Instructional task modality and teacher effects on L2 vocabulary learning: Evidence from adolescent learners





This study investigated which type of instructional modality is most conducive to vocabulary learning. A total of 6 classrooms (N = 121), all from one 6th grade cohort, were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) vocabulary training anchored in listening, (2) vocabulary training anchored in reading, or (3) vocabulary training anchored in writing. Three parallel versions of the tasks involved 21 target words embedded in contexts, but the students encountered these words explicitly through either listening or reading or writing modality. The study found, first, that there were statistically significant differences in favor of the reading and writing groups in terms of word association ability and vocabulary knowledge. Students in the reading and writing groups showed roughly the same level of vocabulary knowledge. Second, the study found that the results varied depending on the experience level of the teacher, which has implications for understanding how to improve vocabulary learning.

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