How can we learn foreign language vocabulary more easily?

Brian Mathias*, Christian Andrä, Katja M. Mayer, Leona Sureth, Andrea Klingebiel, Gesa Hartwigsen, Manuela Macedonia, Katharina von Kriegstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Have you ever tried to remember a word in a foreign language? What strategy did you use? In several studies, we examined the beneficial effects of viewing pictures and performing gestures while learning foreign language words. Both pictures and gestures helped primary school kids and adults to better remember the meanings of foreign language words compared to learning by just listening. For kids, pictures and gestures were equally helpful. For adults, gestures were more helpful than pictures. Both visual and motor brain areas helped with learning the foreign language words. Our studies suggest that learning foreign language words with pictures and gestures is helpful for learners, because pictures and gestures allow both kids and adults to experience the meanings of words through multiple senses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number89
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers for Young Minds
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020


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