Comparing the efficacy of digital flashcards versus paper flashcards to improve receptive and productive L2 vocabulary

Gilbert Dizon, Daniel Tang

Abstract

Several researchers have compared the efficacy of digital flashcards (DFs) versus paper flashcards (PFs) to improve L2 vocabulary and have concluded that using DFs is more effective (Azabdaftari & Mozaheb, 2012; Başoğlu & Akdemir, 2010; Kiliçkaya & Krajka, 2010). However, these studies did not utilize vocabulary learning strategies (VLSs) as a way to support the vocabulary development of those using PFs. This is significant because DFs often offer a range of features to promote vocabulary development, whereas PFs are much more basic; thus, learners who study via paper materials are at a disadvantage compared with those who use DFs. Given the success that VLSs have had in fostering L2 vocabulary enhancement (e.g., Mizumoto & Takeuchi, 2009), their incorporation could have influenced the previous studies. Therefore, one of the primary aims of this study was to find if there were significant differences in receptive and productive L2 vocabulary improvements between students who used PFs in conjunction with 3 VLSs – dropping, association, and oral rehearsal – and those who used the DF tools Quizlet and Cram. Additionally, the researchers examined the learners’ opinions to see if there was a preference for either study method. A total of 52 EFL students at two Japanese universities participated in the 12-week study. Pre- and post-tests were administered to measure the vocabulary gains in the PF group (n = 26) and the DF group (n = 26). Results from a paired t-test revealed that both groups made significant improvements in receptive and productive vocabulary. However, the difference between the gains was not significant, which contrasts with past comparison studies of DFs and PFs and highlights the importance of VLSs. A 10-item survey with closed and Likert-scale questions was also administered to determine the participants’ opinions towards the study methods. Higher levels of agreement were found in the experimental group, indicating that the students viewed DFs more favorably than PFs.


Keywords

L2 vocabulary; flashcards; computer-assisted language learning; EFL

Full Text:

PDF HTML

References

Azabdaftari, B., & Mozaheb, A. M. (2012). Comparing vocabulary learning of EFL learning by using two different strategies: mobile learning vs. flashcards. The EUROCALL Review, 20(2), 48-59. Retrieved from https://eurocall.webs.upv.es/documentos/newsletter/download/No20_2.pdf.

Başoğlu, E. B., & Akdemir, Ö. (2010). A comparison of undergraduate students’ English vocabulary learning: Using mobile phones and flash cards. TOJET: The Turkish Online Journal of Education Technology, 9(3), 1-7. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ898010

Bateson, G., & Daniels, P. (2012 ). Diversity in technologies. In G. Stockwell (Ed.), Computer-Assisted Language Learning: Diversity in Research and Practice (pp. 127 -146). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Browne, C. (2013). The new general service list: Celebrating 60 years of vocabulary learning. The Language Teacher, 37(4), 13-16.

Burger, A., Chong, I. (2011). Receptive vocabulary. In S. Goldstein & J. A. Naglieri (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development (pp. 1231 -1231). New York, NY: Springer.

Cram. (2016). About Cram.com. Retrieved August 25, 2016 from http://www.cram.com/about

Fan, M. (2000). How big is the gap and how to narrow it? An investigation into the active and passive vocabulary knowledge of L2 learners. RELC Journal, 31(1), 105–119. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/003368820003100205

Jackson III, D. B (2015). A targeted role for L1 in L2 vocabulary acquisition with mobile learning technology. Perspectives, 23(1), 6-11. http://issuu.com/tesolarabia-perspectives/docs/feb2015-perspectives

Kiliçkaya, F., & Krajka, J. (2010). Comparative usefulness of online and traditional vocabulary learning. TOJET: The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 9(2), 55-63. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ898003

Kornell, N., & Bjork, R. A. (2007). Optimizing self-regulated study: The benefits – and costs – of dropping flashcards. Memory, 16(2), 125-136. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658210701763899

Laufer, Batia. (1998). The development of passive and active vocabulary in a second language: same or different? Applied Linguistics, 19(2), 255-271. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/19.2.255

Laufer, B., & Nation, P. (1999). A vocabulary-size test of controlled productive ability. Language Testing, 16(1), 33-51. doi: 10.1177/026553229901600103

Laufer, B., & Paribakht, T. (1998). The relationship between passive and active vocabularies: Effects of language learning context. Language Learning, 48, 365–391. doi: 10.1111/0023-8333.00046

Meara, P. (1990). A note on passive vocabulary. Second Language Research, 6(2), 150-154. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/43104407

Mizumoto, O., & Takeuchi, O. (2009). Examining the effectiveness of explicit instruction of vocabulary learning strategies with Japanese EFL university students. Language Teaching Research, 13(4), 425-449. doi: 10.1177/1362168809341511

Nation, I. S. P., & Beglar, D. (2007). A vocabulary size test. The Language Teacher, 31(7), 9-13.

Nikoopour, J., & Kazemi, A. (2014). Vocabulary learning through digitized & non-digitized flashcards delivery. Proceedings of the International Conference on Current Trends in ELT, 98, 1366-1373. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.554

Quizlet. (2016). About Quizlet | Quizlet. Retrieved August 25, 2016 from https://quizlet.com/mission

Schmitt, N. (2000). Vocabulary in language teaching. London: Cambridge University Press.

Stoeckel T., & Bennett, P. (2015). A test of the new General Service List. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 4(1), 1-8. doi: 10.7820/vli.v04.1.stoeckel.bennett

Webb, Stuart. (2008). Receptive and productive vocabulary sizes of L2 learners. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 30(1), 79-95. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0272263108080042

Webb, Stuart. (2005). Receptive and productive vocabulary - learning the effects of reading and writing on word knowledge. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27(1), 33-52. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0272263105050023

West, M. (1953). A general service list of English words. London, UK: Longman, Green.

Abstract Views

18573
Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


 

Cited-By (articles included in Crossref)

This journal is a Crossref Cited-by Linking member. This list shows the references that citing the article automatically, if there are. For more information about the system please visit Crossref site

1. Digital flashcards vs. wordlists for learning technical vocabulary
H. Gülru Yüksel, H. Güldem Mercanoğlu, M. Betül Yılmaz
Computer Assisted Language Learning  first page: 1  year: 2020  
doi: 10.1080/09588221.2020.1854312



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