The need for worldwide communication has made people learn as many foreign languages as they can in order to be able to send and receive information from all over the world. Realizing this situation, researchers and linguists have carried out a large number of studies in order to find out the best ways for teaching and learning English as a second or foreign language. The terms language learning and language acquisition are not new since in many earlier researches language acquisition is compared to the process of learning the mother tongue whereas language learning is compared to the process when a child learns a second or foreign language. This paper aims to showcase that teaching/learning new vocabulary using pictures is much more effective than the other methods of vocabulary learning. The research also puts emphasis on the language level of learners. It demonstrates that the method of using pictures and illustrations works well with all levels of proficiency and as such, it has brought very useful results. It was carried out at the South East European University (SEEU) in North Macedonia and participants were thirty (30) students from all five Faculties, divided in three different groups based on their language proficiency. Each group consisted of ten (10) students, aged 18 to 22 years. They were of elementary, pre-intermediate and intermediate level of English. The research lasted for six weeks, because the students had to be introduced to six different vocabulary topics. Since the experiment was carried out in a real classroom environment, the target vocabulary topics used for this purpose were chosen from their students’ book. Data were collected in three phases. During the first phase, students were asked to complete a questionnaire, consisting of questions regarding the vocabulary learning methods, mainly vocabulary associated with pictures. In the second phase, they were engaged in real activities in a traditional classroom setting, while in the last phase, at the end of the last session, participants took a quiz that was supposed to provide evidence and additional data about participants’ achievements. It is expected that the findings from this experiment will be useful to current and prospective teachers as they show that the method of pictures and illustrations associating the target vocabulary functions well with different levels.
- English as second and foreign language
- Language learning
- language acquisition
- pictures and illustrations