Word writing vs. oral rendition: Which is a better method for learning L2 vocabulary?

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished abstract


Structural elaboration, i.e. increased attention to word form, can aid an L2 learner in retrieving the form of a newly learned word (Barcroft, 2002). Writing down new vocabulary can be considered a structural elaboration technique. Previous research has demonstrated that word writing promotes L2 word form retrieval as compared to a semantically elaborative condition (Elgort, Candry, Boutorwick, Eyckmans & Brysbaert, 2016). However, the advantage of word writing may not be maintained when the technique is compared to another structurally elaborative condition. Therefore, the present study compared a word writing condition with a condition in which learners said the new L2 vocabulary out loud. 67 Dutch-speaking learners of German learned 24 unknown German words in three conditions. In the word writing condition, learners were given 20 seconds to write the target word down repeatedly. The word voicing condition required the learners to say the target word out loud repeatedly for 20 seconds. In the control condition, learners were given 20 seconds to read a sentence containing the new L2 word. After the learning procedure, the participants completed a lexical decision task, a form recall test and a meaning recall test. These measures of word knowledge were administered again one week after the learning treatment, at which time the learners’ receptive and productive German vocabulary size were also gauged. The data suggest that immediate form recall is better when words are learned in the word writing condition than in the word voicing condition, though this advantage seems to disappear after one week. The pedagogical implications of the results will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
EventEuroSLA 27 - University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Aug 20172 Sep 2017


ConferenceEuroSLA 27
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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