The Effects of Visual Enhancement on Novel Word Learning and Overall Comprehension

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2010

Project Description/Abstract

This research examines the effectiveness of visual enhancement as a foreign language instructional technique. No research to date has examined the effects of visual enhancement, or modifying the font or type of certain words, on novel word acquisition and also overall reading comprehension in a second language classroom. It also investigates the role of working memory, which is a measure of general memory capacity, on second language acquisition. The objective is to determine the best type of visual enhancement for acquiring new words in the second language classroom that is least detrimental to reading comprehension. It also aims to discover if too much textual enhancement is distracting to second language learners. In a pre-test-training-post-test design, the participants were divided into four groups that varied on the type of enhancement received on the 20 novel words, with the results to be compared with each individuals working memory capacity.

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