1 Tokyo Junshin Women's College (JAPAN)
2 Takachiho University (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 4630-4635
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain
This study attempts to investigate whether computer-assisted learning is effective enough for Japanese learners to acquire English phrasal verbs. For many years English phrasal verbs have been considered idiomatic and arbitrary; therefore, learners of English have to memorize them mechanically. In line with studies of English prepositions by cognitive linguists (CL), several researchers have analyzed English phrasal verbs systematically. However, empirical studies in the classroom setting are very few (see Dirven 2001; Kurtyka 2001; Lindner 1983; Rydzka-Ostyn 2003; and Condon 2008). Moreover, no previous CL studies have examined the effectiveness of learning English phrasal verbs with audiovisual aids. With the help of moving pictures and sound stimulus in the classroom setting, we will show that the combined images of frequently used verbs (‘go, come, take, bring, put, and break’) and particles( ‘in and out’) motivate Japanese university students to acquire English phrasal verbs directly without their L1, Japanese.
From April to July 2012, we conducted experimental lessons with Japanese college students. First, we measured their proficiency of English grammar and vocabulary with a standardized English test. Then we divided them into two groups: experimental and control. We held eight 30 minute classes for each group. For the experimental group students, following each introductory session with moving pictures, the next class was spent studying assigned printed material of phrasal verbs. Unlike other previous work, we utilized the combination of visual images of verbs and particles, and sound input of examples with the target phrasal verbs on the screen. As far as the control group is concerned, we spent an equal amount of time with the reading materials containing the same English phrasal verbs. Before and after those model lessons, we conducted pre- and post-tests, each of which included twenty sentences of target phrasal verbs and ten filler sentences on the subjects. After all of the lessons above, we compared the scores of the post-pre tests for both groups and the effectiveness of our approach was statistically proved. Next, we analyzed the performance score of each experimental-group student in terms of their English proficiency levels, finding that the advanced level and the basic level students performed better than the intermediate level students.
In conclusion, we demonstrated that the less proficient students might acquire the basic meaning of the targeted phrasal verbs with their clear visual images and sound stimulus, and that the more proficient students could acquire a deeper understanding of the metaphorical meanings of those phrasal verbs.
English phrasal verbs, empirical study, vocabulary acquisition, visual images, sound stimulus.