An Investigation into the Modality Specificity of L2 Learners' STM Abilities in Learning Vocabulary via PDAs

Saeed Khazaie, Mohsen Jannejad, Zahra Ahmadpour Kasgari


Parallel with the rapid growth of wireless technology and potentials of mobile learning for language teaching/learning, employing mobile devices in language learning seems indispensable. To this end, designing learning materials suitable for different types of mobile devices regarding dual coding (DCT) and cognitive load (CLT) theories seems inevitable. In this study, multimedia were employed for designing two types of learning materials. Since short-term memory plays an important role in language learning, learners’ visual and verbal short-term memories were taken into consideration, too. 161 L2 Learners aged 19 and 23 years old participated in the major phases of an experiment via personal digital assistant (PDA). Based on their scores on the English vocabulary recognition and recall (EVRR) tests and the statistical analysis of the results, it was revealed that delivery of learning materials with pictorial and written annotations combined rather than delivery of learning materials without such annotations to learners with high-visual and high-verbal abilities, learners with high-visual but low-verbal ability, and learners with low-visual but high-verbal ability results in better vocabulary learning outcomes. However, this was not the case for learners with low-visual and low-verbal abilities. This study acknowledges the relation between STM and the relevant modalities of materials presentation.



Mobile learning, PDA, Verbal and visual ability, Vocabulary learning

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