The effect of the integration of talking toys on preschoolers’ vocabulary learning in English
Anahtar Kelimeler:Talking toys- English teaching materials- English vocabulary assessment in early childhood
Appropriate conditions and suitable materials can inspire young children to learn a new language effortlessly. The present study attempted to investigate the effects of English talking toys as teaching materials on vocabulary learning of very young learners (VYL) based on their gender. The study was conducted at one of the public preschools in Yenimahalle/Ankara with 48 five-year old children from two classes. The first group of students was the experimental group and they were instructed using English talking toys as a teaching material. On the other hand, the other class was the control group and was instructed using flashcards. The target vocabulary for this study, which was incorporated into a Vocabulary Checklist Test, was developed after a close scrutiny of the relevant literature (i.e. vocabulary learning in young learners) and examination of the theme-related curriculum employed in the chosen preschool. To assess preschoolers' learning of target words in English, a new Vocabulary Checklist Test was developed by the researcher. The results of a series of t-tests showed that the class instructed with English talking toys performed better on both receptive and expressive/productive vocabulary. The results also indicated that there was not any significant difference between males and females in terms of the effect of English talking toys on preschool children's vocabulary learning. The findings suggest that English talking toys are not only used for entertainment and recreational purposes, they can also be used as teaching material particularly when it comes to teaching basic English vocabulary. The current study contributed to areas such as early childhood education, foreign/second language learning, foreign language testing and evaluation.