Which Benefits Vocabulary Learning and Retention More? Teacher Explanation or Literacy Activities

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This research study was conducted in two classes of the Freshmen English course at a university located in a suburban area of central Taiwan, It investigated whether there is any difference in students' vocabulary learning between receiving teacher explanation after reading a picture book and having literacy activities after a picture-book-reading. Two groups of students and five sessions of book-reading were involved in the research. For each of the sessions, one group had the teacher explained the target words in the text after they read the picture book, and the other group participated in a literacy activity after reading the same picture book. In addition, one pretest and one posttest were administered to measure the extent of the new vocabulary words the students learned from the book during each session. Three weeks after the session, a delayed posttest was conducted to test the students’ word retention. The results showed that 1) having hands-on literacy activities alone with picture-book-readings benefit vocabulary learning significantly; 2) picture-book-readings accompanied by teacher explanation of all the test vocabulary words had a positive effect on word learning; 3) with teacher explanation on all the test words, picture-book-reading alone had a greater positive impact on vocabulary gain than picture-book-reading integrated with literacy activity did; 4) after three weeks, both the group received vocabulary instruction and the group had literacy activities lost their new-learned-word knowledge significantly, but compared with the word knowledge before attending the sessions, both of the groups still retained significantly word knowledge.


Keywords: EFL, Vocabulary Learning, Adults
Stream: Literacy, Language, Multiliteracies; Languages Education and Second Language Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Chia-Ho Sun

Doctoral student, Language Education, Indiana University, Bloomington
Bloomington, Indiana, USA


Ref: L09P0553