The effectiveness of comprehension-based visual arts instruction and production-based flashcard instruction in young English language learners’ vocabulary acquisition and retention


young L2 learners
comprehension-based instruction
production-based instruction
visual arts

How to Cite

Milosavljevic, M., & Reynolds, B. L. (2024). The effectiveness of comprehension-based visual arts instruction and production-based flashcard instruction in young English language learners’ vocabulary acquisition and retention. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching.

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Research on young English language learners has been gaining popularity in recent years, but to this day remains underdeveloped. The present study aimed to add to this body of research by exploring the effects of visual arts activities implemented via comprehension and compared to more commonly used flashcard activities implemented via comprehension-based instruction on young English language learners’ vocabulary acquisition and retention. The study specifically focused on very young learners who do not have access to the English language outside of the classroom. This study employed a within-subjects counterbalanced design with young English language learners (N = 47) with a mean age of three years and eight months. The results provided evidence that both instruction types are highly effective in the productive and receptive learning of vocabulary among young English language learners. Furthermore, the positive effects of visual arts activities implemented via comprehension-based instruction on vocabulary retention were found to be significantly higher than those of the production-based instruction.


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