Academic journal article English Language Teaching

A Study of Multimedia Application-Based Vocabulary Acquisition

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

A Study of Multimedia Application-Based Vocabulary Acquisition

Article excerpt


The development of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has created the opportunity for exploring the effects of the multimedia application on foreign language vocabulary acquisition in recent years.

This study provides an overview the computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and detailed a developing result of CALL-multimedia. With the application of constructivism theory, the research explores the use of multimedia software to vocabulary acquisition. It presents a case study that uses survey method to explore the interest level of Chinese college students with the multimedia software they worked with and their attitudes towards multimedia application. Another purpose of the thesis is to examine the effectiveness of multimedia application among Chinese EFL learners.

Keywords: vocabulary acquisition, multimedia application, CALL

1. Review of Computer-assisted Language Learning

Over the past forty years we have witnessed dramatic changes in the ways of language learning. It is under such multifarious changes that the significant innovation in language education-Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) has come to the age. CALL spans wide ranges of activities in language acquisition-listening, speaking, reading and writing and draws nearly all areas of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In the process of CALL, language learners can use multimedia software, access foreign language documents on the World Wide Web, and communicate with their teachers, fellow classmates, and native speakers by electronic mail. And the development of computer-assisted language learning has created the need and opportunity for investigating the feasibility of multimedia on vocabulary acquisition. Therefore, many studies have shown that computerized media and a multimedia environment can be helpful for learning foreign language vocabulary. This part sets out to (i) define CALL (ii) development of Lexical CALL programs and (iii) a beneficial result of CALL's development-multimedia.

1.1 The Definition of CALL

CALL refers to the use of computer in the teaching and learning of a second or foreign language. CALL may "take advantage of diverse and rapidly expanding spectrum of computer technologies that assist the teaching and learning process." (Richards et al. 1998) Levy (1997) defines CALL more succinctly and more broadly as "the search for and study of applications of the computer in language teaching and learning". This definition is similar to that of Hu Zhuanglin's "CALL refers to the use about a computer in a language teaching and learning program." To sum up, the three definitions include the views help by the majority of modern CALL practitioners.

The field of CALL includes the use of a computer in the language process. CALL applications "include guided drill and practice exercises, computer visualization of complex objects, and computer-facilitated communication between students and teachers" (CAI. 1998). CALL programs aims to teach students in aspects of the language learning process via the medium of computers.

1.2 Development of Lexical CALL Programs

Based on vocabulary acquisition theories, researches have described programs they developed for vocabulary acquisition or pointed out guidelines for the design of CALL programs of vocabulary. For example, Goodfellow (1994) suggests that lexical CALL programs need to address the learner's need to build a sizeable L2 mental lexicon; to maximize interactivity in the selection, processing and practice of target words; to promote a deep learning; to support learning processes which focus on structure in the target-word list; to diagnose and help modify surface learning approaches; and to generate and record data to learning approaches and outcomes. Nara (1992, 1994) reports on the development of a collocation dictionary for Japanese, emphasizing improved monitoring facilities and presents the design of an on-line dictionary and its research functions. …

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