Brief multisensory training enhances second language vocabulary acquisition in both high and low performers

Claudia Repetto, M. Macedonia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research in the field of vocabulary acquisition has demonstrated that enriching novel words with sensorimotor information enhances memory outcome compared to reading. However, it has been asserted that enrichment might exceed the cognitive load of low performers and therefore be detrimental to them. Here, in a brief training, thirty-two subjects learned thirty novel items of a foreign language according to three conditions: (1) reading, (2) reading and listening, (3) reading and listening and watching an actress performing a gesture semantically related to the words. Conditions (2) and (3) enriched the baseline (1) with multisensory information. Memory performance was assessed through written tests immediately after learning. Results indicate that both high and low performers benefit from sensorimotor learning. The significant interaction between group and method in one of the tests shows that low performers learn better through enrichment than by only reading the words. Implications for education are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-53
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • gestures
  • high and low performance
  • language learning
  • vocabulary acquisition

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