Welcome to Francis Academic Press

International Journal of New Developments in Engineering and Society, 2021, 5(1); doi: 10.25236/IJNDES.2021.050106.

Applying L1 Translation in L2 Vocabulary Building: Efficacy of Immersion Learning Method in the Online Environment


Mingye Li1, Yinuo Shen2, Xintong Mao1, Sihan Wang3, Peijin Jiang4

Corresponding Author:
Mingye Li

1Hangzhou Foreign Language School, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310023, China

2United World College Costa Rica, Santa Ana, San Jose 11801, Costa Rica 

3John F. Kennedy High School, 11254 Gothic Ave, Granada Hills, CA 91344

4Beijing Bayi High School International Department, Beijing, Beijing 100080, China


The study was designed to examine the effective manners for beginners to study foreign language vocabulary using mobile-assisted programs of different language learning approaches. We reported on a simple process of language learning on Wenjuanxing, an online survey instrument with over 80 million active users for data collection. Some beginning learners use unsystematic ways to learn L2, which are not recommended. In a between-subjects design, 78 high school students (aged 15 to 18) with 36 males and 42 females were randomly assigned into three groups: no L1 translation, L1 translation before, L1 translation after. They learnt 12 Spanish words through a tutorial video and then completed a vocab test to examine their short-term language acquisition. After 24 hours, another similar vocab test was given to examine their long-term language acquisition. The results revealed a noticeable difference in long-term memory between with and without L1 translation, providing a route for L2 vocabulary learners to follow in the online environment. 


L1 translation; high school students; short-term; long-term; language acquisition

Cite This Paper

Mingye Li, Yinuo Shen, Xintong Mao, Sihan Wang, Peijin Jiang. Applying L1 Translation in L2 Vocabulary Building: Efficacy of Immersion Learning Method in the Online Environment. International Journal of New Developments in Engineering and Society (2021) Vol.5, Issue 1: 28-34. https://doi.org/10.25236/IJNDES.2021.050106.


[1] He, An E. (2012) Systematic Use of Mother Tongue as Learning/Teaching Resources in Target Language Instruction. Multilingual Education, vol. 2, no. 1, 2012.  

[2] Liu, L. (2008) L1 Use in L2 Vocabulary Learning: Facilitator or Barrier. School of Foreign language China: Qingdao University of Science and Technology. 

[3] Butzkamm, W.(2003) We only learn language once. The role of the mother tongue in FL classrooms: death of a dogma. The Language Learning Journal, Volume 28:Pages 29-39 

[4] Marian, V. (2013). Bilingual Two-Way Immersion Programs Benefit Academic Achievement. Retrieved 2020, from https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15235882.2013.818075

[5] Chen, X. (2016) Evaluating Language-learning Mobile Apps for Second-language Learners. Journal of Educational Technology Development and Exchange (JETDE): Vol. 9 : Iss. 2 , Article 3. 

[6] Wu, Q. (2015) Designing a smartphone app to teach English (L2) vocabulary. Computers & Education, 85, 170-179. 

[7] Lambert, W. E., & Tucker, G. R. (1972) The bilingual education of children. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.  

[8] Milton, J. (2009) 1. In Measuring second language vocabulary acquisition. Bristol: Multiligual Matters: 17-20.

[9] Hwang, G. J., & Chang, H. F. (2011) A formative assessment-based mobile learning approach to improving the learning attitudes and achievements of students. Computers & Education, 56, 1023- 1031.

[10] Godwin-Jones, R. (2011) Emerging technologies: Mobile apps for language learning. Language, Learning and Technology, 15(2), 2-11. 

[11] Kim, H., & Kwon, Y. (2012) Exploring smartphone applications for effective mobile-assisted language learning. Multimedia-Assisted Language Learning, 15(1), 31-57

[12] Paivio, A. (1986) Mental representation: A dual-coding approach. New York: Oxford University Press. 

[13] Jiang XX, Hardy LL, Ding D, Baur LA, Shi HJ. (2014) Recreational screen-time among Chinese adolescents: a cross-sectional study. J Epidemiol. 2014, 24 (5): 397-403.

[14] Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (1989) Canadian Immersion and Adult Second Language Teaching: What's the Connection? The Modern Language Journal, 73(2), 150-159. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4781.1989.tb02537.x

[15] Kalish, M. (2005) Immersion multimedia for adult Chiricahua language learners. New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 11(2), 181-203. 

[16] Maulana, A. (2015) THE DYNAMIC IMMERSION SOFTWARE: TEACHING ENGLISH VOCABULARY FOR YOUNG LEARNERS. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from http://www.e-journal.stkipsiliwangi.ac.id/index.php/eltin/article/view/121/110

[17] Yang Qing. (2016) Chinese Immersion Teaching Mode Carried out in Utah of the United States —A Case Study of Uintah Elementary School. Journal of Research on Education for Ethnic Minorities. No. 4, 2016 Vol. 27.