Vocabulary and Learning Styles in Dutch EFL Education: A Study of the Relation between Visual and Non-Visual Learning Styles and the Effectivity of WRTS.
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In recent years, various innovations have been implemented to assist second or foreign language learners with vocabulary acquisition, including CALL-based tools. As CALL-based tools are widespread, the question arises as to whether they are effective, and if so, whether they are similarly effective for students of different learning styles. The present study has investigated whether Dutch secondary school students with different learning styles (visual versus non-visual learners) benefit from using the popular CALL programme WRTS to learn new English words. Thirty-One Dutch middle school students participated in this study. They were assigned to either the experimental group or the control group. Both groups underwent pre-testing, training and post-testing and filled in a learning style questionnaire. Prior to the test, participants’ learning styles were determined by means of Reid’s Perceptual Learning Style Preference Questionnaire. During the pre- and post-testing, the participants were tested on their knowledge of English vocabulary via the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test IV. During the training, participants from the experimental group took part in a 40-minute WRTS training whereas participants from the control group received 40-minute writing training. We have found that using WRTS for learning vocabulary is indeed effective. However, significant differences in learning outcomes between visual and non-visual learners were not found in both the control and experimental group. These results suggest that WRTS can be implemented in teaching EFL as an effective training tool for both visual and non-visual learners.