A large body of research supports the efficacy of learning strategies employed in the acquisition of second language vocabulary. However, research also indicates that many such strategies are underused or misused by learners and, further, that any effort to integrate learner training in the use of such strategies into classroom instruction faces a number of challenges, among them a shortage of appropriate training materials, a lack of expertise on the part of the teacher, and ingrained habits or even resistance on the part of the learner. This paper describes a classroom-based investigation into the utility of a prototype web-based learner-training resource called The Virtual Vocabulary Trainer (The VVT Site), which combines multimedia tutorials, practice exercises, and awareness-raising tasks. Participants’ use of the site and their opinions about the training they received were investigated by way of a survey, interviews, observations, and screen-capture devices. The results provide insights into the benefits that might be gained from an online multimedia approach to learner training, as well as useful design and content considerations for future enhancements to the site.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jim-ranalli/9/