"Learning Styles and Vocabulary Acquisition in Second Language: How the Brain Learns"
, in Frontiers in Psychology, Nummer 6, 11-2015, ISSN: 1664-1078
Learning Styles and Vocabulary Acquisition in Second Language: How the Brain Learns
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In recent years, foreign language education has been focussing on learning styles. However, despite the quantity of articles and practice books, websites on the topic, and investment in teacher training, there is no empirical evidence for the existence of learning styles. Furthermore, if one agrees that it is the brain that learns, there should be indicators in the brain for the existence of learning styles, anatomically, and/or functionally. This is not the case. In this paper, the validity and reliability of tests assessing learning styles are questioned. Thereafter, following on basics of cognitive neuroscience and experimental evidence it is argued that the natural way for the brain to learn words is by collecting multiple sensory and sensorimotor experiences. In fact, evidence-based literature in the domain of vocabulary acquisition demonstrates that the inclusion of multiple modalities leads to best results. Impoverished linguistic input by allowing only one modality, for example only acoustic or visual input?the so called learning style (Pashler et al., 2008) of the student?reduces the chances of acquiring words. Also, the article briefly outlines brain related factors that lead to high performance in vocabulary learning.