Vocabulary learning in Belgian instructed foreign language classes is still largely based on reading and listening exercises as well as bilingual vocabulary lists. Proponents of multimodal learning, however, argue that lessons should be learned through all senses and through sensory-motor experiences. It is argued that learning conditions with diverse stimuli lead to better learning outcomes (Macedonia & von Kriegstein 2012). Gestures would allow the new lexicon to be more deeply imprinted in learners’ minds by making the vocabulary network in their mental lexicon more complex and richer. The richer the more solid and lasting the connections between the units in the mental lexicon would be and the easier it would be to access new lexemes (Lutjeharms 2019). If the words to be learned are accompanied by gestures, transfer to long-term memory would be more accessible, and learners would also remember these lexemes more efficiently in the long term. In a quasi-experimental study on German as a foreign language (using a pre-test, post-test, and post-post-test design) in Belgian French-speaking secondary education, two groups of pupils aged 16 to 17 were compared. One group (N = 15) learned 16 new words using gestures and the other group (N = 16) learned them without gestures. It turned out that gestures possibly had a positive effect on vocabulary knowledge. The role of the parts of speech and their concrete or abstract nature are discussed.
|Title of host publication||Sprache und Fremdsprachenunterricht – Magie durch Produktivität.|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
- Vocabulary acquisition
- German as a Foreign Language