Simplified pictorial representations in explicit foreign language vocabulary learning

Doctorate other than PhD

Bates, James William. 2017. Simplified pictorial representations in explicit foreign language vocabulary learning. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Education. University of Southern Queensland.

Simplified pictorial representations in explicit foreign language vocabulary learning

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorBates, James William
SupervisorSon, Jeong-Bae
Dashwood, Ann
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Education
Number of Pages308
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

The main purpose of the two studies reported in this thesis is to examine the potential for simple images to be used in the learning of foreign language vocabulary. The classroom-based research project, consisting of Study 1 and Study 2, was conducted over an academic year of thirty weeks in a Japanese university with two classes of all female participants, set within an existing English language course. A total of 100 English target words were paired with simple pictures, and another 100 English target words were paired with first language (Japanese) translations, using paper-based and electronic materials. The participants experienced the target words in translational form and the target words in simple pictorial form in explicit learning programs consisting of similar instruction, classroom activities and self-learning exercises, involving the recall of target words using the Japanese and pictorial forms as cues. The effect of presenting target vocabulary in simple pictorial form upon vocabulary recall was investigated with pre-test, post-test, and weekly testing data. Participant recall scores were compared between vocabulary experienced in simple pictorial form and vocabulary experienced in translational form, and the rates of recall for individual words were also examined. An understanding of participant responses to learning with target words in pictorial and translational form was gained from attitudinal surveys and focus group discussions. The implications of the images, materials and activities, and the vocabulary program as a whole for teaching and learning were evaluated from vocabulary testing, surveys, focus group discussion data, and from teacher s journals. The results of the studies indicate that presenting target vocabulary in simple pictorial form was not detrimental to recall, and showed a tendency to be more beneficial in comparison to L1 translational form. The concrete/abstract and emotional qualities of the target words, as well as the learner s comprehension of the images including personal agreement with word meaning, were shown to be major influences upon recall. Participant responses to the simple pictures and their usage were generally positive, with the main negative response being the lack of understanding of the images. The studies concluded that using simple pictorial forms does have potential as a supplemental method of teaching and learning English vocabulary explicitly. The images can encourage student interest and motivation, be used in a variety of learning activities including interactive tasks, and provide opportunities for alternative methods of instruction and learning. Additionally, paper-based and electronic instructional materials were found to be comparatively beneficial to vocabulary learning, with factors such as tactility and accessibility being highly influential upon usage. Based on the findings, the studies recommend the use of target vocabulary in simple pictorial form for lower intermediary learners as a supplementary addition to a foreign vocabulary learning program.

Keywordsforeign language; vocabulary; japanese
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390104. English and literacy curriculum and pedagogy (excl. LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
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