Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Lucretia M. Fraga, Janis M. Harmon, Karen D. Wood, and Elizabeth Buckelew-Martin (2011) “Digital Word Walls and Vocabulary Learning: The Use of iPods to Facilitate Vocabulary Instruction with ESL Students”, Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology (RCET) Vol. 7, No. 2, Fall 2011

Mobile devices such as iPods can be potentially effective learning tools, especially for advancing the vocabulary development of English as a Second Language (ESL) learners. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to investigate ESL high school students’ knowledge of using iPods for learning vocabulary; and (2) to determine ESL high school students’ achievement differences in vocabulary when exposed to two traditional vocabulary instructional frameworks using word walls versus digital word wall instruction. The study followed a mixed-method design using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The specific strategies used to support vocabulary learning in all three instructional frameworks were based upon the principles of effective vocabulary instruction and factors related to active student engagement. Findings indicate no statistically significant differences between instructional frameworks in word-meaning acquisition. However, students were more engaged in the activities associated with the digital word wall framework, i.e. activities related to developing vocabulary vodcasts.

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