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VokSi – App-based vocabulary learning: combination effects of prior knowledge activating and gesture-based learning strategies

It is easier to learn vocabulary if the learners themselves become active. This could be by generating a prediction about the possible translation of the foreign language term or by simultaneously executing a suitable gesture. The objective of this project is to examine these learning activities and to take a closer look at the effects of their interaction.

In vocabulary learning, there is a significant learning benefit if the students themselves become active. This could be by generating a prediction about the possible translation of the foreign language term or by executing or observing suitable gestures that illustrate the concept of the term while learning it. The objective is to examine the aforementioned learning activities in detail and to take a closer look at the effects of their interaction. In particular we want to investigate the practicability and the benefit of both strategies within a digital learning context, more specifically: while using a learning app. The participants are third to fifth graders, who are in the initial phase of their experiences with vocabulary learning.

We focus on two questions:

  1. Do the already stated positive effects of the mentioned learning activities, i.e. the generation of a prediction and the execution of gestures, take effect in the same way when learning with interactive media?
  2. Does the combination of both strategies result in additive effects? The latter question is particularly interesting as the generation of predictions on the one hand and the execution of gestures on the other hand have different presumed mechanisms underlying their effectiveness. The advantage of generating a prediction is associated with the retrieval of and the link with prior knowledge, while the positive effect for the use of gestures is primarily explained by the benefit of multi-sensory learning.

 

Head and Coordination


Duration

08/2019 – 12/2020

Selected Publications

  • Brod, G., Hasselhorn, M., & Bunge, S. A. (2018). When generating a prediction boosts learning: The element of surprise. Learning and Instruction, 55, 22–31. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2018.01.013
  • Ebert, C., Ebert, Ch., Hörnig, R. (2018): Vocabulary learning improves with interactive finger gestures. In: Rothkopf, C., Balfanz, D., Galuske, R., Jäkel, F., Kersting, K., Macke, J., & Mohler, B. (eds.), 14th Biannual Conference of the German Society for Cognitive Science, 11.