The tablet for Second Language Vocabulary Learning: Keyboard, Stylus or Multiple Choice

Van Hove, Stephanie and Vanderhoven, Ellen and Cornillie, Frederik The tablet for Second Language Vocabulary Learning: Keyboard, Stylus or Multiple Choice. Comunicar, 2017, vol. 25, n. 50, pp. 53-63. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

Mobile technologies are increasingly finding their way into classroom practice. While these technologies can create opportunities that may facilitate learning, including the learning of a second or foreign language (L2), the full potential of these new media often remains underexploited. A case in point concerns tablet applications for language practice: while tablets allow writing, as in pen-and-paper exercises, current applications typically offer multiple-choice exercises or fill-in-the-blank exercises that require typing and tapping. This change in medium and practice modality might have an impact on the actual second language-learning. Based on the embodied cognition perspective, this study hypothesizes that, for the learning of French L2 vocabulary, writing leads to better memorization, spelling, and use of diacritics in comparison with typing and completing multiple-choice exercises. This hypothesis is tested in a quasi-experimental classroom-based study in which learners (N=282) practiced French vocabulary on a tablet in one of three modalities: multiple choice, typing, and writing by means of a stylus. Whereas all three practice modalities aided learning, results show that pupils who had practiced vocabulary by writing or typing obtained higher scores on spelling and use of diacritics than the pupils who had practiced by means of multiple choice. Spending more time on learning vocabulary at a higher processing level leads thus to greater vocabulary gains.

Spanish abstract

Las tecnologías móviles están aumentando su presencia en las aulas. Mientras estas tecnologías ofrecen oportunidades para facilitar el aprendizaje, entre ellas la adquisición de una segunda lengua (L2), su potencial sigue sin aprovecharse plenamente. Aunque las aplicaciones de las tablets permiten la escritura y tareas similares a las que pueden hacerse en papel, siguen ofreciendo mayoritariamente ejercicios de selección múltiple o de relleno de huecos. Este cambio en medio y modalidad de práctica podría significar un impacto en el aprendizaje de una segunda lengua. Basada en la perspectiva de la cognición incorporada, nuestra hipótesis predice que el hecho de escribir se traduce en un mejor proceso de memorización y una mejor ortografía frente a la mecanografía o al uso de ejercicios de opción múltiple. Esta hipótesis ha sido comprobada en un estudio cuasi-experimental basado en el aula: alumnos (N=282) que practicaron vocabulario de francés a través de tres modalidades de práctica: ejercicios de opción múltiple, escritura con un teclado y escritura a mano alzada. Aunque se haya encontrado que las tres modalidades de práctica apoyaron al proceso de aprendizaje, los resultados demostraron que los alumnos que practicaron el vocabulario escribiendo con lápiz o con la tablet obtuvieron puntuaciones más altas en ortografía y dominio de signos diacríticos comparados con los alumnos que realizaron ejercicios de selección múltiple. Pasar más tiempo aprendiendo vocabulario a un nivel más alto de procesamiento conduce a una mayor adquisición de vocabulario.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Tablet; second language learning; handwriting; typing; multiple-choice; vocabulary; memorization; spelling; Tablet; segunda lengua; escritura; mecanografía; opción múltiple; vocabulario; memorización; ortografía
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BJ. Communication
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 10 Jan 2017 20:46
Last modified: 10 Jan 2017 20:46


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