Journal of Foreign Language Education and Technology

The Effect of Pictures and Sentence Examples on Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning

Abstract

??mmü Gülsüm Demir

Words are building blocks of a meaningful communication, which make
them very significant in terms of languages. Vocabulary is always one of the most
important grade when the point is foreign or second language learning and teaching.
Many people must have seen images or pictures and sentence examples being used
to enable learners to learn new vocabulary. Some think pictures are more efficient on
vocabulary learning while others think the more efficient ones are sentences. The
purpose of this study is to find which technique is more efficient; sentence examples
or pictures. To find an answer to this question, 20 Turkish speaking, Uluda??
University students, whose ages ranged from 18 to 25 and who studied English as a
foreign language at least one term, participated in the study on the days between 22
and 30 April in 2016. They did it in cafes, at Uluda?? University and in a girls'
dormitory, so we can say the majority of the participants were females. Their level
were neither tested nor asked because there was no specific level demanded for
participating in the research. Firstly, they were given a pre-test on which there were
20 English words with a blank next to each word. The participants were requested to
write the Turkish translations or meanings of the 20 target words next to the words,
in the blanks. Then, 10 of them have received paper on which there were pictures
that represented the target words (Picture Group) and the other 10 have received
paper on which there were sentence examples including the target words and their
Turkish translations except for the target words’ translations (Sentence Group). The
two groups examined the paper. Soon after, all of them were given the post-test
which were the same as pre-test. They tried to write the Turkish translations or
meanings of the target words again on the post-test. Their pre-test and post-test
results were compared and the per cent of the gap between the results of the pre-test
and post-test was computed by considering and counting the correct translations in
both tests. It was unsurprisingly observed that all of the participators increased their
correct translations, which shows positive effect of pictures and sample sentences on
vocabulary learning. While the Picture Group made 29,5 per cent process, the
Sentence Group did 32,5. These findings suggest that sentence examples may have
more positive effects than pictures have on foreign language vocabulary learning.

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