International Research Journals

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Expert Review - Educational Research ( 2023) Volume 14, Issue 1

Possession and Absorption of Regional English Vocabulary in Understanding vs. the Digital Publishing Environments

Wasim Amjad*
Department of Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Kralove, 500 03 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
*Corresponding Author:
Wasim Amjad, Department of Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Kralove, 500 03 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, Email:

Received: 10-Jan-2023, Manuscript No. ER-23-86673; Editor assigned: 12-Jan-2023, Pre QC No. ER-23-86673; Reviewed: 25-Jan-2023, QC No. ER-23-86673; Revised: 27-Jan-2023, Manuscript No. ER-23-86673; Published: 31-Jan-2023, DOI: 10.14303/2141-5161.2023.252


It seems necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of these tools from various perspectives of psycholinguistics and applied linguistics, particularly when it comes to learning a foreign or second language (L2), given the very current trends in digital language education that are generally supported by governments and educational institutions. As a result, the purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast print text and digital media in terms of vocabulary retention in L2. The study involved 122 university students who were divided into two groups to learn 60 brand-new phrasal verbs; One group used text from a standard printout, while the other group used the same text on their digital devices with annotations. After four weeks of studying the four sets of phrasal verbs, or 15 verbs per week, there were two memory tests. Another test was given after another month to see how well the students remembered the vocabulary. The groups that used print text in both of the tests clearly outperformed the other, albeit only by a small margin. According to the findings of this study, students are more likely to retain L2 vocabulary when they can make notes, highlight, or write their translations in their native language and have access to printed vocabulary. However, in order to obtain data that is more trustworthy, these findings ought to be checked out from various other points of view as well.


Foreign language learning, Vocabulary retention


eLearning, eLearning 4.0, hybrid learning, and a variety of other forms of digital learning have emerged as a result of the widespread use of the Internet and digital media over the past decade in FLL (foreign language learning) and L2 (foreign/second language acquisition).

Every year, especially among young people, the trend toward screen-based learning activities is becoming increasingly common. Students, including language students, are being forced to adapt to new ways to access content for their classes as a result of the recent global context brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, which created the ideal conditions for a mass migration of face-to-face courses to online courses. Specifically, English students had conflicting opinions regarding the effectiveness of the methods of learning and their ability to expand vocabulary and comprehension of a foreign language. Due to what appears to be a lack of evidence regarding the efficacy of various methodologies in foreign language verbal acquisition, particularly printed and online text, students are still left unanswered because they are unable to meet face-to-face and are studying English as a second language using online technology. As a result, comparing the use of digital media to print text seems relevant and necessary to determine whether there is a difference in vocabulary acquisition and retention in L2 (Dörfler et al., 2008).

The phrasal verbs were provided to the students in the second experimental group—the so-called "digital group"— in the same quantity and format, but as a pdf on their laptops or mobile phones. Attachments that MS Teams can download (Robert et al., 2002). They were instructed not to print them out and bring them to class only on laptops or mobile phones. They could use any annotations, highlight features, or notes, but only if they were written on their laptops or mobile phones. Given that the students are studying ICT, it was relatively simple to ensure that they did not use any printed materials, and it is also very uncommon for them to print any texts or study materials for any of their subjects. Since only two students were observed to have printed the texts and brought them to the classes and the test class, they were unable to participate in the survey. None of the participants were aware that the study was about digital media versus print media (Artelt et al., 2000). As a result, they were unable to determine the study's purpose, and it was possible for the researchers to determine who used their print materials; the researchers were able to easily identify the two students who brought these annotated printouts to the test session and used them in class, so they were excluded from the study (Porion et al., 2019).


Digital media cannot compete with the benefits of printed materials, according to research. Better reading comprehension, confidence and immersion in the text's content, and lower levels of fatigue when reading printed text compared to reading from a device screen are some of the benefits. Additionally, it appears that printed text is the most popular option among student’s worldwide, particularly academic students. (Pfost et al., 2018) investigated the effects of various reading sources on the literacy development of secondary school students, including print-based materials and online reading activities. The students had to take reading tests and fill out questionnaires about their reading habits. The results showed that traditional book reading was good for their literacy skills, while online reading was bad for reading comprehension and lexical competence. On the other hand, (Aparicio et al., 2009) (Baccin et al., 2017) found that readers' surface, semantic, and inference comprehension of text did not differ statistically between print and digital reading.

