Visual aids; Young learners; Vocabulary retention; Mover level
The use of visual aids has been ubiquitous in foreign language education, especially in vocabulary instruction. Visual aids are things that students can look at, such as pictures, films, models, or slides; this helps students understand and remember the main points that they have learned in the classroom. This current study aimed to shed a light on the effects of visual aids on enhancing young learners’ English vocabulary retention. For this purpose, a group of sixteen young learners taking an English course for children at an English Center which belongs to a university in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam was recruited to be the experimental group. At the same time, a group of seventeen young learners of the same level was employed to be the control group. Both groups of participants were chosen by convenience sampling. All of these students were homogeneous in English proficiency at the Mover level. Throughout 12 sessions of instruction, the experimental group acquired vocabulary visually while the control group was taught vocabulary via their native language translation. Pre-test and post-test were used to obtain data. An interview was also conducted to gather information on students’ perception of learning vocabulary with visual aids. Through analysis of collected data using an independent sample t-test, the results indicated that the use of visual aids (including flashcards) was a great tool that could be applied to increase young learners’ vocabulary retention. What is more, students’ motivation was also enhanced in class with the instruction of visual aids.