The Effect of Imaging Technique on Development of Intermediate EFL Learners’ Vocabulary across Gender | April 2018 | Translation Journal

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The Effect of Imaging Technique on Development of Intermediate EFL Learners’ Vocabulary across Gender

Abstract

This study investigates the effect of imaging technique on development of EFL learners’ vocabulary across gender. For this purpose, 30 EFL adult female and male intermediate students, who enrolled for the 2017 summer English courses, studying English at Khaneh Zaban institute in Rafsanjan were chosen to participate in this study. Also, three instruments, i.e, a placement test in order to homogenize participants, pre and post-tests of target words were applied to investigate the effect of imaging technique on English vocabulary acquisition and the difference between male and female in this field. After homogenizing the participants, they were then randomly divided into two equal groups (experimental group and control group). The experimental group received the imaging technique while the control group went through the traditional techniques of vocabulary learning. The results revealed the effect of the imaging technique on development of EFL learners’ vocabulary learning, and also, the experimental group outperformed the control group in a sense that the use of imaging technique was more effective than traditional techniques. Finally, there was a statistically significant difference between male and female in their vocabulary learning as female learners outperformed male learners.

Keywords: Imaging technique, Traditional techniques, Vocabulary learning, EFL students, Male, Female.

1.1 Introduction

Since there have been need for a second language, there has been the need to improve teaching methods. Many people have spent time, energy and money in order to make decisions about how to make the language education more efficient. Teaching methods may strongly effect on apprentice learning. With no doubts the theory of second language acquisition that teachers operate on, will help shape the image teachers have of learners and their practice. Therefore, in order to be helpful to second language learners, teachers should have a good methodology in second language teaching. There has been a revision in one area of second language study, vocabulary (Meara, 1987). Meanwhile, Vocabulary is known as the most dominant aspect of second language acquisition, therefore, new methods like imaging found its way into vocabulary teaching strategies.

It seems that many learners do use strategies for vocabulary acquisition, especially when compared to more integrated tasks. Chamot (1987) found that institute learners reported more strategy use for

 

vocabulary learning than for any other learning activity, including listening comprehension, oral presentation and virtual strategies like imaging. This might be due to the relatively discrete nature of vocabulary learning compared to more integrated language activities, like giving oral presentations, making it easier to apply strategies effectively. It may also be due to the fact that institutes classrooms tend to emphasize discrete activities over integrative ones. At the same time, the higher strategy use may be a result of learners' awareness of the importance of vocabulary.

1.3 Statement of the Problem

Given the difficulties of vocabulary learning in a second or foreign language (L2), along with the obvious necessity of trying to overcome them, one would expect that vocabulary instruction would be at the top of the obstacles for language teachers. However, the opposite is often the case. Vocabulary is not explicitly taught in most language classes, and students are expected to "pick-up" vocabulary on their own without any guidance. Courses on reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, and culture are common in L2 programmers, but very few vocabulary courses exist. Many instances of so-called vocabulary instructions involve merely giving students’ lists of words or an effective way to memorize or providing limited practice opportunities, with no further assistance to the often overwhelmed learner.

1.4 Objectives of the Study

Visualization has been defined as the process of seeing pictures in the mind (Tomlinson, 1997). The term refers to all types of mental imaging or visual imaging produced in the mind especially while one is busy reading a narrative or descriptive piece of literature. As far as reading is concerned, the product of visualization is an image relevant to the events, scenes, characters, or ideas described in the text. Friedman (1974) defined visualization as the reproduction in the mind of a sensation produced by a physical perception. The thesis firs attempt may be to consider the effect of imaging technique on vocabulary acquisition in intermediate level, and also the significant difference between male and female intermediate EFL learners in vocabulary acquisition through imaging technique.

1.5 Significance of the Study

In recent years a number of empirical studies have been undertaken which show that, apart from the general downward age-related trend, there are also incidences of successful individual later learners. Although, among the multiple factors that affect L2A, gender is the one that is most pervasively dominant, sometimes even stronger factors show up, such as personal motivation, anxiety, input and output skills, settings and time commitment.

And also regarding the role of gender in vocabulary learning strategies, teachers should be aware of the differences between males and females in using strategies, especially the number of strategies used by them, and secondly the kind of strategies used by males and females and not to push them towards using the special strategies. Therefore, the important aspects of this study are investigated the effect of imaging technique on vocabulary acquisition across gender and the differences between male and female in learning vocabulary.

