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Picture Superiority Effect: Using Images for Vocabulary Enhancement Among Year One Malaysian ESL Learners

Debbita Ai Lin Tan, Bee Choo Lee, Shaidatul Akma Adi Kasuma and Malini Ganapathy

Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Volume 28, Issue S2, December 2020

Published: 18 March 2020

As depicted in the current Malaysian scenario, competency in English is not assured although students are formally taught the language from their first year of schooling in National schools. Malaysian pupils have been achieving English proficiency level lower than the set expectation. This is further highlighted in the 2016 Economic Planning Unit report that after finishing Year 6 of Malaysian primary education, less than half of the students achieved a reasonable level of English literacy. Given the significance of vocabulary knowledge to language proficiency, the present study sought to examine the use of images in Malaysian ESL classrooms in terms of its effects on the development of vocabulary knowledge among Year One pupils. The study is different from previous studies and exploratory in nature, in the sense that it examined not only receptive vocabulary knowledge but also the productive aspect of vocabulary learning. Two groups of Malaysian Year One pupils from a national primary school in Malaysia were selected by purposive sampling for a pretest-posttest-delayed posttest design in a quasi-experimental approach. The Experimental group experienced the interventional approach (use of images) while the Control group did not. Results revealed superior productive vocabulary scores, at both the posttest and delayed posttest levels, in favour of the Experimental group. No significant difference was recorded for the receptive dimension. One other finding is that the testing instruments used were statistically found to be reliable for use with Malaysian Year One pupils. This study and its findings are of relevance to policymakers, educators, curriculum designers, and scholars engaged in ESL/EFL research pertaining to young learners.

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

Article ID

JSSH(S)-1256-20

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