Journal of English Teaching through Movies and Media 2016;17(2):25-46.
Published online May 31, 2016.
A Study of the Positive Role and Effect of the Use of L1 in L2 Vocabulary Learning
Do Hyung Ryu
The purpose of this paper is three-fold: 1) to examine the effect of L1 translation for L2 vocabulary learning, 2) to determine what type of translation is appropriate for L2 vocabulary learning, especially in relation to multi-word units, and 3) to understand the significance of learning multi-word units. L1 use (or L1 translation or L1 transfer) has recently gained importance (Hao & Chi, 2013). In this paper, the animation movie, The Incredibles was chosen as material. Four college students with non-English majors participated in this study. One delay recall test was administered and one report from each subject was handed in. The results showed that the mean score of one-word units was higher than that of multi-word units. However, one of the four participants achieved a higher score in multi-word units than one-word units. Another participant received a perfect score for both units. In this sense, it can be said that the use of L1 translation worked effectively. Regarding the reports, L1 translation was effective in recalling multi-word units as well as one-word units. Lastly, it was learned that L1 translation was a good means for learning multi-word units if it can be strategically used in order to notice the units.

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