1.6 Theoretical framework

Dual coding theory has its roots in the practical use of imagery as a memory aid 2500 years ago (Yates, 1966). The memory emphasis evolved into broader applications of imagery aimed at accelerating

 

the acquisition of knowledge. The apex of the imagery mnemonic tradition was Giordano Bruno’s 16th century occult memory system (Yates, 1966), which sought to unify earthly knowledge and a great world of ideas using variants of the ancient method.

Bruno’s writings directly inspired Campanella’s (1602) philosophical utopia, The City of the Sun, in which images externalized as pictures were used entirely for educational purposes. There are mathematical figures; pictures of the seas and rivers; specimens of minerals, trees, herbs, wines, and animals of all kinds; representations of weather phenomena; depictions of mechanical arts and historically important people.

Teachers provide verbal instruction by reading aloud explanatory verses that accompany the pictures and by reading from one great book. This study observes later that it is not much of a conceptual stretch to interpret without considering the effect of age on l2 learners. It was later on studied many times like (Paivio, 2006).

1.7 Research Questions

This study seeks to answer the following research questions:

Q1: Does imaging technique affect intermediate EFL learners’ vocabulary acquisition?

Q2: Is there any significant difference between male and female intermediate EFL learners in vocabulary acquisition through imaging technique?

1.8 Research hypotheses

Based on the research questions of the study, mentioned above, the research hypotheses are as follows: HO 1: Imaging technique doesn’t have any effect on intermediate EFL learners’ vocabulary acquisition. HO 2: There isn’t significant difference between male and female intermediate EFL learners in vocabulary acquisition through imaging technique.

1.9 Limitations and delimitations of the study

Limitations are potential weakness in this study and are out of control. Like any other study this research has certain limitations. Researcher did not have enough time for trying different kinds of strategies to recognize what will best suit their particular students regarding gender. This study focused merely on one group, but it is hoped that further research will study the role of imaging technique in different groups in learning English language as foreign language.

The delimitations are those characteristics that limit the scope and define the boundaries of study. Delimitations are in control, and this study has some delimitations, such as, the individuals participating in this study were only 30, not being enough to confidently generalize the results. The participants for this study consisted of students majoring in one institute. The participants in this study were learners in intermediate level, so the results of this study cannot be generalized to other levels.

2. Review of the related literature

Some people have a natural knack for learning vocabularies, but for others learning a new language can be a daunting task. The best way to learn a new vocabulary varies depending on your particular learning style. In fact that, students are typically taught using a combination of three learning styles, by they usually have strong preferences for one. It’s important to know which learning style is best for you.

The three main types of learning styles are auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Auditory learners depend on hearing and speaking as their main method of learning. To easily understand, auditory learners must be

 

able to hear what is being said, as these learners may find it more difficult to understand instructions that are written. Auditory learners can try the following techniques to learn English:

