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Mnemonic Techniques in L2 Vocabulary Acquisition
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Students in high school have a need to be able to remember a lot of information during their years of schooling. The purpose of this study was to investigate if mnemonic techniques could help the participating students to become more efficient in recalling new English vocabulary. If the results were to indicate an increase in efficiency with either of the two techniques selected, it would make a case for using this technique in foreign- and second language learning contexts.

The students who participated were taught the reminiscent technique and the loci method because these techniques focus on connecting vocabulary to existing memories, thus enabling encodement to long-term memory. Research within second language studies recommends using mnemonic techniques as a help to retrieve words. The students’ recall of vocabulary was tested after an introduction to each technique. They were given three initial tests containing 15 new English words each, a total of 45 words. The first such set tested the efficiency of the students’ own techniques, while the second and third set tested the reminiscent technique and loci method, respectively. After a period of three weeks there was a final test on all the 45 new words at once, testing the possible encodement to long-term memory. The most interesting results were found regarding the percentages of lowest difference in "decrease of retrieval rate" of each vocabulary item between the first initial tests and the final test. The smaller the decrease could indicate a stronger encodement to long-term memory. The top two recalled words were linked to the reminiscent technique and the one in third place to the loci method. Thus, there was some indication that these helped to achieve a stronger encodement to long-term memory. However, when comparing the total number of recalled words, the students’ own technique came out as the winner.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 38 p.
Keyword [en]
mnemonic techniques, didactics, vocabulary acquisition
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-18745OAI: diva2:616805
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2013-04-24 Created: 2013-04-18 Last updated: 2013-04-24Bibliographically approved

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Behr Karlsson, Nina
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