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Facilitation of receptive and productive foreign vocabulary learning using the keyword method: The role of image quality

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Ellis and Beaton (1993a) reported that the keyword method of learning enhanced memory of foreign vocabulary items when receptive learning was measured. However, for productive learning, rote repetition was superior to the keyword method. The first two experiments reported here show that, in comparison with rote repetition, both receptive and productive learning can be enhanced by the keyword method, provided that the quality of the keyword images is adequate. In a third experiment using a subset of words from Ellis and Beaton (1993a), the finding they reported, that for productive learning rote repetition was superior to the keyword method, was reversed. The quality of keyword images will vary from study to study and any generalisation regarding the efficacy of the keyword method must take this into account.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Wales, Swansea, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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