de lectura, y, de este modo, avanzar en nuestro conocimiento acerca de cómo se enfrentan los estudiantes al procesamiento de los textos. Finalmente, la tesis investiga si se puede entrenar a estudiantes universitarios cuya lengua nativa es el español con un nivel intermedio-bajo de inglés para que se impliquen en actividades de lectura constructiva y auto-regulada cuando leen textos expositivos escritos en inglés, con la intención de (a) mejorar su comprensión de dichos textos, y (b) intensificar su aprendizaje a largo plazo del contenido de la materia de los textos. Las actividades de lectura constructiva y auto-regulada se operacionalizan en forma de auto-explicación, toma de apuntes y planteamiento de preguntas, y la instrucción del grupo tiene lugar como un procedimiento normal de aula.
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The use of study questions to guide student learning and in-class discussion is presented as an alternative to the traditional methods of instruction in social work which rely upon formal lectures, and mid-term and final examinations and term papers to motivate studying. The positive results of two separate investigations on the value of study questions is described, and the instructional technique is suggested as worthy of consideration by social work educators.
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Previous vocabulary research has focused on the size of lexicons and the number of words learned through various activities. To date, this type of research has generated little understanding of how individual words are acquired. To explore this issue, I tracked the acquisition of 11 words over the course of a year for 3 adult learners with advanced proficiency in English. I measured 4 kinds of word knowledge: spelling, associations, grammatical information, and meaning. The participants had little problem with spelling, but rarely knew all of a target word's meaning senses or derivational word forms. Knowledge of the meaning senses of the target words improved about 2.5 times more than it was forgotten, and some of the word knowledge types appear to be interrelated. However, the study did not show evidence of a developmental hierarchy for word knowledge types.
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Gruneberg (1998) argues that our findings (e.g. Wang and Thomas, 1992; Thomas and Wang, 1996) that the keyword method of foreign language learning leads to poorer long-term retention than rote rehearsal when the delay interval is manipulated between subjects is uninteresting because, in a natural setting, students would normally be tested soon after study. In reply, we assert that our data are internally valid and inform us with respect to the nature of the underlying causal relationship. Specifically, our experimental findings lead us to conclude that the imagery-based encodings of the keyword method are very fragile and unlikely to be retrievable after a delay unless frequently rehearsed. Also, another consequence of the difficulty of retrieving keyword images is that translation time is slower for keyword learners than for learners who rote rehearse. We argue that design and implementation of language instruction programmes is most likely to be successful when educators understand the underlying causal factors. Consequently, informed debate on the effectiveness of a learning strategy can only proceed with evidence gathered from both experimental and real-world settings. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Previous research has indicated that in the case of contextual word learning, repeatedly writing a word down, i.e. engaging in a structural elaboration activity, results in better knowledge of both word form and word meaning than engaging in a semantic elaboration activity. Focusing on word form and word meaning at the same time may be an even more efficient strategy for acquiring L2 word form and word meaning, and creating form-meaning mappings. Therefore, the present decontextualized word-learning study contrasted word writing with retrieval practice, which prompts the learners to process both the form and meaning of a new L2 item in the same learning activity. 179 native Dutch-speaking EFL-learners acquired fifteen English words in one of three conditions: a word writing condition, a retrieval practice condition and a control condition in which the participants looked at the English-Dutch word pairs. Form and meaning recall tests were administered immediately after the learning procedure and one week later in order to gauge the participants’ knowledge of the target vocabulary. The results indicate that retrieval practice results in better immediate and delayed form recall than both word writing and the control condition.
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This study examined how writing (copying) target words and word fragments affects intentional second language (L2) vocabulary learning. English-speaking first-semester learners ofSpanish attempted to learn 24 Spanish nouns via word-picture repetition in three conditions: (1) word writing, (2) fragment writing, and (3) no writing. After the learning phase, the participants completed productive (picture-to-L2) and recpectively oriented (L2-to-first language) posttests. Vocabulary learning scores in the no-writing condition were higher than in the other two conditions and higher in the word-writing condition than in the fragment-writing condition. These fmdings provide new evidence on how forced Output without access to meaning can detract from early word learning by exhausting processing resources needed to encode new word forms. The pedagogical implications of the study call for language instructors to rethink the practice of encouraging students to write down a word to remember it.
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This article presents a conceptual CALL model of kanji learning set within a framework of outcome-specific learning tools and cognitive support. The kanji 'package', created by the author, will enable learners to manage the motivational issues, issues of methodology, and problems caused by lack of familiarity with orthographic scripts, that they inevitably encounter in their study of the challenging Japanese orthography. This article draws together aspects from the literature that contribute to the learning model. There are no examples in the literature of a framework for kanji learning. The article also discusses normalisation of technology to ground the framework in neo-Vygotskian principles of co-operative learning and early scaffolding. The kanji learning package facilitates learner understanding of the processes that lead to kanji mastery, and awareness of a wide range of learning tools. Learners, for example, who rely on repeated writing, will gain an understanding of the role rote learning plays in the full learning process and will be able to benefit from additional non textbook-based learning opportunities such as motivational games, co-operative tasks, and learning stratagems from peers. Framework-based CALL packages can potentially bring about a significant shift in learning methodology and encourage greater learner responsibility.
