Efficacy of three vocabulary-learning activities in Spanish FL/L2: selection of definitions, selection of examples and the writing of sentences

  • Alicia San-Mateo Valdehíta National Distance Education University (UNED)
  • M.ª Antonieta Andión Herrero National Distance Education University (UNED)
Keywords: Spanish as a Second Language/Foreign Language, vocabulary learning, learning activities, Involvement Load Hypothesis, Technique Feature Analysis

Abstract

This article presents the overall results of a research project on vocabulary learning in Spanish, carried out with 1,317 participants, from 27 mother tongues, in the context of it being foreign language and second language. The aim is to determine (1) which of these three vocabulary-learning activities is more effective: definition-choosing, gap-filling or sentence-writing; (2) the predictive ability of two scales with regard to effective vocabulary-learning activities: Involvement Load Hypothesis (Hulstijn and Laufer, 2001) and Technique Feature Analysis (Nation and Webb, 2011); and (3) what kind of knowledge, receptive or productive, learners acquired with each activity. The results showed that subjects who performed sentence-writing, the productive activity, which required more cognitive effort according to the two scales, remembered more words and were able to complete receptive and productive activities significantly better than the other groups. In contrast, those who performed definition-choosing, which entailed only receptive knowledge of the words and ranked less on both scales, remembered fewer words, and had worse results with regard to productive activity.

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Published
2019-12-22
How to Cite
San-Mateo Valdehíta, A., & Andión Herrero, M. A. (2019). Efficacy of three vocabulary-learning activities in Spanish FL/L2: selection of definitions, selection of examples and the writing of sentences. Verba Hispanica, 27(1), 209-229. https://doi.org/10.4312/vh.27.1.209-229