This is a bite-size research episode, where we briefly describe research findings on a specific topic. This week, Yana talks about an experiment that examined the impact of dual coding on second language learning.
In the last episode, we talked about the research on dual coding. (If you haven't listened to that episode yet, we recommend listening to it before listening to this one). The basic premise is that combining words with visuals can be beneficial to learning - but not only to those who claim to be “visual learners”.
In the paper described in the current episode (1), the author looked at Korean middle school students learning English. The materials for the experiment were pairs of words that, when translated from English into Korean, essentially mean the same thing. But if you switch one out for another in English, you drastically change the meaning.
Here is an example from the paper:
They key manipulation was that during learning, some students would see these pictures, whereas others would instead see an explanation of why the incorrect words was in correct, in Korean.
The learning styles matching hypothesis was pitted against the dual coding hypothesis. If learning style matching is important, then those who prefer pictures should benefit more from seeing the pictures during study, whereas those who prefer words should benefit more from getting the verbal explanations in Korean. Instead, however, all learners generally benefited from dual coding, regardless of their preferred learning style.
The Learning Scientists Podcast is funded by The Wellcome Trust.
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(1) Lee, S. (2017). Raising EFL Learners' Awareness of L2 Lexical Errors and Correct Usage: A Dual Coding Approach. English Teaching, 72(2), 29-50.