Do multimedia-oriented visual glosses really facilitate EFL vocabulary learning? : A comparison of planar images with three-dimensional images

| December 24, 2010
Title
Do multimedia-oriented visual glosses really facilitate EFL vocabulary learning? : A comparison of planar images with three-dimensional images

Keywords: multimedia gloss, preposition, image schema, vocabulary learning, dictionary

Authors
Takeshi Sato & Akio Suzuki
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology and Toyo University

Bio Data
Takeshi Sato is a lecturer at the Institute of Engineering of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan. His current academic interests are vocabulary acquisition, the issues of English as a lingua franca and CALL, especially with respect to the effectiveness of visual gloss in learning polysemous words.

Akio Suzuki is an associate professor at Toyo University in Tokyo, Japan. He obtained Ph.D. in education from Hiroshima University in 2008. His main research interest is in discourse comprehension both in L1 and in L2.

Abstract
It has been argued that glossy images in multimedia language textbooks or dictionaries bring about a certain amount of effectiveness in foreign language learning. These results might indicate the superiority of multimedia-based materials over paper-based ones. On the other hand, it might be also true that the superiority of the multimedia-oriented configuration of glosses has not been examined, which might imply that the potential of multimedia materials as tools for language learning has not been maximized.

Therefore, this paper aims to examine the superiority of multimedia-oriented gloss in comparison with traditional glosses. This paper addresses three-dimensional images as a multimedia gloss to demonstrate the spatial relationship of prepositions such as above, across, below, in, on, and over, which are regarded as difficult to learn because of the appropriate choice of the words several senses based on various contexts. This research begins with the development of two multimedia dictionaries of spatial prepositions: one with planar images, and the other with three-dimensional images of spatial relationships for each language item. This is followed by an experiment to verify the effectiveness of multimedia gloss by randomly dividing it into two groups—a control group and an experimental group, and then conducting a vocabulary test in each group to choose appropriate spatial prepositions with reference to these dictionaries. The results will be analyzed using a t-test. The results of this study should help in suggesting methods to optimize the application of multimedia materials in EFL settings.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 12 Issue 4