The use of Wordclouds for vocabulary retention in the English for Psychology classroom

Begoña Bellés-Fortuño, Ana-Isabel Martínez-Hernández

Abstract

Several studies have revealed that computer applications offer a vast potential for teaching and learning. Open Educational Resources (OERs) can be especially beneficial to generate innovative abilities in the classroom related to new means of communication and collaboration (Conole and Alevizou, 2010). As regards the teaching of foreign languages, OERs have been acknowledged to be a useful tool for vocabulary acquisition (Bărbuleț, 2013), for enhancing text reading (Alkahtani, 1999), for writing (Krajka, 2000), and for improving pronunciation (Lee, 2008). Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) programmes as a means of learning-by-playing in the classroom have also proven to facilitate the acquisition of English vocabulary and pronunciation through games (Young & Wang, 2014).

This study aims to explore the implementation and use of an online tool such as Wordclouds in the English for Psychology classroom at university in order to improve vocabulary retention and the overall learning of English in the specific field of Psychology. By means of exposing students to psychological pathologies, they will be asked to generate vocabulary word clouds to check their vocabulary retention and keyword selections at two different stages, being exposed to specialised texts before and after the reading of those texts later. Computer applications in the ESP classroom are combined here with group work development. Previous research has shown that working collaboratively facilitates learning, primarily through comparative reflection and peer learning (Angehrn & Maxwell, 2009; Evans & Cuffe, 2009).

Results have shown that the exploitation of students’ background knowledge through the tool Wordclouds has definitely aided vocabulary retention of keywords about psychological pathologies as well as improved their English for psychology language accuracy.


Keywords

English for Health Sciences; OERs; word cloud; psychological disorders

Full Text:

PDF

References

Aguaded Gómez, J. I. & Pozo Vicente, C. (2011). Communicative competence and the use of ICT for Foreign Language Learning within the European Student Exchange Programme ERASMUS. European Education Research Journal, 10 (1). https://doi.org/10.2304/eerj.2011.10.1.83

Alkahtani, S. (1999). Teaching ESL reading using computers. The Internet TESL Journal, 5(11). Retrieved from http://iteslj.org/Techniques/AlKahtani-ComputerReading/

Angehrn, A.A. & Maxwell, K. (2009). EagleRacing: Addressing Corporate Collaboration Challenges Through an Online Simulation Game. Innovate Journal of Online Education, 5(6).

Baddeley, A. (1992). Is working memory working: The fifteenth Bartlett lecture. The Quarterly Journal of Psychology, 44(1), 1-31. https://doi.org/10.1080/14640749208401281

Bărbuleț, G. (2013). Teaching English vocabulary through ICT's. Journal of Linguistic Intercultural Education, 6, 59-76. https://doi.org/10.29302/jolie.2013.6.4

Bellés-Calvera, L. & Bellés-Fortuño, B. (2018). Teaching pronunciation with OERs: The case of VOKI. Sintagma, 30, 57-80. https://doi.org/10.21001/sintagma.2018.30.04

Bellés-Fortuño, B. & Bellés-Calvera, L. (2017). Learning pronunciation with OERs: A practical case for Medicine students. 3rd International Conference on Higher Education Advances, HEAd'17, València: Universitat Politècnica de València, 1255-1262. https://doi.org/10.4995/HEAD17.2017.5571

Candlin, C.N. (1986). Explaining Communicative Competence Limits of Testability, in A. Carrasco, E. Gracia & C. De la Iglesia (2005) Las TIC en la construcción del espacio europeo de educación. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación, 31.

Conole, G. & Alevizou P. (2010). A literature review of the use of Web 2.0 tools in Higher Education. York, UK: HEA Academy.

European Council (2006). Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council of 18 December 2006 on Key Competencies for Lifelong Learning, Official Journal of the European Union, 30 December, L 394/10-18.

Evans, J.R. & Cuffe, T. (2009). Near-peer teaching in anatomy: an approach for deeper learning. Anatomical Sciences Education, 2(5), https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.110

Krajka, J. (2000). Using the Internet in ESL writing instruction. The Internet TESL Journal, 4 (11). Retrieved from http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Krajka-WritingUsingNet.html

Kwiek, M. (2009). The Changing Attractiveness of European Higher Education in the Next Decade: current developments, future challenges and major policy issues, European Education Research Journal, 8(2), 218-235. https://doi.org/10.2304/eerj.2009.8.2.218

Lee, S. T. (2008). Teaching pronunciation of English using computer assisted learning software: An action research study in an institute of technology in Taiwan. [Doctoral dissertation]. Australian Catholic University, Australia. Retrieved from https://researchbank.acu.edu.au/theses/240

Mayes, T. & Freitas, S. (2004). Stage 2: Review of e-learning theories frameworks (JISC E-learning Models Desk Study and models), London, UK.

Miley, F. & Read, A. (2011). Using word clouds to develop proactive learners. Journal of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 11(2), 91-110.

Wenk, B. (2010). Open educational resources (OER) inspire teaching and learning: In IEEE EDUCON, Education Engineering 2010- The future of global learning engineering education, Madrid, 435-442. https://doi.org/10.1109/EDUCON.2010.5492545

Widdowson, H.G. (1983). Learning Purpose and Language Use. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Young, S. C. C. & Wang, Y. H. (2014). The game embedded CALL system to facilitate English vocabulary acquisition and pronunciation. Educational Technology & Society, 17(3), 239-251.

Zygomatic, (2003). Wordclouds. [web]. Available at https://www.wordclouds.com/

Abstract Views

124
Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Licencia Creative Commons

This journal is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

Universitat Politècnica de València

e-ISSN: 1695-2618    http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/eurocall