Learning L2 vocabulary on screen: the role of screen-based pedagogical supports on dual language learners

Kevin M. Wong, Susan B. Neuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Educational media has the potential to serve as an instructional tool to enhance vocabulary knowledge among young children. The current study examined how certain mechanisms on screen might influence early literacy development in preschool-aged dual language learners (DLLs). Specifically, the study investigated how four screen-based pedagogical approaches in educational media (i.e., explicit definitions, visual supports, repetitions, sound effects) might influence L2 vocabulary learning among DLLs with varying English language skills. Drawing from dual-coding theory, 51 four- to five-year-old DLLs viewed twelve counterbalanced videos in four conditions (i.e., one representing each pedagogical support) using a within-subjects design. Findings indicated that children learned vocabulary words in a new language on screen, and that screen-based pedagogical supports were differentially facilitative in helping DLLs recall words. When viewing media, children benefited from certain scaffolds more than others. Of notable mention is the repetition pedagogical support, which appeared to benefit children with less L2 exposure more than those with greater L2 exposure in the home. Overall, the current study represents an important step in CALL research regarding how “screen time” can be optimized to support young children’s L2 vocabulary development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1477-1500
Number of pages24
JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2023


  • L2 vocabulary
  • Screen-based pedagogical supports
  • dual language learners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Computer Science Applications


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