The Wand of Mnemosyne: Sparkles Created on Vocabulary Learning


Language learners are constantly looking for a magic wand to wipe off all the learning pains on memorizing vocabulary. Fortunately, the goddess of memory, Mnemosyne, came to the mortal world to rescue those who suffer from severe vocabulary retention difficulties. When the wand of Mnemosyne is waved, learners’ burden on memorizing vocabulary may be relieved. Previous studies (Carney & Levin, 2008; Matsunaga, 2004) showed that mnemonics could be trained and practiced so that vocabulary items could be memorized for a longer time. The aim of the study is to examine the efficacy of mnemonic methods on EFL adult learners’ vocabulary retention. More than one hundred learners with similar English proficiency participated. A total of two mnemonic devices, including method of loci and keyword method, were taught then implemented as integrated mnemonic learning strategies in the experiment. After the participants were trained, the experimental group was required to remember assigned vocabulary items. They were tested to recall all the vocabulary items immediately, and on one-month and four-month intervals. The control group went through the same assessment process as that of the experimental group; however, they were not taught on any mnemonic methods. Multivariate repeated measures ANOVA were used to analyze the data obtained from the immediate, onemonth, and four-month tests. The results have a statistical significance when integrated mnemonics were practiced. It could be concluded that mnemonics reduces forgetting over time for adult learners in this study.

Author Information
Yung-huei Chen, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2021
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon