The Use of Picture-word Inductive Model and Readers’ Theater to Improve Chinese EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Learning Achievement

Cui Gu, Thanachart Lornklang


Vocabulary, as the fundament of any language, is one of the most crucial aspects of language learning. And it also draws great attention from Chinese learners of English as a foreign language (EFL). This study conducted an experiment to examine the effectiveness of the picture-word inductive model (PWIM) and readers’ theater on Chinese primary EFL learners’ vocabulary learning achievement. The samples were 34 fifth-grade students from a primary school of China. The students received a vocabulary learning treatment with the lesson plans constructed based on the picture-word inductive model and readers’ theater using Chinese Cheng-yu, and an English vocabulary learning achievement test was conducted before and after the treatment. Results of the test showed that the students’ mean scores in the posttest were significantly improved than in the pre-test, and results of the questionnaire showed that the participants were highly satisfied with learning English via picture-word inductive model and readers’ theater. The results indicated that learning English via picture-word inductive model and readers’ theater is an effective way for improving learners’ English vocabulary learning achievement as it provides the visual support and opportunities for learners to engage in vocabulary acquisition.


Picture-word Inductive Model (PWIM), Readers’ Theater, Chinese Cheng-yu, Chinese Learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), Vocabulary Learning Achievement, Language Learning

Full Text:



Calhoun, E. F. (1999). Teaching beginning reading and writing with picture-word inductive model. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Chen, C. M., & Chung, C. J. (2008). Personalized mobile English vocabulary learning system based on item response theory and learning memory cycle. Computers & Education, 51(2), 624-645.

Donmoyer, R., & Yennie-Donmoyer, J. (1995). Data as drama: Reflections on the use of readers theater as a mode of qualitative data display. Qualitative Inquiry, 1(4), 402-428.

Ellis, G., & Brewster, J. (2014). Tell it again: The storytelling handbook for primary English language teachers. London: British Council.

Fang, P. (2007). Study on animal idioms in Chinese language. (Doctoral dissertation, Tianjin University).

Hamdani, B. (2020). Enhancing Vocabulary Among EFL Young Learners Through Picture-Word Inductive Model. IJOEEL: International Journal of English Education and Linguistics, 2(1), 9-16.

Jannah, R. (2020). The effectiveness of using picture word inductive model (pwim) in improving the students’ vocabulary mastery (Doctoral dissertation, Universitas Muhammadiyah Makassar).

Jazuli, A. J. M., Din, F. F. M. & Yunus, M. M. (2019). Using pictures in vocabulary teaching for low proficiency primary pupils via PI-VOC. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 9(1), 311-319.

Keehn, S., Harmon, J. & Shoho, A. (2008). A study of readers theater in eighth grade: Issues of fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 24(4), 335-362.

Laufer, B. & Hulstijn, J. (1998). What leads to better incidental vocabulary learning: Comprehensible input or comprehensible output. Proceedings of the 3rd Pacific Second Language Research Forum. pp. 26-29 Tokyo: PacSLRF.

Mansourzadeh, N. (2014). A comparative study of teaching vocabulary through pictures and audio-visual aids to young Iranian EFL learners. Journal of Elementary Education, 24(1), 47-59.

Martinez, M., Roser, N. L. & Strecker, S. (1998). “I never thought I could be a star”: A Readers Theatre ticket to fluency. The Reading Teacher, 52(4), 326-334.

McDonald, K. A. (2010). The picture-word inductive model: An effective model for vocabulary instruction (Doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia).

Millin, S. K. & Rinehart, S. D. (1999). Some of the benefits of readers theater participation for the second-grade title I students. Literacy Research and Instruction, 39(1), 71-88.

Ministry of Education. (2001). English curriculum standards for compulsory education and senior secondary education. Beijing: Ministry of Education.

Ni, B, Y. & Yao, P, C. (1999). Nine chapters of Cheng-yu. Hangzhou: Zhejiang Education Press.

Shao, S. (2019). Constructing a new model of English education---Telling Cheng-yu story in English. Beijing Education (general education version), 854(05), 78-79.

Shin, J. K. (2006). Ten helpful ideas for teaching English to young learners. English Teaching Forum, 44 (2), 2-13.

Test and Score Data Summary for TOEFL iBT Tests. (2018). [Online] Available: ttps://

Wei, J. (2019). Infiltrating Chinese culture into English instruction by traditional story books. Huaxia Teacher, 000(017), 54-55.

Wei, M. (2007). An examination of vocabulary learning of college-level learners of English in China. Asian EFL Journal, 9(2), 93-114.

Wilkins, D. (1972). Linguistics in language teaching. London: Arnold.

Worthy, J. & Prater, K. (2002). The intermediate grades--“I thought about it all night”: Readers theatre for reading fluency and motivation. The Reading Teacher, 56(3), 294-297.

Yang, Y. (2016). Improving the phonological working memory and English speaking skills of Chinese primary EFL learners with a verbotonal-based approach (Doctoral dissertation, Suranaree University of Technology).

Young, C. & Nageldinger, J. (2017). Considering the context and texts for fluency: Performance, readers theater, and poetry. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 7(1), 47-56.

Zhao, M. & Lornklang, T. (2019). The use of picture-word inductive model focusing on Chinese culture to promote young learners’ English vocabulary acquisition. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 10(4), 105-111.

Zhou, S., Zhou, W. & Chen, X. (2004). Spatiotemporal analysis of ERP during Chinese idiom comprehension. Brain Topography, 17(1), 27-37.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.