Volume 16 Number 3

Towards an Instructional Programme for L2 Vocabulary: Can a Story Help?
Peter Prince, Laboratoire Parole & Langage, Universit√© d’Aix-Marseille

This paper presents firstly a set of seven principles that lie behind the development of a vocabulary learning resource destined for French learners of English in higher education, and secondly an experiment investigating the use of narrative as a device to facilitate recall of target words. The seven principles can be combined in different ways, and it is suggested that all merit careful consideration when implementing a vocabulary instruction programme. The experiment compared a condition in which target words were embedded in a series of sentences within a narrative framework (story condition) to a condition in which similar sentences bore no connection to each other (unrelated condition). Results indicate that linking sentences containing target words within a narrative framework leads to better recall on an immediate post-test than when sentences are unrelated. The discussion section presents some theoretical and pedagogical implications of these results.

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