The Effect of Cluster-Based Word Presentation for Foreign Language Learning in a Visuospatial Similarity-based Mapping of Foreign Vocabulary

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A variety of foreign learning vocabulary methods have been proposed. Previous research suggests that learning methods embodying certain cognitiveinspired theoretical concepts, such as orthographic similarity and visuospatial locations, can facilitate vocabulary learning. This study integrates the aforementioned concepts with a technique that has been abundantly researched: clustering. The language learning application MindSort enables us to do so. Consequently, this study builds upon previous research to hopefully create a learning method based on a clustering algorithm that facilitates foreign vocabulary learning. The control condition consisted of random groups of words being considered a cluster, while the test condition consisted of orthographic similarity-based clusters. Hence, this study tests whether foreign vocabulary learning for spatially mapped vocabulary is facilitated by clustering the word presentation based on orthographic similarity. The quantitative results showed that the difference was insignificant. Possible limitations are discussed, such as the qualitative result that some participants tended to learn the locations instead of the words. Among other possible future research directions, this paper suggests to further investigate the influence of vocabulary locations on foreign vocabulary learning methods. Key words: foreign vocabulary learning, k-means clustering, orthographic similarity, visuospatial locations, MindSort
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