  1. Listen to English language podcasts for a few minutes each day.
  2. Listen to a book on tape whenever you can.
  3. Record classroom lectures and listen to them again in your spare time.
  4. Recite information aloud to study.
  5. Listen to music, read the lyrics and sing along.
  6. Watch movies and television shows in English with English subtitles.
  7. Speak with a native speaker or participate in a language exchange.
  8. Use rhymes or jingles to help you remember important points.
  9. Highlight important information as you read.
  10. Keep a notebook or create flashcards to write down new vocabulary words.
  11. Separate new vocabulary words into different groups.
  12. Create your own sentences using new vocabulary words.
  13. When reading an article, try to understand the big picture first, and then focus on the details.
  14. Watch English video tutorials where teachers use visuals.
  15. Watch movies and television shows in English with English subtitles.
  16. Buy a grammar workbook online to practice on your own.
  17. Create flashcards, but do not use a computer. Writing things down yourself helps to put new information in your long-term memory.
    1. Play games to practice grammar points.
    2. Practice role-playing activities with a friend.
    3. Study in short blocks, take ten minutes to move around and recharge.
    4. Create motions associated with words. Using your body to express a thought, idea or concept will help you to remember it.
      1. Travel to an English speaking country.
      2. Speak with a native speaker.
      3. 3.Methodology 3.2 Participants
      4. The results of pre-test in control group and experimental group show that participants of two groups were homogenous and the mean scores reveal that there isn’t significant difference between two groups.
      5. As it was mentioned the control group didn’t receive treatment course but experimental group did. And the results of post-test in two groups reveal high significant difference between two groups after treatment course.
      6. Regarding using imaging technique comparing the mean of pre and post-test of the two groups showed that experimental group has improvements after treatment. And then their scores present development of participants in experimental group.
        1. The descriptive statistics in pre-test and post-test of male and female in control group indicate that:
          1. Male and female in pre-test were homogenous.
            1. The mean scores of female are higher than male.
          2. The differences between female and male are few.
            1. The scores of male and female are near to each other and normal.
            2. The descriptive statistics in pre-test and post-test of male and female in experimental group indicate that:
              1. Male and female in pre-test were homogeneous.
                1. Female in pre & post-test are more successful than male.
                2. The difference between male and female in pre-test is few.
                  1. The mean scores of male and female in post-test compared to pre-test increased.
  18. For educational system to use imaging technique to help learners concerning vocabulary acquisition.
  19. This research is probably a call for language teachers, practitioners and researchers in language teaching and learning to pay more attention to L2 vocabulary teaching techniques. The findings may encourage teachers who still use the traditional techniques on their teaching to change their viewpoint in favor of a useful and modern technique of teaching vocabulary. The result may especially be of great value to teachers who are usually faced with the students’ request for information about effective techniques of vocabulary learning.
  20. The findings of this study are also useful for teacher trainers to incorporate appropriate and practical techniques for instruction of vocabulary in their existing training courses. This way, teachers themselves would be informed of different vocabulary teaching techniques and will develop positive attitudes toward the incorporation of the best techniques into their conventional teaching programs.
  21. For students to use imaging technique of learning vocabulary which helps them to learn and memorize vocabulary for a long time.
  22. Further research should concentrate on investigating gender differences concerning imaging technique on the development of EFL students’ vocabulary learning based on the other levels.
  23. Many issues which remain unresolved, such as the reasons for the existence of gender differences in strategy use, may be the subject of future research.
  24. The individuals participating in this study were only 30, not being enough to confidently generalize the results. Further studies may be able to provide large samples in order to give a clear picture of relationships among variables of study.
  25. Researcher did not have enough time for trying different kinds of strategies to recognize what will best suit their particular students regarding gender, because the number of strategies and the kind of strategies used by females is different in males.
  26. The participants in this study were between 18 to 27 learners, so the results of this study cannot be generalized to other age groups.
  27. The data were collected from one institute during one term, further studies may be able to collect data in the other institutes.

Visual learners learn best by looking at charts or graphic organizers, watching a demonstration or reading. Visual learners can try the following techniques to learn English:

Kinesthetic learners process information best with a “hand-on” experience. They like to learn by doing. Kinesthetic learners can try the following techniques to learn English:

While learning is generally defined as being “connected with thinking or conscious mental processes” (Procter, 1996, p. 255), some of the factors involved in learning the vocabulary of another language ones that might make learning the vocabulary relatively easy or relatively difficult should also be appreciated. According to Paribakht and Wesche (1998), knowing a word is sometimes not an easy task. They also say the complexity and amount of information needed, the knowledge associated with a word, is considerable.

The learners must establish relationships between form, meaning and function, both in utterances and in texts; they must establish the elaborate knowledge about individual words so they can be used communicatively; and they must establish an associational network of words. The learners must know the meanings associated with stand-alone vocabulary items, bound items or multiword items, in the case of English. In order to teach and learn vocabulary, teachers must know learners’ styles which help teachers to select the best technique according to the style of learner.

 

The population from which the participants were selected for this study included Iranian EFL learners whose first language is Persian. To begin data collection, almost all the students at the Intermediate level at an English institute in Rafsanjan were initially considered to participate in the study. The sample participants who had voluntarily agreed to take part in this study were female and male EFL learners in Khaneh Zaban institute in Rafsanjan, who enrolled for the 2017 summer English courses. Their age range was between18 to 27 (i.e., mainly adults). From the existing students, fifty of them initially were chosen to take part in this study. Therefore, Placement Test as a test to homogenize students was applied and then from among 50 students, 30 of them female & male were in the same level. Also participants were divided into two groups experimental (N=15) and control (N=15).

3.3 Instruments

As had been mentioned earlier, in order to investigate the effect of imaging technique on development of intermediate EFL learners’ vocabulary across gender, three tests were selected by researcher.

