Effective vocabulary learning: An investigation of memory strategies for English vocabulary acquisition

Bai Yue Doris DU

Research output: ThesisHonours Projects (HP)


Vocabulary acquisition is an important part of second language acquisition (SLA) and investigating effective vocabulary learning strategies (VLS) is a mission of educators. This study aims to figure out whether two memory strategies (i.e., semantic mapping and imagery) are more effective than rote memorization (i.e., L1 rehearsal) for Hong Kong secondary students to learn English vocabulary. In the study, semantic mapping was used to display each target English word with three Chinese concepts relevant to the English word, while imagery involved the association of the verbal code with a visual code. L1 rehearsal required learners to memorize the L1 translation of the target English words by rehearsal. Focusing on 24 secondary two students in a local school, this study examined the effectiveness of the two selected memory strategies through an experiment and follow-up interviews. The data suggested that the two memory strategies had no significant advantage over L1 rehearsal for both immediate vocabulary learning and longer vocabulary retention. Some positive effects of the memory strategies and their potential problems were spotted in the interviews. Based on the data, pedagogical implications related to familiar context, learner autonomy, preservation of L1 translation, and cultural education are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationBachelor of Education (Honours)
  • LEE, Fung King, Jackie 李鳳琼, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Honours Project (HP)
  • Bachelor of Education (Honours) (English Language) (Five-year Full-time)
  • Programme code: A5B059
  • Course code: ENG4905


Dive into the research topics of 'Effective vocabulary learning: An investigation of memory strategies for English vocabulary acquisition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.