The Impact of Visual Aids on the Retention of English Word Stress Patterns

Farid Ghaemi, Fahimeh Rafi


The present study aimed at comparing the effectiveness of three different techniques on learners’ long term memorization of English word stress patterns. After administering a quick placement test, 67 Iranian EFL elementary learners at language institutes were selected to participate in the study. Then they were divided into three groups. Before starting the instruction, a pretest was conducted to classify the participants’ abilities on word stress patterns. Then the new techniques were used to teach English word stress patterns. In all three groups, words were printed largely on a piece of paper and the syllables were clearly specified by dots. In group ‘A’, pronunciation and stress pattern of new words were taught aurally through the repetition of the words. In group ‘B’, all the procedure was exactly similar to that of group ‘A’, the only difference was that the stressed syllables were printed in bold. In group ‘C’, all the procedure was exactly similar to that of group ‘B’,  except that the stressed syllables were not only printed in bold, but also introduced by teacher’s hand gesture. After two weeks, a delayed posttest was conducted to check long term memorization of the word stress patterns. The results of the study indicated that there was a significant difference between pretest and delayed posttest in all three groups. But the most meaningful difference belonged to group ‘C’. That is, the participants in the third group (gesture group) outperformed those in the other groups. Finally, some implications and suggestions provided for further research.   


EFL, bold, gesture, memorization, syllable, word stress pattern

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