The effects of using visuals to support vocabulary development in urban students

Mailunhia Lynhiavu

Abstract

The purpose of this action research study was to use visuals to support vocabulary development in urban students. Since visual support is an affective technique for English language learners, the study was designed to see if this same theory applies to urban students. The participants were a group of eight urban kindergarteners in a large urban school. The intervention took place over an eight-week period. During the first four weeks, students received regular instruction with limited visual support, provided by the reading series. In the next four weeks, students were taught vocabulary words using extra visual support related to the selected vocabulary. The visuals included photographs, still pictures, video clips, realia, other items deemed as appropriate. The results showed students acquired vocabulary words when learning was supported by realistic visual support.