Additionally, contradictory findings regarding students' vocabulary retention in L2 for various environments are revealed by research studies. (Kilickaya et al., 2009) compared the effectiveness of online vocabulary instruction to the more conventional approaches utilized in academic English classes for upper-intermediate students (Megalakaki et al., 2005). The experimental group used an online dictionary lookup system to practice the same vocabulary in the passages as the control group did using cards and notebooks. A follow-up post-test administered three months later supports the authors' claims that students in the experimental group performed better than those in the control group and that they remembered the online words better. However, the students' outcomes in print and paper appear to differ in other studies. At a junior high school, (Chiu et al., 2010) investigated the effects of printed, pocketsized electronic, and online type-in dictionaries on English vocabulary retention. According to the findings, printed dictionaries aid students in more effectively retaining target words, whereas electronic dictionaries only temporarily pique the interest of junior high school students (Krajka et al., 2005).

In general, the literature demonstrates that a number of factors, including mobile apps, online platforms, and digital gadgets for improved word retention in L2, have changed over the past few years in relation to second language education and various information sources. However, it still appears to lack important information regarding the effectiveness of various verbal L2 acquisition methods (Liu et al., 2010). The recent pandemic scenario appeared to provide important insights into students' perspectives on their education, including the advantages and disadvantages of online classes. The literature on the most effective method for improving verbal acquisition in both online and printed materials for L2 acquisition and leaving a clear space between these various methodologies has produced conflicting results.

There are few experimental studies currently comparing the effects of digital and print media on memory, vocabulary retention, information comprehension, and text processing, despite the urgency of the topic. Obviously, there are very few systematic reviews and metanalyses that compare the effects of these two modalities, nor are there any that at least cover some aspects of L1 and L2 human language acquisition. Although a number of studies have raised the possibility of a discrepancy when choosing one of these methods, the advantages and disadvantages of those methods are still obscured by the overwhelming support for digital methods. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine the differences in vocabulary retention between the two groups of students, one of which receives only paper activities (digital media) and the other only online activities (digital media).

Online classes also have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to students learning a second language, according to recent research. According to the research conducted by (Klmová et al., 2009) despite the fact that students who take online classes enjoy a number of benefits, including the ability to review the material more frequently and to learn from the convenience of their own homes, the absence of social interaction and, as a result, any opportunity to improve speaking skills appear to be the primary drawbacks for the students. Similar opinions were expressed regarding Russian students by Nenakhova, who cited the ability to study at home as an advantage and the lack of communication as one of the main drawbacks. (Danchikov et al., 2006) also say that the professionals who use online learning technologies are under a lot of pressure because they have had to learn new techniques and skills in order to successfully manage the learning process. With so little time for teachers to adapt, it's even more important to evaluate existing teaching methods and how well they work in the classroom and online.


It is evident that this pilot study with a relatively small sample size is only a fundamental introduction to the subject of digital media versus print text in relation to L2 acquisition. However, it may serve as a springboard for subsequent studies that could verify these preliminary findings on a much larger scale. Additionally, it may be crucial for the growth of applied linguistics and psycholinguistics to look for mechanisms connected to the difference we found.

These findings may have important implications for practical aspects of FLL from the beginning of L2 acquisition through high school and university to a much later age, including L2 acquisition in seniors, in addition to being important from the psycholinguistic perspective and learning psychology and theory. The modern aspects of digital technology are everywhere, but there is still not enough analysis of them from this point of view. Before they can be widely implemented to everyone and everywhere, there needs to be a very serious and systematic justification for it.

As a result, these findings may serve as a springboard for further research in this field and the publication of additional pertinent studies that could later be incorporated into FLL instruction and practice. Digital learning in all of its guises and facets is currently gaining a lot of favor in education. However, this trend's potential impact on improved FLL and practice has not been sufficiently examined.






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