The acquisition of vocabulary through three memory strategies

La adquisición de vocabulario a través de tres estrategias de memoria

  • Libia Maritza Pérez Universidad del Tolima Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación Profesora catedrática
  • Roberto Alvira Universidad de la Sabana
Keywords: Vocabulary, strategies, memorization, vocabulary acquisition. (en_US)
Keywords: memorización, estrategias, vocabulario, adquisición de vocabulario (es_ES)

Abstract (en_US)

The present article reports on an action research study that explores the implications of applying three vocabulary strategies: word cards, association with pictures, and association with a topic through fables in the acquisition of new vocabulary in a group of EFL low-level proficiency teenagers in a public school in Espinal, Tolima, Colombia. The participants had never used vocabulary strategies to learn and recall words. Two types of questionnaires, a researcher’s journal, and vocabulary tests were the instruments used to gather data. The results showed that these strategies were effective to expand the range of words progressively and improve the ability to recall them. The study also found that these strategies involve cognitive and affective factors that affect students’ perception about the learning of vocabulary. The implementation highlighted the need to train teachers and learners in strategies intended to teach and learn vocabulary and to subsequently include them in the English language program in any school.

Abstract (es_ES)

El presente estudio de investigación-acción explora las implicaciones de la aplicación de tres estrategias de vocabulario: tarjetas de palabras, la asociación con imágenes y la asociación con un tema a través de fábulas en la adquisición de nuevo vocabulario con un grupo de adolescentes con bajo nivel de competencia en inglés como lengua extranjera, estudiantes de un colegio público en Espinal, Tolima, Colombia. Los participantes nunca antes habían utilizado estrategias de vocabulario y les resultaba difícil memorizar y recordar palabras. Los instrumentos utilizados para recopilar datos fueron: dos tipos de cuestionarios, el diario del investigador y las pruebas de vocabulario. Los resultados mostraron que estas estrategias fueron eficaces para ampliar progresivamente la gama de las palabras y mejorar la capacidad para recordar palabras. El estudio también encontró que estas estrategias involucran factores afectivos y cognitivos que afectan la percepción de los estudiantes acerca del aprendizaje de vocabulario. La implementación de las estrategias pone de relieve la necesidad de entrenar a los profesores y a los alumnos en las estrategias destinadas a enseñar y aprender vocabulario, y la de incluirlas en el programa del idioma inglés de cualquier colegio.


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Author Biographies

Libia Maritza Pérez, Universidad del Tolima Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación Profesora catedrática

Libia Maritza Perez Morales holds a Master’s Degree in English Language Teaching-Autonomous Learning Environments from Universidad de la Sabana. She is currently an EFL teacher at Colegio Carlos Lleras Restrepo in Ibague, Colombia, and an EFL professor at Universidad del Tolima, Ibague, Colombia.  


Mailing address: Universidad del Tolima, Barrio Santa Helena Parte Alta. Código Postal Nro 730006299

Roberto Alvira, Universidad de la Sabana

Jesus Roberto Alvira Quiroga holds a Master’s Degree in English Language Teaching-Autonomous Learning Environments from Universidad de la Sabana. Currently, he is a professor and researcher at the Department of Languages and Cultures at Universidad de la Sabana, Chía, Colombia.


Dirección de correo: Universidad de la sabana, sede Puente del Común


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How to Cite
Pérez, L. M., & Alvira, R. (2017). The acquisition of vocabulary through three memory strategies. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 19(1), 103-116.
Published: 2017-02-10
Research Articles