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CALL, Vocabulary Acquisition, and Memory

Analysis of the effect a student-centered mobile learning instructional method has on language acquisition

Abstract: In the present study a self-paced instructional method based on the use of Apple’s iPod Touch personal mobile devices to deliver content was compared with a group-oriented instructional method of content delivery in terms of learner acquisition of course material. One hundred twenty-two first-year Japanese university students in four classes were used in the study. The subjects were placed in two experimental groups and two control groups, and each researcher taught one control and one experimental group. An independent samples t-test performed on the groups’ placement scores on the university’s English entrance examination showed no significant difference between the two groups in terms of general English ability at the outset of the experiment. During the treatment sessions the control groups studied in a group-oriented classroom environment while the experimental groups studied the same course material but did so with a self-paced method that used Apple’s iPod Touch personal mobile devices. As such, the subjects in the experimental group were allowed to study at a rate they chose rather than having the timing of the language input controlled by the teacher. The curriculum for both the control and experimental groups was based on the course textbook (Science English: Communication Skills for Scientists and Engineers, P. Daniels, 2007, Tokyo: Thomson). The same standardized tests were given to all students involved in the study and the scores of the control and experimental groups were analyzed using independent samples t-tests supported by Mann-Whitney tests. The post-treatment data showed a significant difference emerge between the groups, while the experimental group scored consistently higher than the control group. Results of a post-treatment survey given to the experimental group also indicated very positive learner attitudes toward the self-study iPod Touch-based instructional method.

Keywords: iPod Touch, mobile learning, self-study

Analysis of the effect a student-centered mobile learning instructional method has on language acquisition_Andrew Oberg & Paul Daniels

This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the journal Computer Assisted Language Learning, 26:2 (2013), 177-196. (First published online February 01, 2012: DOI:10.1080/09588221.2011.649484)


Receptive and productive vocabulary acquisition: Examining processing time and memory threshold

Abstract: In the present research a picture card-based vocabulary study method was used to determine the pace of learner acquisition in terms of both receptive and productive knowledge. Fifty-eight first-year Japanese university students in two classes were used in the study. The subjects were placed into a single experimental group and both classes were taught by the researcher. During the treatment sessions the subjects studied fifteen vocabulary items chosen from the course textbook (Fifty-Fifty: A speaking and listening course, Book One, W. Wilson and R. Barnard, 2007, Hong Kong: Pearson Longman) using self-produced picture cards. The same post-treatment test was given to the subjects following each treatment session and the results analyzed using Paired Samples T-tests supported by non-parametric Wilcoxon matched pairs signed ranks tests by comparing one session’s data with that of the previous session. The post-treatment data showed a significant difference emerge between the pre-treatment and first sessions in terms of receptive knowledge, and between all sessions except the eighth and ninth in terms of productive knowledge.

Keywords: memory threshold, processing time, productive knowledge, receptive knowledge, vocabulary learning

Receptive and productive vocabulary acquisition_Andrew Oberg

This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2:1 (2012), 22-37.


Comparison of the effectiveness of a CALL-based approach and a card-based approach to vocabulary acquisition and retention

Abstract: In the present study, two methods were compared for support of acquisition and retention of ten vocabulary items; one study method used representative picture cards, the other a CALL interface. Seventy-one first-year Japanese university students comprising two classes were used in the study. The subjects studied a practice set of ten vocabulary items using both of the two methods, and then a treatment set of ten different items using only one of the methods randomly assigned. An Independent Samples T-test done on the groups’ vocabulary item pre-test scores showed no significant difference between the two groups in terms of knowledge of the items at the outset of the experiment. During the treatment sessions, one group studied the vocabulary items using picture cards while the second group used the CALL interface. The post-treatment data showed no significant difference between the groups, however, the mean score on the two tests given during treatment increased more for the picture card group than for the CALL group, while the mean score of the CALL group on a delayed retention test was higher than that of the picture card group. Additionally, a post-study survey revealed a slight preference for the CALL method among the subjects.

Keywords: CALL, long-term memory, picture cards, short-term memory, vocabulary learning

Comparison of the effectiveness of a CALL-based approach and a card-based approach to vocabulary acquisition and retention_Andrew Oberg

This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in CALICO Journal, 29:1 (2011), 118-144.