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|Title:||Should the keyword method be introduced in tertiary foreign language classrooms?|
|Citation:||Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 2006; 3 (suppl.):22-38|
|Publisher:||National University of Singapore, Centre for Language Studies|
|School/Discipline:||School of Social Sciences : Asian Studies|
|Abstract:||Studies on the effect of the keyword method, a mnemonic technique that uses two links (acoustic and imagery) to facilitate memory for acquiring foreign words, are numerous. The majority of past studies found it effective for various age groups of learners for learning words of different languages. The findings however, have been inconclusive in: (a) its application to classroom settings; (b) its usefulness for older or experienced learners; and (c) its effectiveness for a longer period of time. These three inconclusive results indicate a missing link between everyday teaching practice and this theory-driven method. The main aim of the present study is to fill this gap by investigating whether the keyword method could be successfully applied to an extant university Japanese language classroom for a period of one semester (halfyear). The research questions are: (1) Does the use of the keyword method improve vocabulary test scores?; (2) Do tertiary students take up the keyword method for their vocabulary learning? The data collected were from (a) two questionnaires and (b) the average scores of five vocabulary tests while the procedures used for the statistical analysis are: (a) the Rasch concurrent equating process; and (b) Hierarchical Linear Model. Application of the technique to the classroom context of university students was found to be a predictor for the productive mode of Japanese words with a 0.1 significance level. This level was judged to be beneficial for the method to be introduced in language classrooms. Half of the treatment group and a quarter of the delayed- treatment group students used the method. The reasons these learners gave for using or not using the technique was ‘the rule of economy’. That is, if the efforts necessary to use this method were less than that of self-devised techniques, then they were prepared to use it.|
|Appears in Collections:||Asian Studies publications|
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