Article
This study investigated the effects of word writing on vocabulary learning by comparing three conditions in which there was (a) limited time to write words, (b) unlimited time to write words, and (c) a non-writing word-picture pairs comparison. Non-native speakers studying English as a second language encountered 8 word-picture pairs in each condition and were administered a test measuring form recall and another measuring receptive knowledge of written form. The results indicated that there was little difference between scores on both tests when time on task was the same. However, when the participants had as much time as they needed to write and learn words they had higher scores on both dependent measures than when learning in the other two conditions. The findings suggest that an ecologically valid approach to word writing may facilitate vocabulary learning.
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The majority of L2 vocabulary studies concentrate on learning word meaning and provide learners with opportunities for semantic elaboration (i.e., focus on word meaning). However, in initial vocabulary learning, engaging in structural elaboration (i.e., focus on word form) with a view to acquiring L2 word form is equally important. The present contextual word-learning study aims to compare the effects of an increased attention to form condition and an increased attention to meaning condition. Native speakers of Dutch (N = 50) learned new English vocabulary in a meaning-inferencing condition, which focused their attention on word meaning, and a word-writing condition, which prompted the learners to focus on word form. The results demonstrate that the word-writing condition advanced both form recall and meaning recall to a greater extent than the meaning-inferencing condition. We conclude that word writing benefits initial word learning more than meaning inferencing in a contextual word-learning situation. © The Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes.
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Previous research has demonstrated that the mnemonic keyword method can be successfully adapted to associating artists with their paintings on matching tests—the kind of task that students may face in an art appreciation course. However, when students were asked to print the artists' names when prompted by the paintings, mnemonic recall advantages were inconsistent. Three new artwork-learning experiments with college students are reported, which validate two practical suggestions for facilitating recall of unfamiliar names. In Experiment 1, the learners' familiarity with the unfamiliar artists' names was increased via an initial writing practice stage. In Experiment 2, multiple (rather than single) keywords provided a more complete correspondence from which to reconstruct unfamiliar names. In Experiment 3, the two approaches were combined. With each of these modifications, strong mnemonic strategy effects emerged. These results should generalize well to other classroom-learning situations where recall of unfamiliar material is required, such as recalling an unfamiliar term from its definition.
Book
Providing a much-needed critical synthesis of research on teaching vocabulary and grammar to students of a second or foreign language, this book puts the research into perspective in order to distil recommendations for language teaching. Boers evaluates a comprehensive range of both well-established and lesser-known research strands and classroom practices to draw out the most effective instructional approaches to teaching words, multiword expressions and grammar patterns. Chapters discuss learning as a by-product of communicative activities, language-focused instruction, diverse types of exercises, mnemonic techniques and more, with a view to building bridges between the available research on such instructional approaches and how they are commonly implemented in actual language courses and textbooks. This book helps teachers make research-informed decisions regarding their instructional approaches to words, phrases and patterns, and directs researchers to specific areas in need of further inquiry. Boers not only demonstrates how research findings can inform effective teaching, but also calls for a deeper appreciation on the part of researchers of the realities of the teaching profession, making this a worthwhile text for preservice teachers, teacher educators, graduate students and scholars.
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Full-text available
The present study examined the influence of the production of external symbols on memory strategies. Plato hypothesized that dependency on writing as an external memory store would be deterimental to memory. Three experiments were conducted to explore this hypothesis. Participants played Concentration, a memory game where players must find matching pairs of cards placed face down in an array. Participants were allowed to make notes to aid their performance under some experimental conditions, while under other conditions they could not. In Experiments 1 and 2, the unexpected removal of participants' notes revealed that the performance benefit was due to notes acting as a form of external memory storage, rather than as an aid to encoding information in memory. Experiment 3 qualified these findings by demonstrating that the identity of each card was retained in memory, while the location of each card tended to be stored in the participants' external notations. These data suggest a modified interpretation of Plato's hypothesis in that symbolic literacy may change how we remember information. Rather than storing all information in memory, we only have to retain the information necessary to use the much larger storage capacity of the external system. Thus, the introduction of external symbols allows for a change in how memory is adaptively distributed.
Article
The effect of copying foreign language vocabulary words and/or pronouncing them aloud while attempting to learn their English counterparts was investigated. In Experiment 1, writing practice enhanced written recall of the foreign words in response to their English equivalents. Recall of the foreign words in the oral modality was not influenced by these variables. In Experiment 2, when recall of English words was measured, neither variable was found to have a significant effect. In Experiment 3, written free recall of foreign language words was found to be enhanced by writing practice, whereas associative recall, as measured by a matching test, was not reliably influenced by this variable. The overall pattern of results is interpreted as supporting the view that copying foreign language words assists in the formation of memory codes for their written forms.
Article
The keyword method is a two-stage procedure for remembering materials that have an associative component. In the case of foreign vocabulary learning, for example, the learner first must acquire a stable association between the unfamiliar foreign word and a familiar English word that sounds like a salient part of the foreign word. The acoustically similar English word is the keyword. The learner then encodes a meaningful interaction between the keyword and the foreign word’s definition. The method has been investigated most extensively with respect to recall of definitions from vocabulary words. However, other aspects of vocabulary learning also are considered, as are potential classroom applications of the keyword method based on a variety of curricular content. Future research directions are emphasized throughout the discussion.
In 3 experiments 88 college students learned English vocabulary words using either a keyword or a no-strategy control technique. Use of the keyword technique did not enhance recall of the actual vocabulary word when the definition was given unless S already had the vocabulary word per se integrated in memory before presentation of the vocabulary word-definition pairings. Results are discussed with reference to theories of mnemonic effectiveness and recent empirical work on backward recall of vocabulary words. (14 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)