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Using imagery as a strategy for language learning may be helpful to encode linguistic forms into conceptual networks for long-term memory. Based on Arwood’s neuroeducation model of language learning, this research evaluated the effect of imagery in Chinese character writing by English-speaking adolescent students. After comparing imagery effects under three instructional conditions (i.e., English translation, pictorial presentation, and verbal-contextual interpretation), the results showed that the use of imagery predicted significantly better writing results in the immediate and one-week writing tests, but not in the four-week writing test. Cognitive analyses found that imagery was commonly used as a mediational strategy in the pictorial and verbal-contextual methods in the early learning phases. The pictorial method mainly elicited perceptual visual patterns which failed to support sustained memory. For a better character encoding and retrieval, images had to be generated associated with sufficient and relevant contextual information.

Author Supplied Keywords

Imagery, Neuroeducation, Chinese character writing, Memory, Mediational strategy


Languages, Modern--Study and teaching

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Archived version is the final published version.





Document Type

Journal Article