This paper reports on an experiment that was designed to evaluate a proposed improvement to an existing L2 idiom-learning tool. In this tool, learners are helped to associate the abstract, idiomatic meaning of expressions such as jump the gun (‘act too soon’) with their original, concrete meaning (e.g., associating jump the gun with the scene of a track athlete who starts running before the starting pistol is fired). This association lends concreteness to target lexis, which has been shown to facilitate learning (e.g., Paivio & Desrochers, 1979). However, this type of association is a mental operation that orients the learner first and foremost to the semantic dimension of the expression. As such, it does not engage the learner with the formal properties of the expression, such as its orthography. In an effort to stimulate engagement with the latter, a copy exercise was incorporated in the learning procedure. The merit of this additional exercise was evaluated by having one group of students (N 21) study 25 idioms according to the new procedure, while a comparison group (N 21) was given an additional meaning-oriented task instead. Form recall by the two groups was compared immediately and two weeks after the treatment by means of a gap-fill test. The copy exercise was not found to promote better form recall, a result we discuss with reference to Levels of Processing theory (e.g., Lockhart & Craik, 1990), Transfer-Appropriate -Processing theory (Morris et al. 1977) and Barcroft’s Transfer-of-Processing-Resources-Allocation (TOPRA) model for lexical learning (2002). Barcroft, J. (2002). Semantic and Structural Elaboration in L2 Lexical Acquisition. Language Learning, 52 (2), 323-363. Craik, F.I.M., & Lockhart, R.S. (1972). Levels of processing. A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11, 671-684. Morris, C.D., Bransford, J.D., & Franks, J.J. (1977). Levels of processing versus transfer appropriate processing. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 16, 519-533. Paivio, A., & Desrochers, A. (1979). Effects of an imagery mnemonic on second language recall and comprehension. Canadian Journal of Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie, 33 (1), 17-28.
|Publication status||Published - 15 Oct 2014|
|Event||IX Congreso Internacional AELCO - Spain, Badajoz, Spain|
Duration: 15 Oct 2014 → 17 Jul 2015
|Conference||IX Congreso Internacional AELCO|
|Period||15/10/14 → 17/07/15|