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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Primary Languages

Classroom Research: Learning Verbs and Multimodality

Published: 12 December 2017
classroom drawer
Modalities in Language Learning

Investigating the effects of different modalities on memorising verbs.

Following workshop 1 where we discussed the potential for teaching vocabulary using a range of modalities, Michael from Highfield Primary School decided to experiment with his Year 5/6 class. 

He split the class into groups and each tried to learn the same regular –er verbs but using different techniques. 

Group one had a list of English word and bilingual dictionaries; they were encouraged to think about pronunciation and to practice the written form. 

Group two used flashcards (image and written form) which were presented and practised with the teacher. 

Group three saw the English and French written and spoken forms and the children chose their own gesture to memorise each word. 

Group four watched videos of Michael saying and showing the written form of the word which they could rewind and review. 

All the groups had different “conditions” for learning the French verbs plus opportunities to practise.  Michael noticed that there didn’t seem to be much difference between how many words each group could recall (possibly the teacher-led group performed slightly better) but, most importantly, he thought to ask the children to reflect on their learning experiences.  They reported that the Ipads were helpful as they could watch the content repeatedly but also that it was useful to see the written form.


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