Enhancing Vocabulary Acquisition and Retention Through the Brain-Based Learning Strategies

  • Kasturi Kandasamy SK Temenggung Ibrahim Penggaram Batu Pahat, Johor, MALAYSIA
  • Noor Aireen Ibrahim Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH) Univerisiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7894-0081
  • Haliza Jaafar Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH), Univerisiti Teknologi Malaysia, MALAYSIA
  • Yasmin Hanafi Zaid Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH), Univerisiti Teknologi Malaysia, MALAYSIA
Keywords: Brain-based Approach, Vocabulary Acquisition, Vocabulary Retention, Second Language Acquisition


The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of the Brain-based Learning Approach in enhancing vocabulary acquisition and retention among Year 4 pupils in a primary school. The strategy implemented was based on Brain-Based Learning Principles. The goal of Brain-based education is to make the utmost use of the situations in which the brain learns the best. Hence, it can be said that brain-based learning in the classroom demonstrates an innovative approach which enhances positive learning conditions for school children. Vocabulary acquisition is an important component in second language acquisition, and it becomes more meaningful when retention of the words learnt is maximized. Embedding brain-based learning strategy in teaching and learning provides opportunity for better vocabulary acquisition and retention, at the same time, increases the level of motivation among young learners.  A descriptive quantitative design was used in this study involving 33 pupils from a primary school in Batu Pahat, Johor. The pupils had average to above average English language proficiency and were randomly allocated in the control group and the experimental group. The control group had undergone traditional approach to learning vocabulary while the experimental group experienced learning which encompassed brain-based learning approach. The pupils in both groups underwent a pre-test, post-test and delayed post-test. Data derived from these tests were analysed and tabulated for mean and percentage. The independent t-test showed significant difference in vocabulary acquisition and retention among pupils in both groups. It was found that pupils who followed the brain-based teaching approach attained better vocabulary acquisition and vocabulary retention compared to the pupils who were exposed to traditional teaching methods.


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Author Biographies

Kasturi Kandasamy, SK Temenggung Ibrahim Penggaram Batu Pahat, Johor, MALAYSIA

Kasturi Kandasamy is an experienced ESL practitioner with more than 15 years’ experience teaching pupils in both rural and suburbs primary school and is currently teaching in SK Temenggung Ibrahim Penggaram, Batu Pahat, Johor. Kasturi holds a master’s degree in Teaching English as Second Language from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

Noor Aireen Ibrahim, Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities (FSSH) Univerisiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

Senior Lecturer at Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Johor Bahru, Malaysia. She is a Language and Communication researcher with a particular interest in discourse driven research especially in the areas of Health Communication, Professional Communication and Media Communication.


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How to Cite
Kandasamy, K., Ibrahim, N. A., Jaafar, H., & Hanafi Zaid, Y. (2021). Enhancing Vocabulary Acquisition and Retention Through the Brain-Based Learning Strategies. AJELP: Asian Journal of English Language and Pedagogy, 9(2), 26-42. https://doi.org/10.37134/ajelp.vol9.2.3.2021