3.3.1 The Placement test

In this study, the Placement test, which was made by institute, was used at the beginning of the study for determining the participants’ proficiency level. This test was distributed among 50 participants, and then 30 learners were selected, because they were in the same level. The results were then used to select those students who were supposed to be the final participants of the study. Those students whose scores fell one standard deviation above and below the mean were selected and the others were excluded. Also the allocated time for answering test was about 45 minutes.

3.3.2 Pre-Test of target words

To make sure of the students’ unfamiliarity with the target words, a test of vocabulary was used prior to the experiment. This was a test with one hundred items; each item questioned the meaning of one of the target vocabulary items. The words were chosen from Intermediate Vocabulary by Thomas (1990). To suit the purpose of the study, the words had to be appropriate for the students’ level. Twenty words also were discarded from the experiment, because they were not new for most of the students. Therefore, eighty words with which no student was familiar were used in the study and together they formed the content of the pre-test.

3.3.3 Post-Test of target words

Clearly, in this study pre-test and post-test were distributed between learners. Therefore, Post-test was applied to measure the results of this study, and the allocated time for answering pre-test was about 45 minutes and post-test 30 minutes also the overall score of each test was 20. The post-test consisted of 50 English words previously studied, with no other information such as keywords or interactions. In the third test, the same format was applied, a test sheet was provided listing each vocabulary word and allowing space for the participants to fill in the appropriate meaning.

 

3.4 Data collection procedures

In order to conduct the research project two classes were assigned as the experimental group and the control group each consisting of 15 students. Control group don’t received treatment course, but experimental group received imaging technique in order to learn new vocabularies. All the learners in these groups were EFL learners at the same language institute. First, a fifty items placement test of language proficiency was used to ensure homogeneity of the students. This general proficiency test was adopted from placement English Language Test.

All the fifty students took part in the test. They were given forty five minutes, as required by the test to react to the questions. The results were then used to select those students who were supposed to be the final participants of the study. Those students whose scores had fallen between10-20 were chosen, based on the test requirement, for the final data analysis. Second, the pretest was administered to the participants. The students were asked to write the Persian translation or the English definition of each word in front of it or simply tick it if they knew it but they could not remember. After administrating the test of vocabulary unfamiliarity and placement test, there remained 30 participants and 80 words with which none of the students were familiar. These words were then divided into groups of five to six words to be taught during each session.

The reason for exposing the participants to 5-6 words each session lies in Finocchiaro and Bonomo’s assertion (1973) that in general, no more than about eight new words should be presented at one time; otherwise, it is not manageable by the students. Moreover, participants were divided into two groups experimental (N=15), female (N=7), male (N=8) and control (N=15), female (N=6), male (N=9). Also each group had male and female, and they were examined by post-test in order to check the result of this study. An experienced English teacher who received adequate training on the imaging technique conducted the experiment. The instructor taught vocabulary with imaging technique to the experimental group during one term. Also post-test was given to participants after 18 sessions.

3.5 Data analysis procedures

Data analysis refers to describing data in meaningful terms. In this study data were collected using quantitative approach. Quantitative analysis tries to show a numerical relationship between different variables and present it in the form of graphs and so on, and also quantitative data were collected through descriptive statistics. Moreover, three tests were used to gather information, and also the results were shown on diagrams and figures by Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet, also SPSS 18 was applied to compute descriptive statistics.

3.6 Design of the study

The method used in this study was the experimental one in order to help the researcher gain better consequences at the end. Also in order to investigate the effect of imaging technique on development of intermediate EFL learners’ vocabulary across gender, quantitative research method was designed in the current study. Participants were selected from Khaneh Zaban institute in Rafsanjan-Kerman, also were divided into two groups of control and experimental. In addition, they were in intermediate level of general English. Data were collected during 18 sessions of one term.

4. Data and Analysis

4.1 The result of placement test

 

In this study 30 homogenized EFL students were selected from among 50. These 30 students (17 male and 13 female) were divided randomly into two groups, one experimental and the other control group. The placement test was distributed among students, and this test consisted of fifty items each was given one point and no negative scores was considered for wrong answers.

The above figure demonstrates that the mean= 15.5 and Std. deviation=1.925, as a result the average of mean shows that 30 students among 50 were homogeneous at intermediate level of language proficiency. The results of pre-test and the post-test were also analyzed based on t-test in the next parts.

4.2 Examining the first research question

Does imaging technique affect intermediate EFL learners’ vocabulary acquisition?

