Vocabulary Learning Through Picture-Viewing and Picture-Drawing on Tablets

Vocabulary Learning Through Picture-Viewing and Picture-Drawing on Tablets

Kuo-Liang Ou (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan), Wernhuar Tarng (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan) and Yi-Ru Chen (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1757-4.ch049

Abstract

Beginning learners of English frequently use flashcards as a tool for learning vocabulary. However, because of the consciousness difference between the picture-readers and picture-drawers on vocabularies, errors may be involved in the learners' comprehension of the vocabulary terms on the flashcards. This article develops and evaluates an English vocabulary learning strategy for tablet devices on which learners' viewing and drawing corresponding to vocabularies on the mobile devices. Fifty-two elementary school students were recruited and divided into two groups: The first group read the printed flashcards from electronic files, the second group read the flashcards drawn by students themselves. The results indicated that the drawing learning strategy was beneficial for increasing both their learning motivation and memory retention. The learners could create their own learning content by drawing pictures in such a manner that the pictures were highly relevant to the meaning of the target word, thus transforming their learning pattern from passive to active.
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Literature Review

Flashcards are frequently used by teachers for applying memory strategies; specifically, recurring pictures can stimulate learners to store vocabularies in the long-term memory of the brain. Regarding language learning, Oxford (1990) also proposed that verbal concepts can be converted into pictures and that vocabularies and paragraphs can be transformed into images. Moreover, students clearly experience more stimulation when teaching content combines pictures and texts than when it includes only pictures or texts (Morgan, 1982; Nicholson, 1998). In addition, Dual coding theory, proposed by Paivio (1991), suggests that the message processing of the human brain operates through a dual system and that referential connection enables a link to be established between the contents. Flashcards are portable and convenient and can be integrated with images of reified concepts to concretize the meaning of an English vocabulary, thus increasing the performance of learning.

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