The present study was intended to investigate the efficacy of two different learning methods in the acquisition of concrete simple words by elementary Persian speakers learning English. In this study, picture-learning and translation-learning were compared and contrasted. In the picture-learning condition, English words in combination with pictures representing the words’ referents were presented to one group of participants. In the word-learning condition, the English words in combination with their Persian translation equivalents were presented to the other group of participants. In this research, three different conditions were met. The immediate vocabulary learning and recall by the language learners was the first one. The second variable was the students’ ability in delayed vocabulary retention which was measured by a context-embedded test. Finally, the in/congruency between the learning condition and the testing condition was analyzed.
4.8.1. Immediate vocabulary learning and recall:
The present study intended to measure the effects of translation-learning and picture-learning on the elementary students’ immediate vocabulary learning and recall among the above-mentioned variables. In order to measure this variable, there were two conditions which were congruent and incongruent. For the congruent condition, tests (1) and (4) and for the incongruent condition, tests (2) and (5) were compared and contrasted. The results of this thesis showed that the translation group outperformed the picture group in both congruent and incongruent conditions. This superiority means that the translation group was better even when the participants received a test format which was totally different from the one they were accustomed to during instruction. In other words, the effect of learning method indicates that presentation of L1-L2 word pairs during learning provides a better opportunity for acquiring L2 words than does the presentation of picture-L2 pairs, at least for our participants. The recall data also suggest that for our participants word learning is a more effective method to acquire an L2 vocabulary than is picture learning: word learning produced higher recall scores than picture learning. The immediate vocabulary learning and recall can be discussed from several standpoints as follows