As it was mentioned, two groups were divided into control and experimental groups. And the T-test was first run to examine the results of pre & post-test in each group.

   

contorol.pre

contorol.post

 
         

N

Valid

15

15

 

Missing

0

0

 
   

Mean

 

13.00

13.00

 

Median

 

13.00

13.00

 

Mode

 

13

13

 

Std. Deviation

1.000

1.000

 

Variance

 

2.000

1.000

 

Skewness

 

.000

.000

 

Std. Error of

 

.000

.000

 

Skewness

       

Range

 

6

5

 

Minimum

 

10

11

 

Maximum

 

16

16

 
         

 

 

Sum

198

200

     

Table 4.1 shows descriptive statistics of pre & post-test in control group

The results of pre-test and post-test in experimental group show the answer of first question of this study. As the above tables of control group present the traditional approaches don’t develop the L2 vocabulary knowledge, the data concerning the experimental group are demonstrated in the tables below:

Statistics

   

experimental.p

experimental.p

 
   

re

ost

 
         

N

Valid

15

15

 

Missing

0

0

 
   

Mean

 

12.60

16.07

 

Median

 

13.00

16.00

 

Mode

 

12a

15

 

Variance

 

2.400

2.638

 

Skewness

 

-.149

-.008

 

Std. Error of

 

.580

.580

 

Skewness

       

Minimum

 

10

13

 

Maximum

 

15

19

 

Sum

 

189

241

 
         

Table 4.4 shows descriptive statistics of pre & post-test in experimental group

4.2.1 The results of descriptive statistics in relation with the first question

According to the above tables, the results of descriptive statistics were obtained related to two groups:

4.2.2 Answer to the first question

To answer the first research question concerning Does imaging technique affect intermediate EFL learners’ vocabulary acquisition? The answer of this question was yes. As tables and figures show the results related to the first question, there is a significant relationship between the imaging technique and development of intermediate EFL learners’ vocabulary acquisition.

 

4.3 Examining the second research question

Is there any significant difference between male and female intermediate EFL learners in vocabulary acquisition through imaging technique?

Apart from the effect of imaging technique on development of EFL students’ vocabulary acquisition, this section investigates the differences between male and female in this field and measure which one have been more successful in learning vocabulary by imaging technique. In order to investigate the result of this study, independent test is used because their numbers are not the same.

The first group to be investigated is the control group, and the tables below show the results of data which were collected through pre-test and post-test.

   

Group Statistics

   
             
 

sex

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error

 
         

Mean

 

contorol.pre

male

9

12.78

1.563

.521

 

female

6

13.83

1.472

.601

 
   
             

Table 4.7 shows descriptive statistics of male and female in pre-test of control group

The above table shows the numbers of each gender are difference male (N=9) and female (N=6). Also the mean scores present the average of every gender in pre-test, and it shows the mean scores of female compared to male increased, but there isn’t significant difference. Furthermore, the scores are close to each other.

Independent Samples Test

             
               
   

Levene's Test for

t-test for Equality of means

 
   

Equality of

         
   

Variances

         
               
   

F

 

Sig.

t

df

Sig(2-

Mean

             

tailed)

Difference

                 
 

Equal variances

.002

 

.968

-1.310

13

.213

-1.056

               

control.pre

assumed

             
               
 

Equal variances

     

-1.327

11.34

.211

-

 

not assumed

       

0

 

1.056

                 

Table 4.8 shows independent samples test of male and female in pre-test of control group

The independent samples test reveals the result of pre-test in control group, if the Significant is less than 0.05, it means the relationship between two variables or averages is so weak. According to the above table, Sig shows the relationship between the scores of male and female in control group’s pre-test isn’t weak.

The next table shows the result of post-test in this group:

Group Statistics

 

sex

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error

         

Mean

           

 

 

contorol.post

male

9

13.00

1.225

.408

 

female

6

13.83

1.472

.601

 
   
             

Table 4.9 shows descriptive statistics of male and female in post-test of control group

The above table shows that male (N=9) and female (N=6), and the average of mean in post-test for male is raised compare to pre-test, but the percentages of female scores in the two tests are almost the same. Also the averages of female and male in post-test of control group are not significant difference. As a result, participants in control group, who learned vocabulary through traditional approaches, were homogenous. Though, the female were more successful than male, but there isn’t significant difference.

