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The effects of sound symbolism instruction on junior high school students’ English vocabulary memorization
Wang, Ching Hung
Yeh, Chieh Yue
Wang, Ching Hung
Sound Symbolism Instruction
|Issue Date:||2013-09-04 14:54:18 (UTC+8)|
Although the instruction of sound symbolism has been advocated for word learning for years, it is not clear whether it is empirically effective in classroom vocabulary teaching. This study first adopted a quantitative research method to investigate the effectiveness of the instruction of sound symbolism on junior high school students’ English vocabulary memorization, and then a qualitative research method to explore the participants’ perspectives on the instruction of sound symbolism.
Participants of the study were two classes of 72 ninth-grade students in a public junior high school in northern Taiwan. With homogeneity in terms of English language proficiency, the two classes were randomly assigned as the experimental and control group. The former was instructed 80 target words by the instruction of sound symbolism, while the latter was taught the same target words by the traditional translation-based approach. Vocabulary instruction lasted for 16 weeks, and the data analysis was based on their performances on the word recognition test and the results of the individual interviews. The major findings are as follows. (1)The participants who received the instruction of sound symbolism performed significantly better on the word recognition test than those who were taught the traditional translation-based approach. (2) In the experimental group, both the high and low proficiency learners made significant progress, indicating the instruction of sound symbolism was effective in different proficiency groups. (3) The participants held positive attitude toward the instruction of sound symbolism and felt that the instruction was helpful for vocabulary memorization, especially on the aspect of word recognition. Some pedagogical implications and recommendations for future research were presented at the end of the thesis.
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