VLI 9(2): Wilkinson (2020)

Deliberate Vocabulary Learning from Word Cards
Darrell Wilkinson
Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.wilkinson
Download this article (pdf)

While word cards are a widely supported method of deliberately studying foreign language vocabulary, there is a surprising lack of research-based evidence supporting them. This paper first reviews some of the key literature on word cards and then briefly describes two experiments concerning word card methodology. The first experiment described in this paper examined the learning outcomes of making word cards while the second experiment compared the use of self-made word cards with premade cards. The results of the first study indicated that the simple process of making word cards results in significant short-term vocabulary learning, but this new knowledge is sensitive to attrition if no further study is carried out soon after making the cards. The results of the second experiment indicated that while both methods are effective in the short and long-term, learners may be better studying from premade cards. Taken together, the results offer support for the use of word cards for foreign language vocabulary learning.

Wilkinson, D. (2020). Deliberate vocabulary learning from word cards. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 9 (2), 69–74. https://doi.org/10.7820/vli.v09.2.wilkinson