   

Independent Samples Test

           
                 
   

Levene's Test for

t-test for Equality of means

   
   

Equality of Variances

             
                       
   

F

 

Sig.

t

 

df

 

Sig(2-

 

Mean

           
                 

tailed)

 

Difference

                       
 

Equal variances

.478

 

.502

-1.193

 

13

 

.254

 

-.833

                     

control.post

assumed

                   
                     
 

Equal variances

     

-1.147

 

9.426

 

.280

 

--

 

not assumed

                 

.833

                       

Table 4.10 shows independent samples test of male and female in post-test of control group

According to investigate the average of scores in post-test of control group is the same or not, the above table was designed, because male (N=9) and female (N=6). Though, the numbers are not the same, but the percentages of mean are near to each other and the relationship between scores of male and female are strong. The table below shows the relationship between every mean of scores in each test.

As a result, traditional approaches don’t develop EFL students’ vocabulary knowledge and mean in each test demonstrated that the scores of male and female are not significant differences, but female are more successful compared to male in control group.

The next tables were run to compare the performance of male and female students in the experimental groups.

   

Group Statistics

   
           
 

sex

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error

         

Mean

           

experimental.pre

male

8

12.00

1.309

.463

 

female

7

12.71

1.604

.606

Table 4.12 shows descriptive statistics of male and female in pre-test of experimental group

As the above table shows, male (N=8) and female (N=7), and then the second column is mean of male and female, as one can understand there isn’t significant difference between male and female in pre-test, but the mean score of female is higher than male.

 

Independent Samples Test

 

Levene's Test for Equality

t-test for Equality of means

 
 

of Variances

       
             
 

F

Sig.

t

df

Sig(2-

Mean

         

tailed)

Difference

             

Equal variances

.170

.687

-.950

13

.359

-.714

           

experiment   assumed

           

al.pre

   

-.937

11.654

.368

--.714

Equal variances

   

not assumed

           
             

Table 4.13 shows independent samples test of male and female in pre-test of experimental group

The above table indicates the significant relationship between the scores of male and female in pre-test of experimental group, according to descriptive statistics of pre-test, it is concluded that two groups were homogenous, and their performance in pre-test is the same.

In order to make these descriptive findings more meaningful, the next part compares male and female in post-test of experimental group.

     

Group Statistics

   
             
   

sex

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

             
 

experimental.post

male

8

15.25

1.389

.491

 

female

7

17.00

1.414

.535

   
             

Table 4.14 shows descriptive statistics of male and female in post-test of experimental group

The above table indicates that the number of male and female, and then the mean scores have significant differences M=15.25, F=17.00. As one can analyze the mean score of female is higher than male. And the averages of male and female in post-test compared to pre-test increase. Furthermore, Std.deviation demonstrates that the scores of female and male are normal in post-test of experimental group.

Independent Samples Test

   

Levene's Test for

t-test for Equality of means

   
   

Equality of Variances

             
                       
   

F

 

Sig.

t

 

df

 

Sig(2-

 

Mean

           
                 

tailed)

 

Difference

                       
 

Equal variances

.340

 

.908

-414.4

 

13

 

.30.

 

-..17.3

                     

experime assumed

                   

ntal.post

Equal variances

     

-414..

 

.4111

 

.304

 

--.17.3

             
 

not assumed

         

7

       
                       

Table 4.15 shows independent samples test of male and female in post-test of experimental group

 

Table 4.15 shows the Sig is lower than 0.05>0.031. As a result, the relationship between scores of male and female in post-test of experimental group is so weak. According to the other tables, female are more successful than male in this field.

4.4.1 The results of descriptive statistics in relation with the second question

4.4.2 Answer to the second question

The second research question was that is there any significant difference between male and female intermediate EFL learners in vocabulary acquisition through imaging technique? According to descriptive statistics, which determined that the mean scores of post-test compared to pre-test increased, also female are more successful than male and after treatment course female=17.00 & male=15.25. In addition, there is a significant difference between male and female.

5. Discussion and Conclusion

5.1 Discussion

Significance of the findings is based on the analysis of the data for the conclusion making and answering the research question of the study. A glance over the design of the study can provide the view

 

that the research was in-fact a quantitative research. The sample sizes were chosen carefully to match the needs and essentialities of an experimental quantitative research. Two selected groups of the study were from Khaneh Zaban institute of Rafsanjan which meant that the learning context of both groups were equal and the same. The learners had nearly the same language proficiency.

