Vocabulary Instruction: Software Flashcards vs. Word Clouds

Vahid Mansouri


When it comes to language learning, vocabulary learning is the main activity focused on. Vocabulary learning is the main problem and also the goal of new language learners. It is one of the major problems that language learners encounter during learning a new language. Krashen (1989) (cited in Tokac, 2005) points out the role of vocabulary in a language by stating that most of the meaning in a language is carried by words. This is why people visiting a foreign country prefer to take their dictionaries with them rather than grammar books. And on the other hand, nowadays everything is connected to technology and language learning and teaching is not an exception. As Stockwell (2007) cites, vocabulary has been one of the most commonly taught language areas through technology in recent years. Integration of computer and second/foreign language teaching is admired by many researchers. It is clear that technology can help enhance the degree of vocabulary learning, but the point is that which computer assisted vocabulary learning can work better and would be more efficient?

In this paper we will discuss and analyze the usage of two kinds of different ways of using technology and see which of the methods will work better. A comparison between vocabulary software flashcard and word clouds (Wordle) on vocabulary learning (retention) will be compared by the researcher. We will see that using which method will encourage learners more and they will do better with which kind of using technology? The study is carried out in Iran on 44 English learners. The result is really surprising. Both of the groups were interested in technology, but one group did really better.

Keywords: CALL, CAVL, Software flashcard, Word Clouds, Wordle, Vocabulary learning

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