Joel B. Pouwels (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway.
The Effectiveness of Vocabulary Visual Aids for Auditory and Visual Foreign Language Students
Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
© 1992 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 25, Issue 5, pages 391–401, October 1992
How to Cite
Pouwels, J. B. (1992), The Effectiveness of Vocabulary Visual Aids for Auditory and Visual Foreign Language Students. Foreign Language Annals, 25: 391–401. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.1992.tb01119.x
- Issue published online: 31 DEC 2008
- Article first published online: 31 DEC 2008
ABSTRACT A classroom experiment involving seventy-nine first semester Spanish students at the University of Central Arkansas measured the relationship between foreign language vocabulary visual aids, vocabulary achievement scores, and student modality strengths. The objective was to determine whether students of different perceptual learning styles (e.g., auditory and visual) would achieve differential scores on a multiple-choice test over a three-part foreign language (Swahili) vocabulary presentation using pictorial, verbal, and combination pictorial-verbal aids. The results showed significant positive correlation between the visual parameter as measured by the Swassing-Barbe Modality Index and scores on vocabulary items presented and tested with combination pictorial-verbal aids. Conversely, there was a negative correlation between the auditory parameter and the combination pictorial-verbal vocabulary section. Median scores on the pictorial and verbal sections were too close for conclusions to be drawn regarding the efficiency of those visual aids for different learning styles. However, the overall results suggest that further investigation will prove useful in devising the best combinations of visual aids, particularly for the predominantly visual or auditory student. A serendipitous finding was that the auditory students in this study had generally lower grades and ACT scores, and may be most benefited by individualized study aids.