As with all quantitative experimental researches, nearly all the other important factors of the study were equal except for the treatment the groups received. The only difference of the control and experimental group was that the former received imaging technique while the latter gained traditional way of learning. While the results of the t-test in chapter four manifested that learners of the two groups nearly performed equally on the pretest, it manifested a significant alteration of scores when the test was applied after the study as the posttest in which the experimental group who gained imaging technique outperformed the control group who had only traditional techniques. As a matter of fact, since nearly all the other factors were the same and the only variable was the use of imaging technique instead of traditional techniques, one can conclude that the development in English vocabulary acquisition revealed in the post-test was due to the use of imaging technique.

The results of the study can be generalized to the Iranian EFL population, because the study was a quantitative study which manifested objective results based on the quantification and numbers. Although these findings cast some light on the relationship between gender and imaging technique, they are far from conclusive. The evidence of gender differences in EFL vocabulary learning brings to the fore the necessity of raising learners’ awareness of their preferred learning strategies. At the same time, it is necessary to raise teachers’ awareness of the diversity of learning vocabulary techniques in the classroom and their variation by gender, as well as by other individual variables. The task of the teacher in this respect is to find out how male and female learners learn most effectively and support them in maximizing their learning potential. The data about which techniques are least frequently used by males and females can be incorporated in a technique training program to train students how to develop new technique and improve the existing ones. Teachers should integrate strategy instruction in the English language classroom on a regular basis.

The first reason for explaining these differences refers to the innate characteristics of female and male brains." Females and males are of equal intelligence; however, they are likely to operate differently as they seem to use different parts of their brains to encode memories, sense emotions, solve problems and make decisions" (Zaidi, 2010). According to Zaidi (2010), certain characteristics in the brain play important roles in female and male learning processes and language development. Regarding the regions of the brain that play important roles in visual processing and storing language and personal memories, apart from being bigger in volume, the frontal and the temporal areas of the cortex are more precisely organized in female's brain. This contributes their better language learning and predisposes female students as a whole to be more strategic vocabulary learners than their male counterparts.

Another reason for explaining these differences refers to the female and male cognitions. "Males and females have different cognitive profiles" (Baron-Cohen et al., 2005; as cited in Boonkongsaen & Intaraprasert, 2014). "Concerning a visual link to learning, male learners tend to rely more on pictures and moving objects for word connections than female learners" (Gurain, 2006; as cited in Boonkongsaen & Intaraprasert, 2014). And also Jiménez (2003) investigated that females were superior to males in using strategies quantitatively and qualitatively regarding the role of gender in vocabulary learning strategies. In other words, females used a large number of strategies and also a wider range of strategies than their male peers.

 

Teachers and researchers should keep trying to understand gender differences and should understand that gender differences may often be a mask for deeper differences of personality type and career choice. Gurain (2006) also assert that "males and females should be encouraged and allowed to develop the most effective learning techniques they can, and neither should be pushed into a gender-stereotyped set of strategies". And also regarding the role of gender in vocabulary learning technique, teachers should be aware of the differences between males and females in using techniques or strategies, especially the number of technique used by them, and secondly the kind of techniques used by males and females and not to push them towards using the special techniques.

5.2 Theoretical and pedagogical implication of study

The findings obtained in this study may lead to a number of implications which could possibly be beneficial for language practitioners, teachers and students in learning EFL vocabulary:

5.3 Suggestions for further research

As mentioned before, this study investigated the effect of imaging technique on development of intermediate EFL learners’ vocabulary learning across gender. Participants were chosen from “Khaneh Zaban” foreign language institute in Rafsanjan-Kerman. Also they were 30 of male and female students who were at the same level of language proficiency as intermediate. In further research, large scale research on this issue would be recommended:

 

Conclusion

This chapter was dedicated to the demonstration of the results of the study through the quantitative data analysis. As was stated, independent samples t-test was used to analyze the data obtained from the experimental and control groups pretest and posttest performances. Homogeneity and normality of variances manifested as well as the fact that the two groups were nearly at the same level of knowledge through the placement test examination. At the end, the result of independent samples t-test on the post-test of the two experimental and control groups illuminated that there was a significant difference between the experimental and control groups performance on the post examination, and it was due to imaging technique which learners of the experimental group had during the study. Although the grades of the students of the control group manifested a development as well, but it was not comparable to the scores obtained by the participants in the experimental group. The next chapter provides a conclusive discussion as well as the implications, and significances the study had.

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